Last Night in Twisted River Summary
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constables girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos Countyto Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them.
In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River John Irving's twelfth noveldepicts the recent half-century in the United States as "a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course." From the novel's taut opening sentence "The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long" to its elegiac final chapter, Last Night in Twisted River is written with the historical authenticity and emotional authority of The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is also as violent and disturbing a story as John Irving's breakthrough bestseller, The World According to Garp.