As a child Frank Kohler learned of his mother’s brutal murder. Now, years later, he yearns for some affirmation that remains elusive. As a state trooper on the night shift, Russell Boyd cruises the highways of Vermont constantly reminded of the true depths of human misery. The lives of these two men will intersect only tangentially, until fate catches up with them....
|Title||:||Cruisers: A Novel|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Cruisers: A Novel Reviews
A look at the cover might suggest that this novel is "merely" a cop story, but while there are cops in it, it is much, much more than that. CRUISERS is the story of two men juxtaposed by time and place into a sort of destiny, despite the seeming randomness of their coming together. Russell Boyd is a New England cop; Frank Kohler is the survivor of a childhood horror who years later is trying to make sense of what happened and how it has transformed him. The two men have nothing to do with one another, yet they encounter each other more than once, as do the women in their lives. With a powerful and dramatic sense of inevitability, the threads of their individual lives are drawn together as though by fate, until new horrors erupt. The story of the two men is compelling in its narrative alone, but author Craig Nova is a poetic writer, and he is one of the best writers I've ever read for giving a sense of what internal monologue and thought might sound like if we could hear characters thinking. CRUISERS is thought-provoking and stylish without being baroque. It is a fine novel, a subtle and nuanced thriller that quietly transcends the stigma of that genre by being an absorbing artistic and literary work.
I feel like Craig Nova is one of those Great American writers that should be more well known over here, or at least have some books in print. Cruisers is a slow, meditative novel, kind of a crime novel without the thriller, or the crime solving...it's actually more about the big cosmic questions like if there is no luck or fate what are we left with, how do you deal with everyday horror and carry that with you in life, and it's about how every action or event has a kind of ripple effect. So what i really liked was, there was a lot here about how light affects the place you're in, natural light, the electric ionised tone of lightning, the flashing blue lights of the cruisers themselves, that kind of thing. You might be disappointed if you're looking for a fast-paced thriller, but if you're looking for that lovely American real-lives-imbued-with-something-a-bit-mystical thing of say, Alice Hoffman or James Sallis, you might really enjoy this.
Enjoyed reading. Another exploration of relationships and what drives them and strange outcomes. Not your average tale.
Cruisers by Craig Nova dwells principally within the worlds of Russell Boyd, a state trooper, and Frank Kohler, a computer repair specialist. Their stories are told in alternating sections, with an exception or two. Russell is on night patrols and living with a special needs teacher named Zofia. She’s lovely, accommodating, and worried about the dangers of Russell’s work. Her needs and demands are quiescent until midway through she discovers she’s pregnant and thinks it better to have an abortion than have a baby with a man in a line of work as dangerous as Russell’s. Russell is a stoic, deeply taken with Zofia, but a stoic, as many men are: he has a job to do.Frank Kohler is more of an internal exile. His tarty mother was murdered when he was a boy and he saw her body parts crammed into a box on the side of the river. He lives alone but has an explosive quality, searching for conflict. At the same time, he’s lonely, and so he proceeds to obtain a Russian bride named Katryna through an agency. Katryna meets his needs, but not her own. She, too, is pregnant and wants an abortion, perhaps because the father is still in Russia; his name is Dmitri, and when she beckons to him, he manages to visit and disrupt Frank’s marriage and bring the killer in Frank to the fore.This is a well-written, carefully paced story that provides a good natural background (New England in winter, dingy, dark, mucky) to the events that unfold when Frank and Russell ultimately have their foreshadowed encounter, which in itself is an elaborate and graphic scene on the side of a mountain somewhere near the Vermont/New Hampshire border.The writers who come to mind when one reads Nova are DeLillo and Auster, though Nova isn’t as arch in constructing a rationale for his noirish tale: he finds it along the highways lined with Mr. Tire stores and Burger Kings and enlivens it just a bit with a foray into fox hunting.Generally, Nova writes close to the skin of his tale without being minimalist or cute. His characters notice things, scents, colors, patterns of clouds in the sky; they’re fairly direct with one another when they tell the truth and when they lie.At the end, after the crescendo, there’s an odd chapter that dips into an unsolved subplot and resolves it. I suppose it’s there because Nova wants to illustrate the fact that bad things will continue to go on despite the main story’s brutal climax, and Russell is still wedded to his work, looking for meaning in the thought processes of a state trooper engaged with yet another villain—it’s how he interprets or decodes reality, what he’s “about,” I suppose. How he got this way other than time on the job isn’t made clear, but he’s convincingly committed to what he does, and there is a way in which keeps the moral order of the universe under control. Otherwise guys like Frank and women like Katryna would just disruptively “happen,” and screw up a lot of lives in the process.
I picked this book up on a whim. Once I started to read it I couldn't wait to finish it. Not because I had to know what happened, but because I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.The most important thing about any novel (in my opinion) is having characters you can sink your teeth into. Characters who jump to life, right off the page.This book completely lacks that. Never have I cared LESS for main characters in a book as I did with Russel Boyd and Frank Kohler.Russel is a State Trooper. Brooding with very little to say.Frank Kohler is a computer repairman more or less who comes from a horrible childhood and is looking for love.Both characters are extremely depressing to read. The constant back and forth about how they're feeling at any given moment (and beleive me, not a sentence goes by where Nova doesn't wax poetic about how each character feels about the trees outside, the color of the snow, the sound of a coffee maker, etc, etc) is confusing and totally takes you out of the story.And there's really not much of a story. Kohler's the 'bad guy', Boyd's the 'good guy', their paths meet several times, an event happens, end of story.This book is almost written as if it's two different stories. One about Boyd and his relationship and how his job affects that, and the other about Kohler's demons and his quest for love (or just companionship as the case may be). The stories intertwine and come to a definite, if not anticlimactic, conclusion but each separate story just isn't that interesting.Another problem I had with the book was the dialogue, or shoud I say lack thereof. Novak goes to great lengths to describe what each character is feeling, but there's very little interplay between the characters. When the do interact and have dialogue there's a LOT of 'I don't know' or 'I guess' and 'Yes'.This review may seem a little harsh, and I apologize for that. It's not my intention to slam the author or anything. I'm just trying to convey how much I disliked this book.
This is a fine novel--taut, compelling, and extremely well-written. Nova is a wonderful writer. The story switches back and forth between two major points of view: a lonely but honorable highway patrolman, and an emotionally fragile but dangerous man whose life falls apart. It is inevitable, though believable, that their lives will intersect with terrible consequences. The passages about the highway patrolman are intense and vivid, especially at night as he watches passing cars and keeps himself alert to the probability of criminal activity on the highways. The love interest that develops between the police officer and a local woman is very sweet, very touching, and deeply romantic (in the best possible sense of the word). The book has its dark moments, and the plot moves inexorably toward a violent outcome, but there is great beauty in the language of the book and in the honest lives of the patrolman and the woman he loves.
Had to read this book because he is from a little town south of us, Putney, Vermont. It was okay, but not going to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Quick read. Two perspectives, on either side of the law.