Polar Bear in Parrot Jungle, Book one of the Polar Bear Trilogy
on Sep. 14, 2010
From the opening paragraph, Petterson shows he can effectively write comedy. As the story progresses, it just keeps getting richer. And protagonist Jayson Beckman in smarts and wit is more than a match for the wealthy elites. However, anxiety dogs this North Dakota farm boy & enlistee in the Navy, conflicted by class differences when he attends, as best man, a Navy officer’s wedding. One of the ironies is that with little coaxing on his part, his healthy libido is gladly satisfied by the rich dames. For a person considered lower class by the beautiful snobs, he certainly does well in the getting-laid department, a lot; although the class differences stubbornly remain.
His most glorious moment, however, for this reader, is when he stands up to the politically powerful and rich father of a girl he's bedded. His uncompromising integrity shines.
And then some fine writing when the protagonist awakens immobile. (Don't want to give away the circumstances.) The rich usually hang with the rich, but Petterson makes it plausible that a rich graduate from MIT could fall for this bright, straight talking "unsophisticated" man. Liked the poignant ending. Worth the read, especially when it comes to Petterson's comic talents.
I read The Reincarnation of Preacher Emmanuel Jennings straight through and was impressed by the writer's narrative skills, which are considerable. Immediately established is a "voice," transcendental in tone. From its power the writer does not stylistically stray. The language has an architectural sweep, lifting the story into a higher mystical realm, in which I found myself willing to suspend disbelief.
Since finishing the read, the premise of the Wdm writer's story continues to give me pause, prompting thoughts about life's realities and the possibility of reincarnation.
I also appreciated the epilogue. If one does not believe in coincidences, then this background further fascinates.