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Lightning Song

de Lewis Nordan

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
942229,353 (4.06)2
Leroy Dearman is twelve, and he lives on a llama farm in Mississippi. Life is perfect. It's true that his grandfather just died in the attic and that wild dogs kill a baby llama now and then, and it's true that one little sister curses him and the other one wets her pants. But up to the day Uncle Harris moves in, life looks like it's right out of a Walt Disney movie. No wonder the llamas greet each morning with a song. Uncle Harris arrives in a sports car, full of funny stories and new ideas. He manages to persuade Leroy's straitlaced parents to join him for cocktails in the evening. He sets up a pretty grand bachelor pad in the Dearman attic, with a telephone, a TV set, and a stack of Playboy magazines. He is, you might say, Romance itself. Once Uncle Harris moves in, life on the llama farm takes on an entirely different flavor. Leroy discovers those magazines. Electricity fills the Dearman house. Equilibrium tilts, conversation trails off, the atmospheric pressure twists--and lightning strikes. Leroy starts seeing things he's never seen before, like the very gifted baton-twirling teacher, and his world changes forever. Not since PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT has a novel looked so directly, hilariously, and bittersweetly at the heartbreak of puberty.… (més)
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Twelve year-old Leroy Dearman is growing up on his family’s llama farm in Mississippi. His mother, Elsie, craves romance. His younger sister seems hardened as a sailor, with language to match. His father, Swami Don, has one small, childlike arm from an accident when he was a boy – his own father shot it while climbing a fence. Lightning strikes the house regularly during storms, resulting in fire balls rolling on the roof and down the chimney.

This is a magical book, full of the wonder and discovery of youth. Nordan was a master at intermingling magic and ridiculous madness, as well as finding humor in tragedy. He can get a belly laugh out of death and heartache. “Just then Old Pappy died, Leroy noticed.”

Lightning Song is about the innocence of youth, and the loss of innocence. It’s about the joy of loving, and in Elsie’s words, how “true love lasts forever.” ( )
1 vota Hagelstein | Jun 9, 2013 |
I once heard someone say that Lewis Nordan is the one writer who makes him laugh out loud. He went on to tell me of the time he was reading the Mississippi author’s latest novel on a crowded airplane. "The chuckles turned to giggles, the giggles became gales of laughter, and then, tears streaming down my face, I lost complete control of myself."

Nordan is, indeed, infectious. To test my friend’s theory, I bought a copy of "Lightning Song" in an airport bookstore. I should have known better. We were flying over Indiana when the flight attendant told me that if I didn’t quiet down, they would have to take away my book. The rest of the passengers broke into spontaneous applause.

Reading "Lightning Song" is worth breaking a few FAA regulations. Nordan has made a name for himself with characters who are, to be polite, eccentric. He’s filled "Lightning Song" with a cast direct from David Lynch and William Faulkner.

The central character, Leroy Dearman, is twelve and lives on a llama farm with his parents, two younger sisters and grandfather. Each morning, the llamas greet the sunrise by bursting into song and Leroy awakens from his erotic dreams of the local baton twirler, Ruby Rae. Leroy’s father calls himself Swami Don, has a withered arm and is infatuated with "an Indian maiden" where he works. His mother is obsessed with the kidnapped Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. One of his sisters totes around a loaded gun, the other wets her pants. His uncle, a handsome sweet-talker, arrives and sets about seducing Leroy’s mother. Then there’s the "New People" down the road—a bohemian couple who talk in affected accents and dress up in costumes. Surrounded by so many off-kilter characters, it’s no wonder that, whenever he finds himself at a loss for words, Leroy digs in his belly button for lint.

The Waltons, they ain’t. But Nordan brings as much poignancy to his books as that Appalachian family ever gave us in an hour’s worth of television. Beneath the laughter, there is sweetness and heartbreak and Nordan never lets us forget that he cares, he truly cares, about his characters.

While "Lightning Song" isn’t as focused and as satisfying as "The Sharpshooter Blues" (the closest thing to a masterpiece Nordan’s written so far), this still ranks high on the list of must-reads. If you have yet to discover Lewis Nordan, get yourself on down to a bookstore right now.

Just make sure he’s not part of your carry-on luggage. ( )
1 vota davidabrams | Jun 8, 2006 |
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Leroy Dearman is twelve, and he lives on a llama farm in Mississippi. Life is perfect. It's true that his grandfather just died in the attic and that wild dogs kill a baby llama now and then, and it's true that one little sister curses him and the other one wets her pants. But up to the day Uncle Harris moves in, life looks like it's right out of a Walt Disney movie. No wonder the llamas greet each morning with a song. Uncle Harris arrives in a sports car, full of funny stories and new ideas. He manages to persuade Leroy's straitlaced parents to join him for cocktails in the evening. He sets up a pretty grand bachelor pad in the Dearman attic, with a telephone, a TV set, and a stack of Playboy magazines. He is, you might say, Romance itself. Once Uncle Harris moves in, life on the llama farm takes on an entirely different flavor. Leroy discovers those magazines. Electricity fills the Dearman house. Equilibrium tilts, conversation trails off, the atmospheric pressure twists--and lightning strikes. Leroy starts seeing things he's never seen before, like the very gifted baton-twirling teacher, and his world changes forever. Not since PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT has a novel looked so directly, hilariously, and bittersweetly at the heartbreak of puberty.

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