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A Death in the Family
     

A Death in the Family

3.5 34
by James Agee
 

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Forty years after its original publication, James Agee's last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man's death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed.

On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay

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A Death in the Family 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lost my father when I was 7. Reading this book, I felt the author could not have written it without losing a parent as a child. I did a little research and found out this is the story of James Rufus Agee losing his father at the age of 6. For anyone wanting a persective of death in the age before pop psychology and counselors on every corner,this story is right on the money.
Mariamosis More than 1 year ago
I can't believe so many people gave this three or less stars. Although not my favorite book, I read until my eyes bled. The author creates wonderful characters who all have different perspectives regarding the deceased. Agee really captivated the confusion and thought process a child might endure when dealing with the death of a family member. Probably not in my top ten, but definitely worth reading. (no age limitation for this book)
Awesomeness1 More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, the old mean librarian wouldn't let me renew this book, so I didn't finish the last 100 pages. But I did enjoy what I read. A Death in the Family, first of all, is very well written. The prose is very beautiful and complex. The story is somewhat slow-moving, and the plot was more of a character study than anything else. It did take me a few chapters though, to get all the characters straight, especially Ralph and Rufus, whom I would often confuse. I didn't really have a particular problem with this book, but I wasn't compelled by it. Given the option of reading this and watching TV, I chose TV most of the time. This book was not bad, and I did enjoy what I read, but I was never excited or caught up in it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
' A Death In The Family' is a profoundly moving book, that will captivate the heart of anyone who has ever lost someone dear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would have to say that I enjoyed this book! It was sad, but it will also make you think and appreciate your family more. I think James Agee is a great author and his writing style is very easy to follow and understand. I want to read more books by him later on and i would read this book again in a couple of years because I enjoyed it.
av11 More than 1 year ago
A Death in the Family was written by James Agee. The story is told through many different perspectives throughout the book. It begins with a little boy, Rufus Follet, who explains the relationship between his father and him. This book explains what the lives of the characters were like before after Jay’s death, and it shows how differently they all act. The story is told in such a way that makes it simple to relate to the characters pain. The story begins to unfold when Jay Follet, the father and husband, is phoned late in the night. He is forced to go back home to Knoxville, Tennessee to assist his father. After promising to make it home in time for dinner, he is killed in a fatal car accident with nothing more than a scrape on his chin. This novel includes a lot of foreshadowing that kept me questioning what was bound to happen next. It was hard to assume what was going to happen at times because Agee always found ways to change it up. This novel was written based off events from Agee’s life, it shows how hard death is to deal with. It proves how the death of someone affects everyone, it is felt and shown through everyone’s actions and mood. With Jay gone the little ones have no choice but to get along with one another and come together to take care of their mother. For the children, Rufus and Catherine, none of it makes sense. Although, they do their best to understand the situation based on how their mother is acting. When they are suddenly taken out of school and surrounded by several family members things get confusing. There was a bit of irony involved, Jay was going to Tennessee to take care of his father after a near death experience, but after realizing it was nothing serious Jay was the one injured and killed. The death of Jay forces the family to become closer than ever, having to rely on one another. Throughout the story their are smaller stories being told about different characters, these little stories end up tying together the bigger, overall story. While reading I assumed the smaller stories were just put there to explain the characters better. But towards the end of the book the stories came into play. While learning about the characters, they all explain their lives and include life lessons within the text. It was neat being able to compare the families lives before and after the death of Jay. They changed the way they lived and never acted as they would have before. Grandparents and relatives find themselves praying during the funeral. Something they would make fun of others for. Although the kids do not fully understand what "death" is and means they begin to catch on; They can't quite wrap their heads around it, but each of them have their own idea. This story comes to a conclusion after the funeral when the kids begin to grasp the concept that their father is never coming home. This book is a classic and should definitely be read. Agee did a wonderful job at putting this together, the story within the pages was inspiring and heart breaking at the same time. The family in this was truly indestructible and held together at their lowest point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As expected, this was a sad story. Nonetheless, it was written with such attention to detail, such tenderness for the characters, and real insight into the human condition that I would recommend it to any serious reader.
DLawrence More than 1 year ago
This book has been in my library since freshman year of college. Unfortunately, in this edition, I could not find the famous preamble ("We are talking now of summer nights in Knoxville, Tennessee....") It is one of the most poetic prologues to any book I am have read. Agee died much too soon. He was a gifted writer. As to the comments about this book, I think it would help if the reader takes this story on as a memoir, on of the first, and notice the dialogue between father and son, who it conflicts, as all fathers and sons do. I don't think we will ever have such a writer again. It reads more like poetry and has a marvelous story to tell.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this being my second book, A Death In the Family is an easy novel to follow. Agee uses good language to identify different characters. This book allows you to look into the life and time of the early 1900's. The only gripe I have about the book is the way it ends ensuing in the three stars. James Agee died before the book was finished and he probably would not have ended the way it did...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the book A Death in the Family. If you like a good book then this is the one for you. It seems like a lot to read at first,but it really goes by pretty quick. I would definitely read another book by James Agee.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would give this book four stars because it was a very interesting book but there were just a few dragged out spots. I still recommend every one to read this book because it was eye catching and it was very emotional. I would most definitly read this book again. It was a small paged book but it was extremely interesting. If you read this book you will probably read another book like this or by the same author, because I know I will. I also liked the writing style of this story. It was easy to follow along with. So to everyone who reads this, I recommend you read the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book turned out to be an O.K. book. At first, while reading I thougth I would have a couple of difficulties. When the author jumped from character to character, he kind of lost me because I had no clue of which character was speaking. As the story begins, the author talks a boy named Rufus and and his parents. The author did not tell the names of the parents until you read on in the book. While spending more time reading and less playing I started to comprehend more. But don't get me wrong, the book was... O.K.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that this book 'A Death In The Family' would be very interesting to anyone who would like to see how life was in Knoxville, TN in 1915. You may be surprised to know how different races were treated in 1915. Times were different than today.