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Book Snow Man by Chute Carolyn (2001-02-16)

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Snow Man by Chute Carolyn (2001-02-16)

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Review Text

  • By Daniel Mcadams on September 23, 2009

    This is an incredibly revolutionary book. It is not a thriller or a love story, though it contains those elements. The narrative is "post-modern" in that perspective shifts continuously depending on what Chute is trying to get across at the moment. It might be off-putting at first. Particularly as the dog seems to have consciousness. But stick with it and you will see that there is a point to how she tells the story. That is part of the story and that is what gives it its energy. At its core it is a social critique par excellence because it takes no prisoners, so to speak. Brilliant stuff. I can see how some would fail to understand or would reject such a fundamental criticism of the system. Free your mind.

  • By A customer on April 3, 2000

    This is the best thing Chute has ever written. So why did it turn her into an unperson among the literary elite? Ostensibly because her hero is a right-wing militiaman who assassinates a US Senator. But the assassination is shown to be a rather horrid affair: no glorification there. And this right-winger's heroes are all Latin American left wing guerillas. And aside from a bitterness toward the rich and powerful, the hero does not express his views with any degree of coherence, so this is not right wing propaganda.To find out why this book has caused Ms. Chute to be dropped from the A list, you have to go back to Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic. Underlying the limousine liberal's love affair with the Black Panthers was a certain sense of superiority and contempt for the blacks they pretended to listen to. It was the same reason why Ms. Chute was lionized for her earlier books about the Maine equivalent of Tobacco Road: she was the tour guide who would give them a nice, safe viewing of an inferior culture, rather like the way the aristocracy visited lunatic asylums in the 18th century.Now Ms. Chute has slipped her traces. The tour guide has joined the toothless outsiders and set fire to the bus. Her hero may be a killer who deserves his fate, but he has manners, grace, authenticity and character. The liberal matron and her consciousness-raised daughter fall into his bed because he has qualities they haven't seen before, certainly not in the worthless men of what passes for an elite in this country these days. And that is what causes the revolt of the book reviewers. Yes many of her characters are empty vessels, plastic men with plastic women. But that is entirely Ms. Chute's point.

  • By A customer on April 4, 2001

    I guess I'm still just looking for someone to tell me why this book was ever written. Intrigued by The Beans of Egypt Maine and amazed at the breadth and perceptiveness and sheer wonder of Merry Men, despite it's controversial characters, I was struck dumb with disappointment for days after reading Snow Man. The characters are shallow and inconsistent (all of them-- left, right and center). The plot could have been taken from any murder "mystery." And the theme was not only blatantly sensational, but worse, devoid of any real substance. Chute opens the book with the warning that this is only a preview of a larger work to come, more fully exploring right-wing militias. If this is the way she's going to approach them, let's hope she was only kidding. Skip it, and bring us the next Merry Men!

  • By A customer on May 17, 1999

    Carolyn's Chute's novel, "Snow Man" is unintentionally hilarious. The hero, whose "manhood "is apparent from his cold-blooded murder of a senator and his neanderthal approach to male-female relationships, is an absurd knock-off of the worst of Ayn Rand's heroes. The women, a mother and daughter who blissfully submit to virtual rape at his hands, read like escapees from some ignorant pornographic fantasy. Incredibly, the daughter is a professor of Women's Studies who in her heart of hearts just needs some rough sex to set her straight. I was actually laughing out loud reading this drivel, and find it genuinely hard to believe that anyone could take it seriously.

  • By A customer on February 2, 1999

    Carolyn Chute is a true literary master. Her previous novels have consistantly upheld her in the forefront of American writers today. The Kirkus review you just read was probably written by a frustrated novelist who wishes he could write with half of the depth that Chute does. His review is rife with spelling and grammatical errors, and he probably needs to get laid.

  • By Jatoby on July 25, 2001

    I anticipated another wonderful Carolyn Chute book when I picked this one up. I did not find any of the colorful characters and unique story that she has entertained me with in the past. It was so far off from her other books, it makes me wonder where she wrote it and why she wrote it.

  • By A customer on August 16, 1999

    I often refer friends to the work of Ms. Chute, for its raw realism, extraordinary character development, and ability to take one to places and situations never imagined. This book is the first time she has disappointed me (tremendously) on the first two counts, and while better on the third, still does not measure up to her other work. This book reads like a first draft or idea for a book, which is never adequately developed.


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