‘The Poacher’s Son’ by Paul Doiron – abandoned at 35%

This one isn’t for me. I feel like I’m doing a clichéd break-up here. I want to say to the book, ‘It’s not you, it’s me‘, followed by, ‘We want different things‘ and ‘We’d both be happier with somebody else.’

There’s nothing wrong with this book. It does a good job of showing a man who grew up poor, with a father who had a temper, couldn’t hold a job and lived by poaching. We get to see how he grew into a solitary, calm, rule-following man who mostly likes to be by himself doing things that’s he’s competent at. We get a good introduction to the kind of work he does as a game warden and to the flora and fauna of wilds of northern Maine.

There are a couple of murders in there too, which his father stands accused of. This triggers a military-style manhunt that he’s initially allowed to take part in, and a stand-off at an apparent hostage situation in the woods where he gets shot at. He also gets shouted at, sworn at and locked out of the investigation.

And he remains calm.

Which I found maddening.

And boring.

I wanted him to DO something.

But his uniform should have A NICE GUY written across the back so everyone knows who they’re dealing with.

In real life I’d be happy to meet this calm, rational man who keeps control under pressure. I’d like him to be less accepting of other people’s authority and to be less willing to say, ‘Yes, sir.’ when I would be screaming and swearing. But then he’d be a different man.

Paul Doiron paints a constant picture of a man in control of himself.

Unfortunately, the man bores me and will soon start to irritate me, especially when he’s right and I’m wrong.

So, I’m going to do the best thing for both of us, write the time we’ve already spent together down to experience and move on. I think i hear Charlie Parker calling to me.

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