Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel

( 89 )

Overview

The modern literary classic that has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye

"As close to flawless as any reader could ask for."
-The New York Times Book Review

The publication of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina was a landmark event. The novel's profound portrait of family dynamics in the rural South won the author a National Book Award nomination and launched her into the literary spotlight. ...

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Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel

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Overview

The modern literary classic that has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye

"As close to flawless as any reader could ask for."
-The New York Times Book Review

The publication of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina was a landmark event. The novel's profound portrait of family dynamics in the rural South won the author a National Book Award nomination and launched her into the literary spotlight. Critics have likened Allison to William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Harper Lee, naming her the first writer of her generation to dramatize the lives and language of poor whites in the South. Since its appearance, the novel has inspired an award-winning film and has been banned from libraries and classrooms, championed by fans, and defended by critics.

Greenville County, South Carolina, is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright family-a tight-knit clan of rough-hewn, hard- drinking men who shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. At the heart of this story is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. When her stepfather Daddy Glen, "cold as death, mean as a snake," becomes increasingly more vicious toward her, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, Anney-and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back.

Now available in a twentieth anniversary keepsake edition with a new afterword by the author.

 

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"As close to flawless as any reader could ask for and any writer could hope for and aspire to ... The living language Allison has created is as exact and innovative as the language of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye . . . Simply stunning." 
-The New York Times Book Review

"A hell of a writer - tough and loose, clear and compassionate."
-The Village Voice

"Compulsively readable . . . Allison can make an ordinary moment transcendent with her sensuous mix of kitchen-sink realism and down-home drawl."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Tough, plainspoken, and thoroughly unsentimental."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

"This book will resonate within you like a gospel choir."
-Barbara Kingsolver

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452297753
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 20
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 90,791
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Allison is the acclaimed author of the nationally bestselling novel Bastard Out of Carolina, which was a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award. She is also the author of the short story collection Trash and the bestselling novel Cavedweller, which was named a New York Times Notable Book. The recipient of numerous awards, she lives in Northern California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    worth a read...

    Bastard Out of Carolina tells the tale of a young girl named Bone. Hers is a tale of physical and sexual abuse that grows steadily more violent until the explosive end of the book. It's also about her family, the Boatwrights. The big scary uncles, who adore Bone, are always drunk and shoot up each others trucks for fun. And the aunts, who always stick together whether they are picking over beans or taking care of each others children. Bone is a happy little girl until her mother gets married to Daddy Glen. Daddy Glen is very gentle with Bone at first. Things gradually go bad though when he starts physically abusing and molesting Bone. Bastard Out of Carolina is about the decisions we all make and the effects of those decisions on your children. It's about the meaning of family and loyalty. This is a serious book dealing with some hard subject matter. It's never easy to read about abuse, especially when it's a child involved, but Bastard Out of Carolina is definitely worth a read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    Couldn't Put it down

    This was an amazing book. It kept me turning the pages wanting to see what would happen to Bone. I was so angry at times, the book brought so many emotions out of me. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It was very realistic and it left me thinking even after it ended. I would read it again too, it was that good. It made me think of our society and what we need to do to protect and save girls like Bone. Please read the book but be prepared some parts will make you laugh and others will make you angry and emotional.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    It was very difficult for me to read this book, learning what Bone had to go through. I felt the writing and character development was excellent. I grew up in the Carolinas, and I would not be surprised at how many 'real' domestic situations exist, that are exactly like this one. I no longer live in the South, and although I am proud to have grown up there and love my family, some of the 'backwoods' thought processes are far too common there. I was very unsympathetic to the young mother in this story, and the way that she dealt with Bone's abusive relationship with Glen. I hated Glen's character, but I hated the young mother even more for allowing it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2007

    Very Intriguing Very Depressing

    The story pulled me right in, I was so concerned for the little girl I had to keep reading to find out her fate. However, this was a very depressing and somewhat disturbing. There were parts of the book that made feel so lonely, just like the character I was reading about. If you like dysfunctional and realistic, you will love this one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'd rank this book as a classic of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' caliber. Both stories deal, and unflinchingly so, with taking a hard look at why we make the choices we make, and how those choices mold us and affect the ones around us, especially our children. I believe Dorothy Allison once said that if the writer tells enough about a character, there's a chance that the reader may love them. I found myself fascinated by each of these characters and thought the manner in which Allison probes their individual thought processes was exceptional, especially given that this is a first-person narrative. That's how you can tell this is autobiographical. Bone's understanding of those around her, especially her mother, shows us that Allison has given the situations she's lived through a lot of thought even before she picked up a pen. The reader may given into their own anger, especially during the final harrowing chapters, but Dorothy does not. She transcends it. That makes for a story that will burn into your memory. A cliche, I know, but you CANNOT shake this story. It will make you laugh, cry, and absolutely furious, but its worth it. Read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2004

    Sad yet eloquent

    This is sad but eloquent story that was a recent book club selection at my local bookstore. There is strong and vivid imagery. It may be too harsh for young adults; but one in my group seemed quite taken with the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2003

    Makes you think.

    I just finished this book and I loved it and hated it....I loved it because of how the character (bone) was able to overcome what happened to her and try and hold her head up high...but I hated it because it made me realize what does go on in some homes and what some children go through....but overall it was a great book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    great book to read

    i hadn't went out to buy this book or knew of Dorothy Allison...it was a reading assignment for my college english class...and was i surprised! this book took me on highs and lows in each chapter. you felt so strongly for the characters in the book...you actually felt like you could reach out and touch them and feel with them. I cried so hard through this book with the young character explaining her life and trials she had to deal with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    amazing book

    amazing book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    This book has alot of hidden messages inside of it. I had to rea

    This book has alot of hidden messages inside of it. I had to read it for a class in my college and fell in love with the book! Instead of reading just the chapters our teacher wanted us to I read the whole book! The love and despair in this book was truly heart wrenching. Amazing read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I first watched the movie Bastard Out of Carolina on Lifetime. A

    I first watched the movie Bastard Out of Carolina on Lifetime. At the time, I had no idea it was a book. I didn’t come across this knowledge until some time last year. I very vaguely remembered watching the movie (it had probably been ten years or more) and liking it. So of course I needed to read the book. I debated watching the movie again before reading the book, but ultimately decided against it as I wanted to read the book with the freshest eyes possible. However, I will watch the movie again after writing this review.

    I will admit that I put off reading this book for a long while. It sat on my to-read shelf, taunting me. From what I remembered, it was going to be a hard story to read. And it was. It was gritty and raw, but it was oh so worth it. I feel like I just waited for the perfect time (though I didn’t know it was the perfect time) to read it. I’m so glad that I finally picked this book up to read.

    You may be hesitant to pick up this book since it deals with abuse, but don’t let that deter you from reading a good book. It’s always hard to read about abuse (especially dealing with children), but sometimes it’s worth it. While I find it hard to say, the story can be beautifully (for lack of a better word) written and really touch you. This story is one of those.

    Be sure to check out my blog, KDH Reviews, for all of my reviews.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Hi

    I saw the movie and it was wonderful.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    Agree on this one

    Should have been banned another teen terrible

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Classic

    This is the type of book people read and are changed for the better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Very good book !

    I first became aware of this story when the movie originally aired on cable years ago. It was disturbing then as it is now. The book gets kind of slow more than half way in & then it quickly comes to its conclusion. As with the movie and book I kept saying to myself "what is wrong with Bone's mother that she can't see that disgusting man hates her child ?!" As with life there is no happily ever after. It left me wanting to know more about what type of woman Bone grew up to be & if she ever reunited with her mother. Again, this was a very good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Bone is every little girls heroine!

    A book that every young girl should read. Very good lessons on loving yourself as well as how complicated family can be. A wonderful book that will make you think with your heart, mind, and soul.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    I am so happy that I randomly picked up this book in the book st

    I am so happy that I randomly picked up this book in the book store. It moved me to tears. I'm also pleased that it was turned into a movie. Dorothy Allison deserves many accolades for this book.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    Beautifully written.

    :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    AWESOME READ! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

    Dorothy Allison did a awesome job in writting this book. I throughly enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Beautiful example of southern history

    This book represents in a good kind way a culture and way of life that is disapering in Southern US. It is very well reaserched and written. It is Emmy Slattery's family from Gone With theWind. Having said that , Bone's life is nothing that I would wish on any little girl. Now having said that, how many of us big girls grew up with the exact same tale? Just goes to show you dont have to look hard to find art. It,s our responsibility to save it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews

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