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Reviews for Ruin Creek

 Ruin Creek magazine reviews

The average rating for Ruin Creek based on 2 reviews is 5 stars.has a rating of 5 stars

Review # 1 was written on 2018-11-03 00:00:00
1995was given a rating of 5 stars Leonard Norris
I first read "Ruin Creek" a number of years back after discovering David Payne, via his earlier novel "Gravesend Light", and becoming a huge fan. I returned to it recently for a second read and was just as enthralled the second time around. The novel alternates between the first person narratives of its three main characters. Jimmy Madden is the quintessential golden boy - charming and handsome high school, star athlete from whom everyone, himself included, expects big things. May Tilley is the beautiful daughter of wealthy parents, who expect her to marry well, who drops her boyfriend to be with Jimmy. Joey is their eleven year old son - conceived by accident before they were married and forcing their hand. "Ruin Creek" explores how one impetuous act can irrevocably alter the path of one's life. But Payne knows that it is rarely the act in isolation, but rather the behaviours and attitudes that precede and succeed it, that propel a life onto a different track. The price of living up to one's imperfections and owning one's choices is high indeed. "Ruin Creek" showcases Payne's trademark lyrical prose and psychological insights that have caused some critics to describe him as "the most gifted novelist of his generation". I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.
Review # 2 was written on 2018-06-20 00:00:00
1995was given a rating of 5 stars Ronald Brenner
The Denver Post reviewed this book as "Masterful...somewhere between Faulkner and Conroy." and I agree. Those of us who live in the South are often classified by a certain vernacular and voice pattern, though each region has its own unique sound and sayings. A hallmark of many great Southern authors - Faulkner and Conroy, Rick Bragg, Harper Lee... - is the way they're able to skillfully capture those special voices and, in doing so, to instantly transport the reader to a particular Southern locale. Payne does that beautifully by bringing his characters to life through the individual cadence of their voices and the colorful colloquialisms that pepper their speech. Were it not for Life's inevitable interruptions I would have settled in to read this book all the way through in one sitting. The story immediately grabbed me and laughter, tears, sighs of delight, moans of disappointment all overtook me at one point or another as the saga of this family unfolded. Maybe it was because, being a Southerner, I was easily immersed in the sound of those voices and the era of time they inhabited. But I do believe anyone who loves "lyrical prose and psychological acuity" (as described by The Boston Globe) would thoroughly enjoy this book. Can't wait to read other works by David Payne.


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