“We English majors of a serious bent are susceptible to high ideals we paste on our lives like decals,” the protagonist of Harrison’s 15th work of fiction, an English teacher turned cherry farmer, says. Dumped by his wife of 38 years, he leaves his Michigan home and heads west; the novel is his “trip journal.” Along the way he contemplates sex, marriage, farming, fatherhood, teaching, the landscape, American history and the younger brother who drowned when they were boys.
I have been curious about this book for a while. I have to say, though, that the review I read on Shelf Love tonight made me less interested. Sounds like the book is written "in a free-flowing stream-of-consciousness style, filled with run-on sentences and
odd non sequiturs", which is not a style I usually enjoy. It was fine for Faulkner in my English Lit survey class in college, but when I have 15 minutes a day to read before bedtime, I don't have the patience for it.
RabbitReader said that while The English Major "is not riotously funny, it does have its moments with some sassy, snappy prose…. A pretty decent road novel worth a couple of lazy afternoons."
Cogito Ergo Sum (another local book blogger – he bought the book at Politics and Prose!) had very good things to say about The English Major: "This
book was a pleasant surprise. There was something fresh and striking on
virtually every page — at times wry or outright funny, or poignant,
or, sometimes, wise….It's a quick, wonderful read, a homespun picaresque that is often touching."
Has anyone in EDIWTB-land read this yet? Please weigh in…