book cover of Coal Run
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Coal Run

(2004)
A novel by

 
 
A poignant tale of a once-proud Pennsylvania coal town destroyed by a mining disaster, Tawni O'Dell's second novel, Coal Run, follows its wounded inhabitants as they try to come to terms with what is gone and what remains. "The Great Ivan Z"--Ivan Zoschenko--is a mythical football hero who, after being injured on the eve of a promising professional career, heads for Florida (and the bottom of the bottle) for a decade before limping back to Coal Run and getting a job as deputy sheriff. The novel spans a week's time, but recollections and suppositions of the characters add depth; the book's an engrossing adventure in self-redemption and acceptance.

Multiple plot lines abound: Ivan keenly awaits the release from prison of his teammate, Reese Raynor, who beat his wife into a coma and whom Ivan visits regularly in the hospital; Reese's brother and his family struggle with many kids, little money and fewer prospects; Ivan's boyhood hero, Val, a Vietnam veteran who likewise spent years elsewhere, returns with eyes for Ivan's sister, a waitress, former beauty queen, and single mom. And, of course, there's a love interest. Stood up by her date, Ivan contemplates: "What could possibly be more important than sitting across a table from this woman and watching her put things in her mouth? I wonder as I take a seat." Despite somewhat predictable plot elements, O'Dell has the benefit of so many different story lines and characters to choose from that the novel is well-paced and allows her powers of observation to shine. For example, Ivan notes: "I need a drink. I'm not embarrassed or apologetic about the craving. Needing a drink isn't any worse than needing to collect Beanie Babies. I'd rather be a drunk than a moron."

Coal Run is a pitch-perfect story of a town's rediscovery that the best thing about it is its people and their ability to survive and retain a sense of pride, even after its identity and many lives were lost. --Michael Ferch

Genre: Mystery

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Used availability for Tawni O'Dell's Coal Run

Hardback Editions

May 2008 : USA Library Binding

Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 1-4352-9301-0 / 978-1-4352-9301-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-05-29
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2005 : USA Library Binding
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 0-7569-5717-6 / 978-0-7569-5717-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2004 : USA Hardback
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 0-7862-6882-4 / 978-0-7862-6882-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2001 : USA Hardback
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 0-670-89995-X / 978-0-670-89995-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

February 2009 : UK Paperback

Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 0-7195-9550-9 / 978-0-7195-9550-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2005 : USA Paperback
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 0-451-21512-5 / 978-0-451-21512-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: NAL Trade
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

April 2006 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


April 2006 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2004 : UK Audio CD
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
ISBN: 0-14-280051-1 / 978-0-14-280051-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


2004 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): tawni o'dell
ISBN: 1-4159-0277-1 / 978-1-4159-0277-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

June 2005 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Coal Run
Author(s): Tawni O'Dell
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU