Customer Reviews for

Oral History

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( 8 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    I loved it!!!

    This dark and twisted story included precise details needed to shed light into small town, poverty stricken life in the mountains of appalachia. This story sucked me in and I couldn't part from it until I was done, and even then, I carried it around in my mind.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2010

    Wonderful narrative fiction

    Oral History tells the story of multiple generations of the Cantrell family through one or more voices of each generation. The story is plain, gripping, and evocative.

    Lee Smith's words open a view of Appalachia with the surprising honesty of her character Richard Burlage's photographs. "They were quite a shock to me, validating somehow my theory of photography if not life itself: the way a frame, a photograph, can illumine and enlarge one's vision rather than limit it." (223) The mind's eye often allows us to ignore what we don't want to be know, in the same manner that Richard ignored the deforestation and damage caused by mining when he was part of the community. He noted, "Nothing had been done with thought or care of consequence, I noted - lumber tripped and the land left, machine parts everywhere rusting, trash and refuse out in the yards in from of the homes, if you could call them that, and children - children everywhere, ragged and dirty, in the road and in the filthy bare yards along it...I had never seen anything like it. The lumber companies had stripped the timber out all the way up the mountain, on both sides of the holler. They were doing it, I recalled, logging this holler, even while I was here...somehow I had thought nothing of it at the time, which caused me to wonder what else I might have missed!" (224) Smith on the other hand scripted every line with care. Anyone who has spent time in that region of the country will recognize the vernacular and the imagery.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    Delightful and Addicting

    I am truly loved digging into this brilliantly complicated and addicting novel.When I read Oral History, I felt like I was sitting on the porch with my mamaw listening to her tell me about the neighbors. Smith's voice is the most genuine "country" vernacular I've read. Thank you for a delightful read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

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