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For those of you who've been hiding in a cave (or perhaps had the sense to avoid watching it), there is (or was, actually) this show called Lost about a bunch of people who survived a plane crash on an island in the middle of an unidentified ocean somewhere between Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, California.
But none of that matters for purposes of this blog. The point is that many books made cameo appearances on the show. These books were apparently supposed to be clues as to what was going on. Yeah, right. Anyhow ...
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There are many styles graffiti on the walls of the building. May the force created from its own tastes by artists who create graffiti. There is graffiti alphabet, write my name in graffiti, graffiti graffiti creator to home streak.
LOVE SHINESSingleton Hippie Art (c) 2010The dust flew in giant canopies,swirling,spinning,billowingbehind me...Tiny confetti size pebbles,coquina,gravel,spewing up like popcorn under my tires....The real world,behind me disappearing...on the Dirt road to Peace.Sometimes,you have to run away...."11 x 15 watercolors,markers, cold beers and all that hippie hoo~hah on a dirt road day.
Check the video. The audience hissed louder during his bit about sneakers. Not that I don't understand where the city librarian is coming from -- I absolutely do (hey, I'm a librarian by training -- and I hate to see their budgets cut). But, if you ask me, Leno's remark seems less like a slam against libraries than one against Los Angeles. He seems to be suggesting that L.A. residents don't use libraries. However, the city librarian makes the following valid points, in a letter to Leno and his producer: "Despite what you make think, these cuts are no laughing matter to the 17 million people who use the city's libraries each year. ... These cuts mean less access to job-finding resources, homework help for students, literacy classes for adults and public computers that provide a bridge over the digital divide in every neighborhood."
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These would be limited to passages highlighted by Kindle users, of course. Making the name of the list is a bit suspect, since the Kindle hasn't been around all that long (plus Kindle users are still a fraction of the reading market).
I'm not sure which is weirder -- the subject of this list or that Amazon is keeping track of what customers are highlighting. Big Brother, anyone?
DRUMMER BOY is hard to categorize. It's essentially like a ghost story you might hear by the campfire, placed in southern Appalachia and mixed with an odd juxtaposition of a long-held southern grudge against Yankee aggression with the intrusion of modern development.
The book opens with a seemingly ordinary scene involving three adolescent boys throwing rocks at a spooky cave known as the Jangling Hole in a place called Mulatto Mountain. Bobby Eldreth is being taunted by his wealthy friend Dex McCallister to throw a rock into the cave. Bobby, who lives in a trailer park along with the third boy, the always out-of-step Vernon Ray Davis, is torn between the two friends. Their triangular relationship isn't the only thing making Bobby tense. The Jangling Hole is reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of long-buried Civil War soldiers.
When a store owner claims one of the boys got a five-finger discount on his goods, the police intervene. At some point, a shot rings out. The cops return fire, but no one can find the shooter.
From that point, the story introduces a plethora of well-developed characters who seem to represent different aspects of the South. Along with the boys, there's an old farmer named Hardy who lives near Mulatto Mountain. A somewhat tragic character, his family once owned the land that's to be developed and he's not happy about it. In addition, his son bears the irreparable scars of having experienced an unknown trauma at the Jangling Hole.
In addition, there's Sheriff Littlefield who only wants to maintain the peace – a difficult task when ghosts come into the picture. With reports of weird sightings on the rise and a cute reporter named Cindy digging for a story, the sheriff's job isn't made any easier.
Finally, there are the boys' parents – pieces of work in themselves. While Vernon Ray's father plans to play soldier (and lead the faux charge) in a Civil War battle reenactment, Bobby's father spends most of his time drinking, bowling and harassing his wife and son. Meanwhile, Dex's dad makes money as the owner of the bowling alley where the other two men hang out.
All this takes place against the backdrop of a huge redevelopment of Mulatto Mountain, one that will disturb the burial site of a group of renegade Civil War soldiers.
Scott Nicholson describes the Appalachian setting and its residents in loving detail, while building suspense about the creepy goings on. (Even one scene in the bowling alley managed to be not only fraught with tension, but weird enough to make my skin crawl.) However, DRUMMER BOY is much more than a ghost story. It works as a thriller and a social commentary about the "haves" and "have-nots," as well as showing the stark contrast between the South's historic heritage and its entry into the modern world of condos built on mountains. Even if it means disturbing the dead to do so.
The book reaches a crescendo of action at the end, when spectral soldiers amass against both the reenactors and the bulldozing developer. However, at its heart, the story is about the boys, one of whom makes a fateful choice. DRUMMER BOY is a great yarn and an evocative story that explores the South's ghosts – literally and figuratively.