All the News I Need
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press (January 17, 2017)
All The News I Need probes the modern American response to inevitable, ancient riddles—of love and sex and mortality.
Frances Ferguson is a lonely, sharp-tongued widow who lives in the wine country. Oliver Gaffney is a painfully shy gay man who guards a secret and lives out equally lonely days in San Francisco. Friends by default, Fran and Ollie nurse the deep anomie of loss and the creeping, animal betrayal of aging. Each loves routine but is anxious that life might be passing by. To crack open this stalemate, Fran insists the two travel together to Paris. The aftermath of their funny, bittersweet journey suggests those small changes, within our reach, that may help us save ourselves—somewhere toward the end.
If you are looking for something unique and different to read than your common novel you have found it here with ALL The News I NEED. There is a rare style of the book's composition such as most of the plot is Ollie or Frans internal dialogue. Whereas, no quotation marks are placed around speaking sentences which made parts very confusing. Therefore, this caused me to have to reread sections so I could properly understand what was taking place. Nevertheless, I perceive that this is a highly cerebral book, not the quick read I thought it was going to be. Thus, the wording is superior to most popular books giving you a run for your money on your vocabulary.
Slowly the comprehension seeps through him: the menace he’d so feared before he came is not only absent from these settings-he himself may pose that menace, or perhaps a kind of bitter taunt, in the eyes of those he sees. He may as well wear a sandwich board: I am healthy and full of wholesome food and reliable medicine, and will soon return to my homeland to resume partaking of these privileges under a fractious, gouty government that’s sucking up all the resources on the planet.
Ollie is the primary protagonist in the story. He has had a difficult and lonely life due to his extreme shyness. Also, I found him a sentimental man with a big heart who is set in his ways there is just something about him that tugged at my heart. Whereas, I did not enjoy Frans character very much. She came off mean and snobbish. As you read in the blurb Ollie and Fran went to France together. I do not want to give away details so I will be brief. Throughout the whole trip, both of them complained or were squabbling with each other in person or mentally. Therefore, it became hilarious at times. Finally, I adored the books ending. I shall not give a bit of it away, but it’s killing me not to.
Joan Frank is the author of five books of fiction and a collection of essays on the writing life. She lives in Northern California with her husband, playwright Bob Duxbury. Visit her at www.joanfrank.org.