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  • Back Bay
  • Little, Brown US

One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder

Brian Doyle

2 Reviews

Rated 0

Literary essays, Spiritualism

#1 SEATTLE TIMES BESTSELLER

A playful and moving book of essays by a "born storyteller" (Seattle Times) who invites us into the miraculous and transcendent moments of the everyday

When Brian Doyle passed away at the age of sixty after a bout with brain cancer, he left behind a cult-like following of devoted readers who regard his writing as one of the best-kept secrets of the twenty- first century. Doyle writes with a delightful sense of wonder about the sanctity of everyday things, and about love and connection in all their forms: spiritual love, brotherly love, romantic love, and even the love of a nine-foot sturgeon.

At a moment when the world can sometimes feel darker than ever, Doyle's writing, which constantly evokes the humor and even bliss that life affords, is a balm. His essays manage to find, again and again, exquisite beauty in the quotidian, whether it's the awe of a child the first time she hears a river, or a husband's whiskers that a grieving widow misses seeing in her sink every morning. Through Doyle's eyes, nothing is dull.

David James Duncan sums up Doyle's sensibilities best in his introduction to the collection: "Brian Doyle lived the pleasure of bearing daily witness to quiet glories hidden in people, places and creatures of little or no size, renown, or commercial value, and he brought inimitably playful or soaring or aching or heartfelt language to his tellings." A life's work, One Long River of Song invites readers to experience joy and wonder in ordinary moments that become, under Doyle's rapturous and exuberant gaze, extraordinary.

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Praise for One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder

  • Astonishing... gorgeous... Doyle was a writer 'made of love and song and amusement.' Every living thing intrigued him and was worthy of his powerful capacity for study and his equally powerful capacity for celebration. - New York Times

  • Brian Doyle took on the everyday and he suffused it, every last drop of it, with a redefining soulfulness... This posthumous collection will leave you marveling and wiping away the occasional tear. Certainly you will spill ink on its pages---starring and underlining, sprinkling exclamations up and down the margins... Over and over, Doyle's musings are canticles of joy, punctuated with occasional double-shots of heartbreak and humility. It's the textured layering, the leap from shadow to light, that keeps the reader alert, and ever absorbing. Always, emphatically, there comes wisdom; it's a signature move, one you can count on. Have your pens aimed and ready. It's a gospel of the ordinary, the shoved-aside, the otherwise overlooked. And at the heart of it, that ineffable and necessary unction, a holiness you can all but hold in your palms - Chicago Tribune

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