Wednesday, October 21

must know -where the rivers flow north

Howard Frank Mosher's novella Where the River Flows North (1978) is a perennial read of mine. I think I'm on my third ripped copy. The stubborn (to put it mildly) old Vermont logger Noel Lord and his native American girl-friday Bangor are huge characters that Mosher references in other works as well. Jay Craven's 1993 movie of the novella was a fair hit. Rip Torn (what a fkin name, btw mental) is covered up and smothered in hair and woolens, and raising sufficient production money was a problem. This film and Craven's later adaptations of Mosher's Stranger in the Kingdom (1998) and Disappeareances (2006) are labors of love no doubt about it. This old review from the NYT echoes my thoughts. Besides WTRFN, Mosher's Northern Borders is another good read.

"Have a drink" New York Money said to Noel.
Bangor said sharply "Don't you crowd him mister, you wish you hadn't."
Noel brought his cant hook up from his lap and drove it through the big man's hand into the tabletop. Noel picked up the fifth and smashed off the top against the edge of the table. He rammed the shattered bottle between New York Money's teeth. Brown, murky liquid foamed into his mouth and over his cut face.
"I never suspected he could chug that quart of mule without breathing. It must have been cut. No man could have chugged a quart of Father's."

That last sentence is practically a whole story.