And the Soft Wind Blows Synopsis
Timmy Enosh is a peculiar, small man: fivethree, onehundred andfifteen pounds, and is a pharmacist in Ashton City, Tennessee. He finds himself at fortythreeyearsold as his life starts to fall apart: his threehundred pound wife disappears, his romantic interest has lost interest and has gained hatred toward him, his coworkers harass him, customers verbally assault him, and he has the strange urge to adopt his foulmouthed, eighteenyearold coworker, Alex. When things start to pile up, Timmy must find a way to deal: he turns to Alex to supply him with marijuana, starts sewing an elaborate Mr. Mistoffelees costume, finds solace in the wild, etc., etc., etc. And the soft, constant wind of change blows him on, on, and on. (Amazon)
With his debut novella And the Soft Wind Blows, Lance Umenhofer is staking his claim on a spot in the young writing avant garde. It appears he is intentionally pushing boundaries and the result is, in the main, a success.
Many readers do not like the novella format, but I do. It can provide the scope for an author to put the usually mundane under a microscope, to really study a single character and their motivations and highlight interesting nuances often overlooked, without necessarily needing to provide all the answers. That is what Umenhofer has done in And the Soft Wind Blows.
Protagonist Timmy Enosh embodies all the characteristics of those habitually overlooked by society, at society’s peril/loss I might add. He has felt marginalised and bullied in all aspects of his life for as long as he can remember. The reader sees the world through Timmy’s eyes one day at a time, and thus finds themselves in the passenger seat while Timmy experiences a personal awakening of sorts.
As with any good character study, the characters are fully formed and evoke a strong emotional response from readers. In And the Soft Wind Blows that response is often one of distaste.
Umenhofer’s writing style is poetic, lyrical and bursting with interesting imagery. There is also a subtle irony and flecks of dark humour woven into its fabric. Some intentional individualism, such as the author dispensing with spaces between words on occasion and spelling dialogue in a way that sought to emulate the local brogue, detracted from my reading experience after a while though.
And the Soft Wind Blows is one of those titles that holds your attention like an unexploded firecracker. If Lance Umenhofer can successfully tread the fine line between individualism for its sake versus literary exploration, he is sure to quickly find a loyal readership.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5
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Genre: Drama, Literature, Mystery
Author Information: Lance Umenhofer lives in Nashville, TN. He is twenty three years old. He graduated from Belmont University (Nashville, TN) in May of 2012 with an English degree.
You can read his blog at: thehorrornamedgruffalo.blogspot.com, which features all original poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and other miscellaneous writings.
– Check out Lance Umenhofer’s website
* Receiving this title free from the author did not impact my ability to express my honest opinions in the review above.