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Perplexing review

Letter from Dorothy O’Brien

Melancholy Green Giants – August 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Mr. Quillen,

Having read your review of John Mattingly’s Melancholy Green Giants, I came away perplexed. What does “chick lit” have to do with anything? I asked myself.

Mr. Quillen’s review seemed as ambivalent as his reading. Did he like the book or not? Was he recommending it or not? Allow me to help you with that.

I recommend the book. Even though I read the book several months ago, I find myself thinking of the soul of Mr. Herman Zweep, exactly in relationship to Linda, his 1ove child, and Rhea, his wife, honestly, before I remember Noay, his son. Why? Because they stand out in this world of men. I remember Eva, Sam’s wife, inseparable from who he is. There is also Rhea, whose love for Herman is as engrained as their barley. Hell, even Charlotte, the sister, is part and parcel of this total landscape of people and place.

I’m afraid what you have truly missed, sir, is that it is the women who saved this 435 pounds of testosterone from turning into just another machine.

This “chick” read 86 books last year, and 73 so far this year, a combination of fiction and non-fiction. In my own Book of Books, where I review all the books I’ve read, you will find very little certified chick lit. What you will find is an awful lot of unique, quirky, compelling, and interesting stories written by master storytellers, of which Mr. Mattingly is one. In my book sweet Melancholy Green Giants got 4-stars — right up there with Michael Chabon, Stewart O’Nan, and Paulo Coelho.

Dorothy O’Brien

Walla Walla, Wash.