My friend Al and I trade book titles. Her recommendations are profound, the writers are clever and usually on the verge of becoming famous. Al can surely pick ‘em. Here are her impressions of author Lou Berney and his novel The Long and Faraway Gone.
“I was driving home from work one cool evening in March listening to a story headlined “The Final Chapter of a Tale of Books, Love and Mystery in Minneapolis” on NPR’s All Things Considered. As the stop light changed from red to green, I turned the corner listening to Ari Shapiro interview Pat Frovarp, the 75-year-old co-owner of Once Upon a Crime, a basement bookstore in Minneapolis. Pat was reminiscing about meeting her husband Gary Shulze in a bookstore, falling in love, and marrying. With the help of friends, the two purchased and ran Once Upon a Crime bookstore for fourteen years.
I said to myself and the traffic surrounding me, ‘True love. Pat and Gary have true love.’
At the end of the interview, Pat recommended a book by author Lou Berney titled The Long and Faraway Gone. As I crossed Brookland Park Boulevard, I repeated, ‘The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney’ over and over so I wouldn’t forget to make a note, when I got out of my car, to purchase the book. It is now one of my favorites.
Lou Berney takes you into the minds and souls of his people from beginning to end. Sounds, colors, smells, tastes, passions and fears keep your hands gripped to the paperback like a white knuckle drive in a car. Although I have never been to Oklahoma, I can see the clear shimmering heat coming off of the pavement in his story. I take an imaginary back seat ride through 1986 when life in retrospect was so simple yet so cunningly evil. Lou’s people become real, living people who cannot shake their mind’s burdens no matter how hard they try. The Long and Faraway Gone brings you to the here and now by making you accelerate your reading adventure like you have a tornado on your tail. It’s a true crime twister.”
Look for Mr. Berney’s books on his website or the local library.