The Master Butchers Singing Club (Paperback)
|Author: Louise Erdrich|
|Returning to his quiet German village home after World War I, trained killer Fidelis Waldvogel, accompanied by his wife, leaves to start a new life in America and finds his life irrevocably changed by a new relationship. *Author: Erdrich, Louise *Publication Date: 2005/07/01 *Number of Pages: 389 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 8.25|
From the Publisher:
Having survived World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend, killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious knife set, Fidelis sets out for America. In Argus, North Dakota, he builds a business, a home for his family—which includes Eva and four sons—and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town. When the Old World meets the New—in the person of Delphine Watzka—the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted. She meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine's life, and the trajectory of this brilliant novel.
A singing German butcher in North Dakota, and a compelling woman named Delphine Watzka, who falls in love with him, are at the center of Erdrich's novel, another in her series of books set in the small town of Argus. A New York Times Notable Book for 2003.
"The novel is more naturalistic and more conventional than the author's earlier Argus stories--fewer excursions into magical realism, fewer flights of fantasy--but every bit as emotionally resonant. Through the prism of one family's tangled history, Ms. Erdrich gives us an indelible glimpse of the American dream and the disappointments that can gather in its wake....As in so many of Ms. Erdrich's novels, a plethora of melodramatic events quickly befall the characters in this story....In summary, these developments may seem contrived, and some are left dangling curiously at the end. But whatever doubts the reader might have are swiftly erased by Ms. Erdrich's sheer authority as a storyteller: her instinctive sympathy for her characters, her energetic inventiveness, her effortless ability to connect public and private concerns." - Michiko Kakutani 02/04/2003 New York Times Book Review
"...Erdrich suffers from an addiction to hyperbole and a tendency to overwrite: if there is a choice between a spare way of expressing something and an ornate one, she will usually go for the ornate....She is handicapped, too, by an inability to create believable dialogue....Still, it's easy to see why Erdrich has won so many fans. Part of her success is due to her ability, over the course of the years, to bring a little-known part of the country redolently to life....The result is a vivid glimpse of a way of life that is alien to many urban dwellers yet familiar in odd particulars....[But] THE MASTER BUTCHERS SINGING CLUB is too disorganized, too unfocused, too wide-ranging to sustain much force....What exactly is Erdrich trying to get across? A portrait of a town? A character? A marriage? An exploration of family values...? A sense of historical sweep? An allegory of the triumph of love over death? Or, alternatively, of death over love? There's a little bit of all these things in THE MASTER BUTCHERS SINGING CLUB, but they're mixed together sloppily and are only half-cooked." - Brooke Allen 02/09/2003