This is my favorite Annie Proulx book. She follows an accordian as it is passed down, sold, stolen, etc. through the span of a century and across a continent. There is something magical about following one item as it passes through the hands of different characters - it's such an interesting way to approach a story. Now, whenever I buy something at the antique store or at a garage sale, I can't help but wonder where has it been before and what story does this object have to tell.
Annie Proulx is a master, no doubt about it. The Shipping News was tremendous, and this one, Accordion Crimes, is just as good. She follows the trail of a small green accordion from its creation to its demise, and all the hands and lives it passes through along the way. We learn about the importance of the accordion to many different cultures, and get a real appreciation of its power and unique spirit as an instrument. The book isn't about the accordion, though-- it's about the people who build it, own it, play it, and lose it. Every story is riveting. Most are stories of immigrants or their descendants, since it seems that just about everyone except white-bread America values the accordion. You'll love this book.
While this novel has a very interesting premise (following an accordian through the centuries with its various adventures and its diverse owners), I found the foul language and raw sexual situations ruined it for me. A more worldly person might enjoy this book more than I did!
This book is very complex, so hard to read one paragraph as her description of room or person or landscape so complex. Why does she does describe everyone's head as a geometric shape or animal shape?
One reviewer said this is a book about a bunch of misfits and loosers who are in history about some old accordion. I did like the Swedish friends and thought they made a good life.I quit in the middle like most readers then went back as I am a teacher and that is a no no to quit a book.
You need a lot of free time to read this. A relief to finish.
Vintage Proulx- well researched. Recommend reading with Zydeco, French/Basque, Spanish, ethnic Klesmer or other music playing! A really good vehicle for visiting all the refugees/immigrants to and in America and just who is an American! An essay in many acts on Love, Luck, and Life. and the dance played on.......It is a bit dark for those wishing to avoid darkness.
Robin P. (mavinci) - reviewed Accordion Crimes (Audio Cassette) (Abridged) on
This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I honestly have NO idea what the earlier reviewer was referring to as far a raw sexual material? Sex was referred to, but there's nothing graphic or raunchy here. Violence, yes, I guess a few people are murdered, but again, it's not graphic or brutally described. I loved every word of this book (and her others, too, Shipping News and Postcards) and am just starting That Old Ace in the Hole.