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Between Thought and the Treetops by Mark Peters

Between Thought and the Treetops

by Mark Peters

392 pages
A young man comes of age in the north woods.

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Category: Fiction:Literary
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About the Book
On the surface this three part novel is the story of a wilderness canoe trip to an unnamed Manitoba lake in 1961, building a cabin in the Minnesota Arrowhead of 1965 and a hike through the U.S./Canadian border forests in 1969. Simple enough. However, it’s also a coming of age story which follows a young man, Archie, from age fourteen through his time as a grunt in Vietnam. Throw in a dozen or so bizarre tales concocted by Archie’s Uncle Emil and you have the platform of this tale (I could add it skirts dangerously close to philosophy and mysticism now and then but that might damper sales). I wanted to list it in the catalog as Fiction/semi-autobiographical/outdoor/black humor/darned fine fishing stories/wisdom of age/building construction in the middle of nowhere, but that category was nowhere to be found among the choices. Hence, it is listed as Fiction/Literary (pause for laughter).

This novel reads better aloud (but not too loud). A friend of mine described it as a storyteller’s story. It began its life as a brief oral tale about my fictitious Uncle Emil around a dozen years ago. Then for a while, festered quietly in a corner by the cat we don’t have and finally reared its head as a novel over the last three winters. For years I’d ranted that everyone should write the details of his/her life for their grandchildren. Emil popped into my head near Christmas, 2013 and asked, “How about we tell it this way?” Truthfully, some of the details of my teenage years are definitely there but my five grandchildren will have to ferret them out (think ‘Where’s Mark?’ ). I guess gramps wants to remain a man of mystery. Should you pick this oddity up and meet Uncle Emil you’ll have an idea of what I mean.

As to the subject of ‘write what you know’, there’s little inside the pages I haven’t done in one form or another. Seeing as how my father died when I was three, Emil was based on the men in my formative years and what I came to know of them. Had you met my Uncle Eddie you might say, “Gosh, he looks just like Emil.” In short, Emil is the father I’d like to have had.

Finally (that is if you’ve read this far), the three tales, as they blindly stumble their way through the pages, echo the tone of the above description. Yeah, it rambles now and then but pretty much ends up where it’s supposed to. Lacking a better term I consider Between Thought and the Treetops folk art

 

 

About the Author
Mark Peters Mark Peters has been married for 46 of his 69 years, served a tour as a grunt in Vietnam, graduated from the University of Minnesota, hand-built a cabin, spent 32 years hustling packages for FedEx and invented the pocket (though a little too late to get a patent).

 

 

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