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Cuervo Tales

Roper, Robert

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0899199887 / ISBN 13: 9780899199887
Published by Ticknor & Fields, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1993
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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1st Printing. New copy. Never read. Not price clipped. Not a remainder. BEAUTIFUL copy of Book and Dust Jacket. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 000887

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cuervo Tales

Publisher: Ticknor & Fields, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title


These ten interlinked stories, set in California and seen through the lens of memory, chronicle the life of Abel Richards, a man who came of age in the late 1960s and witnessed much of the turmoil of the next decade: drugs, the "back to the earth" movement, experimentation with love and its permutations, a marriage not properly tended and allowed to founder. Set in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains and portrayed with Robert Roper's keen eye and disciplined prose, the tales play powerfully on the themes of memory, desire, and regret and explore the relationship between the sexes with compassion and insight. Whether recalling a friend lost to drugs, a marriage slipping into disarray, or the communal life of the 1960s, with its sexual freedom and economic and emotional dependence on drugs, Roper tells these stories with an honesty and richness that vividly bring back to life one of our pivotal eras while subtly holding it up to the judgment of time. The collection concludes with a remarkable pair of stories about a son who first comes to Richards' attention eighteen years after his birth. Cuervo Tales is a marvelous achievement by a writer in full command of his material: unflinching, evocative, deeply moving. It will be enjoyed as much for its forceful storytelling as for its powerful portrayal of a period now as distant as the mountains of Atlantis.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Roper (The Trespassers, 1992, etc.) presents a novel-in- stories--set in California and ranging from the 60's to the 90's- -made up of mostly touching takes on the lonely fates of mind- damaged hippies and wayfarers. Protagonist Abel Richards--once a sort of wild man--is now divorced and living in Cuervo, California, a town of some 400 people that's ``always been a place to escape to.'' It was also, briefly, a mecca for beats, hippies, and drug-addled seekers. Here, Richards chronicles their tales and works out his own fate. Some of the untitled chapters are sketchy, others rambling sagas, but generally the interconnectedness of the stories saves them from drowning in their own ennui. Early on, wife Jackie leaves Richards for a screenwriter, and daughter Margaret is caught in the middle when Jackie turns from a boisterous married earth-mother into a ``cadaverous figure,'' an alcoholic cokehead. Richards, staying in the old family homestead, quarrels with younger brother Joel when he returns bedraggled from years in Hawaii and recollects the downfalls of Martin Declan--once a mentor in the marijuana trade but now a sort of hermit who gets shot in the back with a bow-and- arrow before disappearing--and brother-in law Terry, who lived with Abel and Jackie for years before traveling and turning into a junkie. The last couple of pieces concern Richards's return to Europe, where he meets a son from a long-ago fling, gets reinvolved with the boy's mother, and then corresponds via long journal entries with the boy once the mother dies. The book, that is, ends with the possibility of redemption and contact. Though shapeless, this does capture--as if in amber--both the romantic, addle-brained Sixties and its deadly psychic hangovers. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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