Coyote Moon by John A. Miller

Coyote Moon
ISBN 0765306271
  • Author:
    John A. Miller
  • Title:
    Coyote Moon
  • Category:
  • Subcategory:
    Genre Fiction
  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Forge Books; 1 edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1419 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1648 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1952 kb
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Coyote Moon by John A. Miller
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Coyote Moon by John A. Miller
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You may think Field of Dreams meets Cocoon, or perhaps, The Natural meets Love Story, some may even say that it's Ball Four clashing with Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time.But, John Miller's Coyote Moon is all of these and more. In a gone-to-seed trailer park on the edge of the Mojave Desert, quantum physics runs headlong into reincarnation as the park's highly eccentric residents sit around in the evenings drinking home-brewed beer and asking themselves: Can a young, previously unheard-of rookie baseball player be the latest in a line of reincarnated spirits leading back to Sir Isaac Newton?And in the clubhouse of the Oakland Athletics, the mysterious athlete in question, Henry Spencer, a young North Carolinian with nothing more than a high school education and a fuzzy memory, tries to reconcile, among other arcane topics, Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle with the somewhat less intellectual world of baseball.Coyote Moon, John Miller's eagerly awaited fourth novel, will have you laughing with delight and wondering to the very end just who the young Henry Spencer really is, and what exactly, links him to the most unusual trailer park in Needles, California.

One of the strangest books I have read. It grows on you to the point that when you put it down, you go back to it. There are a lot of interesting characters in addition to the main character. It is a book I will come back to and reread often.
The first few pages of COYOTE MOON are delightful. And although the characters get a bit more fleshed out, most remain thin. The plot lines promise more than they can deliver, but promise is something. There's a little nourishment here. Give it a chance!
"Coyote Moon" was just a fun read. Lots of interesting characters that I cared about and situations that were just a shade beyond plausible to keep it a little surprising. The author constructs a well constructed story mixed with a little mystery and insight into science and baseball and human nature.
Kind of fun but very light reading. A group of people come together and settle temporarily in a somewhat isolated trailer park in Needles, CA. They form their own little social circle. People come and people go, like a soap opera. Most of the people who pass through are searching for something in their lives. Some find it, and some do not. There is also a baseball story that coincides with the trailer drama, but not very well. The book is written in a modern style. The plot moves along in an uncomplicated way, even though many characters become involved in the trailer park drama. There are too many discussions about math and physics that I did not understand and could have lived without. There are a few oddities in the plot and the characters; no, they are not believable, and I don't think the author meant them to be believable. But they are eccentric and odd, so they are slightly amusing. This might be a good airplane book or beach book. I agree with the people who said that the book made them want to take up Mexican cooking.
This is a book I wanted to like from the start. I thought it sounded quirky, and I kind of like quirky- well, OK I am quirky, so I thought the book would be a good fit. Baseball book, oddball characters, unusual setting, everything I would typically enjoy. I have read a fair amount of baseball themed literature and was looking forward to this effort. The problem is, the book did not quite reach me. The baseball didn't ring quite true, but mostly, the characters did not work for me. Others clearly like this book, and that's OK, I have read much worse than this, and Miller clearly had good intentions in writing the book, but it falls short. Of course maybe my expectations were too high but I think the fault lies more with the multiple story lines, which merge a little too neatly for my taste. Having said all that, I would still give Miller another shot. After all, writing is like hitting- nobody bats 1.000.
I found this book at a local bookstore, and I thought "What the heck!" and bought it. I should have saved my money. John A. Miller's Coyote Moon has nothing to do with coyotes (although they're mentioned) and nothing to do with the moon (although it's mentioned too.) Coyote Moon is positioned as a new age-meets-science in a ballpark feel-good novel, but it never really meets any part of that lofty goal.

I think I know what Mr Miller was trying to accomplish here: he wanted to show the triumph of science and education over the vapid, ignorant lifestyles that most of us lead, and wrap it all up with a big new-age flourish -as if a singularity of enlightenment blooms from a single unenlightened source. At least that's what I think he started out trying to write. But he didn't know how to pull it all together, how to bring it off in a graceful way. Or how to end it.

Instead we have oldsters in a trailer park, having oldster sex and hiking in the middle of the Mojave Desert for no apparent reason (Has Mr Miller ever visited Needles, California? He should probably know that anything along the River is very high rent, filled with dentists from Santa Ana and their wives and two-point-five kids and, most importantly, their 33' fiberglass kandy-kolored jetboats). Baseball players, and all athletes, are characterized as stupid and ignorant. Female characters cannot be described without detailing the size, shape and attractiveness of their breasts. Bit players are there just to bolster the cardboard-cutout lead characters, who really don't do anything until suddenly they do...something.

And the science! A mention of Schrödinger's cat does not make this a deep, thought-provoking book.

All of these themes -the stark desert, the essence of heat, the noble nature of the athletic hero (and sex, let's not forget sex!)- provoke a deep empathetic vibe in most people. But Mr Miller's book, Coyote Moon, does not.
An apparant reincarnation tale about a math guru who passes away and then a stud baseball catcher appears from virtually nowhere as it seems nobody has heard of him. He can play well, meets a girl and gets a contract with the Oakland Athletics.

He becomes the starting catcher and can seemingly do no wrong. A secondary story about a group of people that live at a local RV park is involved. Odd story. Readable. A Lamborghini is misidentified, the author and publishing house missed this bit of background research.

If you like this you may also enjoy Knuckleball: A Baseball Fantasy as it also strangely features the Oakland A's.