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Bowdoin Reads

Professor Clarke is reading...

The Call
by Yannick Murphy

I just finished reading Yannick Murphy's new novel, The Call, a bizarre and lovely book narrated by a large animal veterinarian in rural inland New England (the author is from Vermont). When I say "narrated" I mean that the narration is broken up into categories: "The Call" (in which the vet gets called to, for instance, castrate a draft horse), "Action" (in which the vet goes to do, or try to do, just that), "Thoughts on the Drive Home" (fairly self-explanatory), and, when he gets home, "What I Heard from the Children/Wife When I Got Home." I'm especially fond of this last category, and my favorite of favorites being, "What the Wife Cooked for Dinner: Nut Loaf. What I Ate For Dinner: Not Nut Loaf." And this says nothing about the plot, which includes a catastrophic hunting accident, possible UFOs, and organ transplants. As I said, a bizarre book. But also a beautiful one--keenly felt, with a light touch than ends up reaching deep.

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