2/19 – The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World, by Brian Doyle

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 – discussion lead: Liz

The New York Time writer, Jenny Davidson, titled her April 14, 2017 review “Robert 29939117johncarsonLouis Stevenson Never Wrote This Novel. So Brian Doyle Did It for Him.” She writes: […] The loose collection of stories that make up Brian Doyle’s new novel, “The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World,” offers an affectionate homage to the tale-telling prowess of the great Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Framed by an author’s preface and a factual afterword, the book is anchored in a real episode in Stevenson’s life, the stay of some months in San Francisco that culminated in his marriage to the newly divorced Fanny Osbourne. […]

The young Robert Louis Stevenson, living in a boarding house in San Francisco while waiting for his beloved’s divorce from her feckless husband, dreamed of writing a soaring novel about his landlady’s adventurous and globe-trotting husband—but he never got around to it. And very soon thereafter he was married, headed home to Scotland, and on his way to becoming the most famous novelist in the world, after writing such classics as Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Kidnapped.

About the author:

BRIAN DOYLE (1956-2017) was the longtime editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, and the author of numerous books of essays, fiction, poems, and nonfiction, among them the novels Mink River, The Plover, Martin Marten, and Chicago. Honors for his work include the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Literature. He lived in Portland, Oregon. This was his last book.

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