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This is a little masterpiece of narrative compression Though only 135 pages long, it can seem at times that whole paragraphs of unwritten backstory are suggested by every line, every image A rundown of the plot will not give you a sense of the high level of mastery involved here, but here it is anyway In the early 1920s one married farmer befriends another married farmer then steals his wife Both marriages break up The adulterous wife Fern Smith sues her husband for divorce and wins on gr This is a little masterpiece of narrative compression Though only 135 pages long, it can seem at times that whole paragraphs of unwritten backstory are suggested by every line, every image A rundown of the plot will not give you a sense of the high level of mastery involved here, but here it is anyway In the early 1920s one married farmer befriends another married farmer then steals his wife Both marriages break up The adulterous wife Fern Smith sues her husband for divorce and wins on grounds of maltreatment This poor guy has been used by everyone his best friend, his wife, and now the court system, since he cannot admit in open court that he has been cuckolded, to use that archaic and somewhat ridiculous term It s essentially a love triangle murder mystery without the mystery, since we know from the start who does what Not so much a whodunit then, as a why do it Martin Amis London Fields is a novel of this sort, though vastly different in narrative structure, technique, diction etc What s fascinating is William Maxwell s ability to produce gripping suspense even though we know what s going to happen next I can t figure out how he actually does it In a letter Hemingway once said, criticizing Faulkner, and here I paraphrase, that true literature, when it works, doesn t give away its methods that even on second or third reading it somehow transcends its limitations as a text whereas with Faulkner on a second reading you can see how he s tricked you William Maxwell s novella So Long, See You Tomorrow is clearly in that other, loftier, transcendent category of excellence This is miniature tour de force powerful, moving and beautifully written in a spare writing style that evokes a profound sense of place It s no secret that this novella is an old man s recollection of a tragic episode from his childhood a love triangle and murder in a small, Illinois farm town in the early 1920s Yet, this story reveals muchthan an account of a crime of passion This slender novel is about childhood memories, nostalgia and dealing with loss, guilt and haunting regrets.Alm This is miniature tour de force powerful, moving and beautifully written in a spare writing style that evokes a profound sense of place It s no secret that this novella is an old man s recollection of a tragic episode from his childhood a love triangle and murder in a small, Illinois farm town in the early 1920s Yet, this story reveals muchthan an account of a crime of passion This slender novel is about childhood memories, nostalgia and dealing with loss, guilt and haunting regrets.Almost everyone in the novel has a point of view And even though the book deals with shameful and selfish acts of betrayal, I felt sympathy for both of these deeply flawed families Even the murderer s farm dog had a POV I m not sure what astonished methe notion that an abandoned family dog would have a voice in the story or that I found her tale evenpainfully gut wrenching than everyone else in this tragic novel Finally, this story resonates with me personally undoubtedly because I m the granddaughter of Eastern Colorado dry land farmers and my own parents contemporaries of this author lived their whole lives in that small farming community where I grew up I found myself relating to and reminiscing with this narrator s past recollections as they conjured up my own familiar memories and family accounts of bygone times.This is a lovely little story eloquent, pared down and full of heart I was unfamiliar with this gifted author but I ll definitely be on the hunt forof his work Illinois native William Maxwell enjoyed a long, illustrious writing career As his writing life was winding down, Maxwell penned an autobiographical, coming of age story about how events leading up to and following a murder in his small town of Lincoln, Illinois changed his perceptions of life Resulting was So Long, See You Tomorrow, a perceptive novella which garnered the American Book Award.Born in 1908, Maxwell enjoyed life in small town Lincoln, Illinois A farming community in close proxim Illinois native William Maxwell enjoyed a long, illustrious writing career As his writing life was winding down, Maxwell penned an autobiographical, coming of age story about how events leading up to and following a murder in his small town of Lincoln, Illinois changed his perceptions of life Resulting was So Long, See You Tomorrow, a perceptive novella which garnered the American Book Award.Born in 1908, Maxwell enjoyed life in small town Lincoln, Illinois A farming community in close proximity to the state capitol Springfield, the make up of the town was pretty much homogenous One was either an in town person or a farmer who only came into town for errands and church Even the school a one room, one size fits all classroom that went up through the eighth grade In 1918 tragedy struck After giving birth to Maxwell s youngest brother, his mother died of pneumonia two days later His father did not know how to raise three boys on his own, so he sold the house the family had always lived in, and moved to a modest home on the outskirts of town It was there, that he remarried Maxwell s stepmother Grace McGrath, and at age thirteen, the narrator met companion Cletus Smith, the focal point of this story.Smith had moved into town with his mother following a tragic event that had upset the fabric of the town Smith s mother was never suited to be a farmer yet she married Clarence Smith because he was available to her as a husband Eventually, Fern Smith grew disillusioned with her marriage and engaged in an affair with her neighbor Lloyd Wilson Because Lincoln was a tiny community, the whole town eventually talked about their business, which lead both couples to divorce, the women taking custody of the children It was in this regard that Maxwell met Smith, and the two became best buddies until Smith s mother moved the family beyond the gossip to Chicago Later on, Maxwell s father was offered a job opportunity in Chicago, and the family moved there as well Maxwell and Smith ended up at the same high school, yet despite the closeness they once shared, Smith felt uncomfortable around someone who knew his past, and the two went their separate ways.Fifty years later, Maxwell decided to reconstruct these events and the result was this novella His writing is gritty, as his thirteen year old protagonist self sets about to dissect how the relations of two families who had once been close ripped apart the fabric of a community The prose is raw and introspective and while I did not have any emotional attachment to the adults, I felt for the children whose lives had been effected by the poor choices of their parents These events occurred at a time when children were not exposed to adult conversations and issues Grappling with adult issues during this era must have caused the Smith and Wilson children much internal turmoil Even Maxwell could not let the Smith Wilson affair rest fifty years later and set about through his contacts in the publishing industry to reconstruct it Only when he discovered the broad scope of the Lincoln tragedy of his childhood through his adult eyes could he let it rest.I found So Long, See You Tomorrow to be a poignant look at how tragedy forces children to grow up too fast, and, unfortunately, this is true in any era The prose was rich and introspective as Maxwell writes from many points of view to include all the key players in this tragedy The result was a powerful, coming of age novella that won the 1980 American Book Award I would like to thank my goodreads friend Carol for referring me to this book though her review because if not, this novella was not even on my radar I rate this powerful So Long, See You Tomorrow 4 stars, and I will most likely look to readof Maxwell s work in the future Storytellers are liarsJohn Updike said about this novelWhat a lovely book, utterly unlike any other in shape I have ever read He s right While the subject matter of this book is not new or particularly original, the form is The framework of the story is about a murder, yes, but William Maxwell tells us all the salacious details in the first chapter farmers, neighbours, best friends, Clarence and Lloyd, become mortal enemies when Lloyd has an affair with Clarence s wife Clarence murders L Storytellers are liarsJohn Updike said about this novelWhat a lovely book, utterly unlike any other in shape I have ever read He s right While the subject matter of this book is not new or particularly original, the form is The framework of the story is about a murder, yes, but William Maxwell tells us all the salacious details in the first chapter farmers, neighbours, best friends, Clarence and Lloyd, become mortal enemies when Lloyd has an affair with Clarence s wife Clarence murders Lloyd.But that is not what the book is about, as I see it The entire book is a recollection of an old man, a man who had been a young boy at the time of the murder He had a fleeting but important boyhood friendship with Clarence s son Cletus prior to the murder Now in old age, he is haunted by the last time he saw his friend He is preoccupied by how the murder affected Cletus He wants to see it in his mind s eye, to tell the story as best as he can He does research by looking at old newspapers, but the facts are limited He ransacks his memories But, and here is the crux of the book memories are just blurry stories What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.Having made this point, he tells us the story, in full admission that he is setting a stage, filling the gaps with fiction in his attempt to reconstruct the testimony that Cletus was never called upon to give He tells the reader if any part of the following mixture of truth and fiction strikes the reader as unconvincing, he has my permission to disregard it He directs us to imagine Cletus story as a deck of cards face down, turning each one over to see various fictitious facets of the boy s experience The first invention he makes is the dog, the darling dog who has her own heartrending narrative And he goes forward from there constructing the story with a mixture of these cards as well as bits of truth of the story that are well known.The result is a truly lovely book Maxwell drew me into this lovingly crafted story, a patchwork of truth and lies, one that was designed to give voice to a child s untold story, one that was created to help give peace to an old man s worried heart [ Download ] ♿ So Long, See You Tomorrow ☲ In this magically evocative novel, William Maxwell explores the enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try On a winter morning in the s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed And the tenuous friendship between two lonely teenagers one privileged yet neglected, the other a troubled farm boy has been shatteredFifty years later, one of those boys now a grown man tries to reconstruct the events that led up to the murder In doing so, he is inevitably drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who in the months before witnessed things that Maxwell s narrator can only guess at Out of memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the destructive passions of their parents, Maxwell creates a luminous American classic of youth and loss Speechless That was extraordinary 24 hours later I knew I was in for something special when I heard Richard Ford saying that this was one of his all time favourite books but I didn t expect this level of amazement and mastery as I zipped through these 150 pages on a rainy October Sunday How did someone manage to pack so much humanity in such a tiny work of art The last time I felt such mind blowing concision was when I read The Great Gatsby for the first time Every single sentence conta Speechless That was extraordinary 24 hours later I knew I was in for something special when I heard Richard Ford saying that this was one of his all time favourite books but I didn t expect this level of amazement and mastery as I zipped through these 150 pages on a rainy October Sunday How did someone manage to pack so much humanity in such a tiny work of art The last time I felt such mind blowing concision was when I read The Great Gatsby for the first time Every single sentence contains an entire world of thought and imagery and sensory detail that burns into your mind like a red hot iron The entire story is eerily seamless, moving like water from point of view to point of view, gathering speed like a storm about to burst Rarely have I felt such emotional rawness and truths expressed in so few words This is a true feat of the heart and mind.I was also lucky enough to read this masterpiece with a most luminous and intelligent introduction by Ann Patchett Obviously enamoured with this piece of work, she writes the following So Long, See You Tomorrow is structured not like a novel, but like the inner workings of the human brain There are no surprises, only a constant circling of facts, the question of how things might have gone differently, the familiar retreat into personal experience The narrator puts himself into characters he has no connection to, imagines their days, imagines the dog, without apology or explanation Why has he stepped into someone else s life Because this is how we try to make sense of the things we cannot possibly understand It is an exercise in compassion Ann Patchett chose this novel as one to pass on to future generations So would I One of the best depictions of the effect on children and a dog of marital discord I ve ever read This small book manages to say so much about life across the generations with, at its root, the recognition of the importance of ritual for children and the damage that can ensue when a married couple no longer have anything new to offer each other Located in rural farmlands in Middle America there were times when I felt dust between my teeth and in my hair so vividly does Maxwell evoke the land One of the best depictions of the effect on children and a dog of marital discord I ve ever read This small book manages to say so much about life across the generations with, at its root, the recognition of the importance of ritual for children and the damage that can ensue when a married couple no longer have anything new to offer each other Located in rural farmlands in Middle America there were times when I felt dust between my teeth and in my hair so vividly does Maxwell evoke the landscape The novel hinges on a murder which we hear about in the first chapter I loved the unusual form of this book Maxwell approaches his subject from an oblique angle The narrator is an old man reminiscing His obsessive interest in the murder is the result of the guilt he feels for snubbing the murderer s son one day at school He pieces back together the events that led to the murder from the perspective of all involved It s a time honoured story how a woman comes between two good friends and turns them into enemies But almost everything about this novel feels fresh The psychological deterioration of the cuckolded husband is especially powerfully conveyed, culminating when all the raw emotional upheaval he has suffered is belittled and simplified by the legal system during divorce proceedings Most of all though it s the children s dislocation we feel The prose is as bright and transparent as early morning dew on grass A fantastic read So This novel is indisputably a 5 star book by any criterion Each sentence is one the current crop of MFA wielding authors dream of having penned It becomes onlyintense, lyrical, disturbing, resonant as it progresses to its end These 2 friends reviews do it justice and are lyrical in their own right your eye on the title It reminds the reader that Maxwell s focus is on collateral damage, on the peri So This novel is indisputably a 5 star book by any criterion Each sentence is one the current crop of MFA wielding authors dream of having penned It becomes onlyintense, lyrical, disturbing, resonant as it progresses to its end These 2 friends reviews do it justice and are lyrical in their own right your eye on the title It reminds the reader that Maxwell s focus is on collateral damage, on the periphery, less on what appears in the center of the viewfinder.There is one subset of readers I need to tip off, though, to a key IMO sub plot It s difficult to imagine a spoiler alert being necessary with respect to a novel that discloses the last event and its perpetrator early on And yet, if I had known that view spoiler the dog dies hide spoiler , I would not have read it, and I am not alone in avoiding reading that triggers certain memories My warning for the unsuspecting is, if you won t read Old Yeller, be prepared here That s it In every other way novels are appraised, evaluated, measured, SOSYT is perfect for any and every reader It is the early 1920 s in a small farming community in Lincoln, Illinois A seemingly irreparable void is created in a family when the mother dies Two families end up torn asunder as a result of an affair Who amongst us doesn t carry a regret or two in our heart A modestly slim novel that speaks volumes Spare, beautiful, and heartbreaking This one is meant to be savored. This is another of the wonderful novels that was brought to my attention last year through Mookse Madness, a knockout polling competition in The Mookse and the Gripes group This one is a short but near perfect novel.The narrator looks back after many years at his boyhood in rural Illinois The account starts with two tragic events the death of the narrator s mother in the post war flu epidemic and the shooting of a tenant farmer by his neighbour and former friend in a tragic romantic triangle This is another of the wonderful novels that was brought to my attention last year through Mookse Madness, a knockout polling competition in The Mookse and the Gripes group This one is a short but near perfect novel.The narrator looks back after many years at his boyhood in rural Illinois The account starts with two tragic events the death of the narrator s mother in the post war flu epidemic and the shooting of a tenant farmer by his neighbour and former friend in a tragic romantic triangle The narrator is haunted by the thought that he could have donefor his friend, the son of the murderer, and the book gradually plays out the drama as the narrator imagines it