501 Minutes to Christ: Personal Essays

501 Minutes to Christ: Personal Essays

by Poe Ballantine
     
 

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DUE OUT SEPTEMBER 2007, POE BALLANTINE’S second collection of personal essays follows in the tradition of Things I Like About America. Stories range from "The Irving," which details Mr. Ballantine’s diabolical plan to punch John Irving in the nose after opening for him before an audience of 2,000 people that launched the literary festival, Wordstock;… See more details below

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DUE OUT SEPTEMBER 2007, POE BALLANTINE’S second collection of personal essays follows in the tradition of Things I Like About America. Stories range from "The Irving," which details Mr. Ballantine’s diabolical plan to punch John Irving in the nose after opening for him before an audience of 2,000 people that launched the literary festival, Wordstock; to "Wide-Eyed in the Gaudy Shop," which tells how, in Mexico, the narrator met and later married his wife, Cristina; to "Blessed Meadows for Minor Poets," the devastating tale of how after years of sacrifice and persistence, Mr. Ballantine finally secured a contract with a major publisher for a short story collection that never came to fruition. Ever present in this collection of essays are the odd jobs, eccentric characters, boarding houses, buses, and beer that populate Mr. Ballantine’s landscape and make his stories uniquely his own. The title story, "501 Minutes to Christ," was included in the Houghton Mifflin anthology, Best American Essays 2006.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Ballantine's second essay collection (after Things I Like About America) follows the writer through a series of stubbornly haphazard misadventures to a place of relative stability. Ballantine is never far from the trenches, whether he's the homeless guy accepting help or the employed guy trying to provide a little assistance. His transient persona may grate on some readers' nerves, but the restless wandering of the collection's earlier part is preferable to the late-blooming semimaturity found in the later essays. Aimlessly, Ballantine manages to find himself married and settled down in one place, under contract to a reputable publisher, and enjoying the modest fruits of success (while planning to sock John Irving at a literary festival). The essays are readable and entertaining and contain occasional moments of startling beauty and insight. Still, the themes of addiction (to substances, people, new starts, the prospect of fame), dissatisfaction, and nihilism may limit the work's appeal; as with writers such as Chuck Palahniuk, some will become rabid devotees, while others will be turned off. This could be a good fit in academic libraries and larger public systems. [The title story appeared in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Essays 2006.-Ed.]
—Audrey Snowden

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983304968
Publisher:
Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,198,661
File size:
1 MB

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