The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas: Stories by Davy Rothbart

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Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010

While searching for books about Kansas or by Kansas authors I stumbled upon The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas: Stories. It happens to come from the same brain that is behind Found, the website, magazine and book which are dedicated to discarded notes, letters, flyers, photos, lists, and drawings found and sent in by readers.

The stories all carry an impact that often left me feeling uncertain and a little disappointed in the way things always seem to turn out. Is there anything worse than seeing someone else’s illusions ripped away? A progressive disillusionment is one thing, but in Lie Big it all hits the nameless narrator at once.

The raw human emotion in First Snow leaves the reader feeling things should be different for a group of juvenile delinquents collecting trash on I-94, but knowing they never can be.

Each story ends with an emotionally charged event for the narrator leaving the reader in conflict over, not only the content of the story, but the lack of resolution. I think Gully sums up the collections atmosphere best in the title story The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas when he says “I felt I’d been everywhere and seen everything and met everyone and that still I knew nothing.”

Written by Helen H.

Fun fact: I adore furry faces.