Sunday, September 26, 2010

Singing Doig's Praises

"The most precipitous chapter of life always begins before we quite know it is under way," writes Doig in his winning new novel Work Song.  The story takes place in Butte, Montana in 1919.  Morris Morgan ("Morrie") steps off the train in Butte, known at the time as the copper capital of the world, to begin a new chapter of his life.  Morgan is featured in Doig's earlier work The Whistling Season, though it is not necessary to read this work beforehand.   

The charming and multi-talented Morrie quickly finds his skills needed, and so becomes integral to the town's library and the local union's struggle against the Anaconda mining company and the radical Wobbly agitators.  Doig excels at creating memorable characters with such motley names as Rabrab, Hoop, and Russian Famine.  This Western tale was quite an enjoyable read.  One down, twelve more Doig books to go!

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