Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Stern Men

John Irving wishes. That he could be as mordantly funny as Elizabeth Gilbert, that is. With the publication of her first novel, Stern Men, Gilbert has been widely compared to New England’s unofficial novelist laureate. And the comparison is a natural; this writer gives us a tough, lovable heroine against an iconoclastic, rural backdrop.

Ruth Thomas grows up on Fort Niles I

Ruth Thomas grows up on Fort Niles Island, off the coast of Maine, among lobstermen, lobster boats, and, well, lobsters. There’s just not much out there besides ocean. Abandoned by her mother, she lives sometimes with her dad and sometimes with her beautiful neighbor, Mrs. Pommeroy, and the seven idiot Pommeroy boys. Eventually she is plucked from obscurity by the wealthy Ellises—vacationers on Fort Niles for some hundred years—and sent, against her will, to a fancy boarding school in Delaware. (Sorting out her relationship with this highly manipulative family is one of the novel’s crooked joys.) Now she has returned, and is casting about for something to do.

What Ruth does (hang around with her eccentric island friends, fall in love, organize the lobstermen) makes for an engaging book that’s all the more charming for its rather lumpy, slow-paced plotting. Gilbert delivers a kind of delicious ethnography of lobster-fishing culture, if such a thing is possible, as well as a love story and a bildungsroman. But best of all, she possesses an ear for the ridiculous ways people communicate. One of Mrs. Pommeroy’s young sons, “in addition to having the local habit of not pronouncing r at the end of a word—could not say any word that started with r…. What’s more, for a long time everyone on Fort Niles Island imitated him. Over the whole spread of the island, you could hear the great strong fishermen complaining that they had to mend their wopes or fix their wigging or buy a new short-wave wadio.”
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    Elizabeth

    Dec 07, 2009

    rated it
    liked it

    I respect Elizabeth Gilbert as a writer–a lot. Her dialogue jumps off the page, her descriptions are taut and humorous. But I do feel that this book reveals a young author trying to find her groove. There are some plot points that fall short, and the character arcs only develop fully in the epilogue. About a third of the plot of the book seemed to fall into the last chapter. That being said, I’m becoming more and more interested in reading various writer’s early work, mostly because the flaws s

    I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to someone who is simply a fan of Eat Pray Love. However, if you are studying writing as a craft, Gilbert shows off some textbook skills along with some glaring mistakes. It’s a great way to see all the ingredients laid out, but not quite gelling. I’d like to read the Last American Male next.
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    Jodi Maples, MSW, LSW

    Perhaps it was my love of her other book, Eat, Pray, Love, that made me not completely love this book. If 1/2 stars were an option, I would have gone with 3 1/2 stars, so I’m rounding up. It was an interesting read…characters were well written, but there was no one I was emotionally invested in (although I loved Kitty, the drunken “aunt”). It seems that perhaps there is more commonality between classes than between geographic groups…this was about a small, lower-middle class community on the

    It almost seemed as if this book was written in stages & left that way…several chapters overlapped on information & character description. The fact that Ruth was given so many opportunities that she didn’t take advantage of (out of spite? misguided loyalty to her father?) threw me a little bit. While I saw the (predictable) ending coming before they went to the wedding on Courne Haven, I was a little annoyed that she didn’t want to see more of the world before settling down. I’m sitting here typing myself into a lower rating for this book…I’ll stop now.
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    Grace

    Jun 23, 2011

    rated it
    it was ok

    Generally, when describing books I try to use more specific language, but in this case my opinion of Stern Men after reading it can be summed up in one word- Weird. I slogged through it, but the book never really completely grabbed me. It had some of the trappings of the things I look for in a good novel; artful writing, an intriguing cast of characters, enigmatic plot twists, but I never really came to a basic understanding of the character of Ruth Thomas. One moment she is full of sass and wry

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