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Download Good Morning Midnight: Life and Death in the Wild epub

by Chip Brown

A portrait of former Capitol Hill speechwriter Guy Waterman follows his decision to leave civilization and live off the land in a Vermont cabin, describing his passionate pursuit of mountain climbing and his controversial suicide. 22,500 first printing.
Download Good Morning Midnight: Life and Death in the Wild epub
ISBN: 1573222364
ISBN13: 978-1573222365
Category: Science
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Author: Chip Brown
Language: English
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; First Edition edition (April 14, 2003)
Pages: 320 pages
ePUB size: 1609 kb
FB2 size: 1389 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 272
Other Formats: lit mbr doc rtf

<b><i>Overdone.</i></b> Overbaked, overcooked, overdone! One of author Reginald Hill’s last novels before he passed away, I’m sure Good Morning Midnight was intended to be a <i>tour de force.</i> Unfortunately, it didn’t quite make it. The book could easily, for example, have been about 200 pages shorter with nothing of significance being lost. The plot is overly complex and convoluted. Readers who had not read the author’s previous works, and who might not be familiar with the recurring characters in the Dalziel and Pascoe series of novels, might find it even more confusing. Hill has clearly made assumptions about his readers’ understanding of the people and places described in this novel. One of these assumptions includes that readers have read certain specific novels in the series.

Ten years after his father commits suicide in a bizarre manner in the family mansion, his son, Pal, Jr., takes his own life in the exact same place and in the same exact manner. But was it really a suicide — or a murder that has been cleverly disguised? And what would the motive have been? Was he murdered by his hostile stepmother? His competitive sister? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I’m pretty sure you will be as surprised as I was to learn what really happened.

The story has a somewhat unexpected ending, and, although the author has tied up most loose ends, the book left me unsatisfied. I believe that I have now read the entire Dalziel and Pascoe series, and there will be no more now that the author is gone, and that is a shame.

This book was a slow, tedious read. I wouldn’t advise attempting it before becoming acquainted with the various characters to be found within by reading several other novels in the series. This was definitely not Reginald Hill’s best work, and I am forced to award only three stars.
Vital Beast
Chip Brown is an exceptionally gifted writer. His prose is fluid, inventive, full of literary allusion and smart. In Good Morning Midnight he has turned his attention to the planned suicide of Guy Waterman, a famous mountaineer and outdoorsman, who froze himself to death one desperately frigid night in February 2000 atop a mountain in the New Hampshire wilderness. Although the book is biographical in the sense that it explores Waterman's life in toto, the central preoccupation is most definitely the motivational matrix of the choice to die made by a sixty-seven year-old man who was in relatively good health for his age and who enjoyed a rich life well worth continuing with in the eyes of those who knew and loved him. Why does a person make the choice of death? Is it a legitimate choice? What life circumstances eventuate in such a choice? How does the choice affect surviving family and friends? These are the questions Brown relentlessly wrestles with throughout his study. Along with the question of whether medical/psychiatric intervention would have made a difference in the final outcome. As a biography of a unique, multi-talented man Good Morning Midnight held my interest until the last page. I particularly liked Brown's attention to Waterman's two eldest sons who died (killed themselves?) in the Alaskan wilderness both before they were thirty years of age. The chapter devoted to middle son John Waterman, a famous climber in his own right, was absolutely riveting and marked the high point of the book in this reader's opinion. Brown posits that for Guy Waterman it was the loss of two of his three boys, and the remorse he felt about his role in their untimely demise, that ultimately drove him to consider his life not worth living. But there is so much speculation and hand wringing about motivation that after a while it became a chore to follow along with this layer of the text. I especially found Brown's concern with whether or not Waterman was clinically depressed and in need of treatment tiresome. Just because it is possible to 'treat' does not mean that we all must choose to be cured. Not everyone desires the intrusion of medical attention under all circumstances just because it is available. And not every bit of every individual's life need necessarily be understood down to every minute fragment of the psyche's intricate web of meaning and motivation. As Waterman's wife Laura wrote after the death of her husband, "Why rend the veil?" Amen! The idea that we must all live to the very last possible moment of our lives regardless of the quality of those lives is an overbearing injunction that has led to many of the problems of modern society, not the least of which is the all too pervasive, frequently gruesome hospitalization of death. Waterman led a full life and his death was thematically consonant with the overarching trajectory of that life. Although he made mistakes that came to haunt him in his later years, his choice to die at the moment he was ready to go seems a courageous act that might well be respected on its own terms rather than dissected ad nauseum by those without the fortitude to recognize that we are each and every one of us heading for the same destination and that it is the act of taking responsibility for our final station in life that quintessentially defines who we are and what we are in fact really made of. Whatever his shortcomings, Guy Waterman was made of the stuff of legend. May he rest in peace.
I was glad to see this book come out and even happier to read it. The past few Reginald Hill books in the Dalziel and Pascoe series have been entirely too cerebral for a simple sot like me and I started to actually resent Reginald Hill for ramming home his blinding intellect so fiercely. He must have gotten that out of his system, because in "Good Morning, Midnight", we have a really nifty, twisty mystery with the usual great attraction/avoidance between our beloved inspectors Dalziel and Pascoe. This doesn't mean that Hill deprives us of Dalziel's fantastically literate musings (and I'm sure I only "get" a small percentage of these) but they aren't the centerpiece. The story is. And there is nothing so delicious as a good old-fashioned "body in the library" mystery with lots of nasty family members involved. It is even better when the ugliness goes back a few generations and we get an intriguing backstory as a result. I still wish Ellie Pascoe would get a life and that Dalziel's love life would pick back up again, but that might have made too weighty and dense a story. In truth, this one was just right.
Great author.
In my view, Reginald Hill is the most literate and witty of all current writers of police procedurals. Dalziel and Pascoe are a great pair as the gruff bearlike Dalziel plays off "college boy" Pascoe. Gay Sgt Weld and PC Shirley Novello round out the team as they unravel a complex plot. Each of the numerous players here is a distinct and memorable personality. Highly recommended.