In Tragic Life

Fisher, Vardis. In Tragic Life. Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1932.

Reason read: Originally, I chose it for July for when Idaho became a state. However, the book took so long in getting to me that I decided to still read it even though July is long gone. I found a new reason to read In Tragic Life: Butch Cassidy robbed an Idaho bank in August 1896. In Tragic Life starts roughly around that same time.

Vridar Hunter is a young boy growing up in rural Idaho. Wait, isn’t all of Idaho untamed wilderness? Just kidding. Anyway, In Tragic Life details young Vridar’s coming of age into his teenage years. Poverty, education, family & schoolboy crushes are the focus at this time. Confessional: I thought Vridar was a little whiny in the beginning. He was constantly in terror or frightened over something. He was afraid of nearly everything – the dark, his father’s hands, nature, night, himself. Vridar had paralyzing fear, blinding fear and was haunted or desperately afraid. All the time. But, in reality that fear was founded. The “tragic” in In Tragic Life is truly justified. If Vridar wasn’t watching animals die in horrific ways he was being verbally abused by his family. If that wasn’t enough, when he finally went to school he was bullied on a consistent and continual basis. He never has any close friends. His only companions seem to be his brother and the kids he beat up previously. Parts of In Tragic Life were very painful to read, especially the cruelty, particularly towards animals.

Author fact: Fisher was born, raised and died in Idaho.

Book trivia: In Tragic Life is the first in the tetralogy.

Nancy said: I shudder if this is true, but Pearl called In Tragic Life “sprawling autobiographical” (p 122).

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Idaho: and Nary a Potato to be Seen” (p 121).

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