Crapalachia: A Biography of Place

( 2 )

Overview

"McClanahan's prose is miasmic, dizzying, repetitive. A rushing river of words that reflects the chaos and humanity of the place from which he hails. [McClanahan] aims to lasso the moon... He is not a writer of half-measures. The man has purpose. This is his symphony, every note designed to resonate, to linger."
New York Times Book Review

"Crapalachia is the genuine article: intelligent, atmospheric, raucously funny and utterly wrenching. ...

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Crapalachia: A Biography of Place

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Overview

"McClanahan's prose is miasmic, dizzying, repetitive. A rushing river of words that reflects the chaos and humanity of the place from which he hails. [McClanahan] aims to lasso the moon... He is not a writer of half-measures. The man has purpose. This is his symphony, every note designed to resonate, to linger."
New York Times Book Review

"Crapalachia is the genuine article: intelligent, atmospheric, raucously funny and utterly wrenching. McClanahan joins Daniel Woodrell and Tom Franklin as a master chronicler of backwoods rural America."
The Washington Post

"The book that took Scott McClanahan from indie cult writer to critical darling is a series of tales that read like an Appalachian Proust all doped up on sugary soft drinks, and has made a fan of everybody who has opened it up."
Flavorwire

"McClanahan’s deep loyalty to his place and his people gives his story wings: 'So now I put the dirt from my home in my pockets and I travel. I am making the world my mountain.' And so he is."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"[Crapalachia is] a wild and inventive book, unquestionably fresh of spirit, and totally unafraid to break formalisms to tell it like it was."
Vice

"Part memoir, part hillbilly history, part dream, McClanahan embraces humanity with all its grit, writing tenderly of criminals and outcasts, family and the blood ties that bind us."
Interview Magazine

"A brilliant, unnerving, beautiful curse of a book that will both haunt and charmingly engage readers for years and years and years."
The Nervous Breakdown

"McClanahan's style is as seductive as a circuit preacher's. Crapalachia is both an homage and a eulogy for a place where, through the sorcery of McClanahan's storytelling, we can all pull up a chair and find ourselves at home."
San Diego City Beat

"Epic. McClanahan’s prose is straightforward, casual, and enjoyable to read, reminiscent at times of Kurt Vonnegut. Crapalachia is one of the rare books that, after you reach the end, you don’t get up to check your e-mail or Facebook or watch TV. You just sit quietly and think about the people of the book and how they remind you of people you used to know. You feel lucky to have known them, and you feel grateful to McClanahan for the reminder."
Rain Taxi Review of Books

When Scott McClanahan was fourteen he went to live with his Grandma Ruby and his Uncle Nathan, who suffered from cerebral palsy. Crapalachia is a portrait of these formative years, coming-of-age in rural West Virginia.

Peopled by colorful characters and their quirky stories, Crapalachia interweaves oral folklore and area history, providing an ambitious and powerful snapshot of overlooked Americana.

Scott McClanahan is the author of Stories II and Stories V! His fiction has appeared in BOMB, Vice, and New York Tyrant. His novel Hill William is forthcoming from Tyrant Books.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Steve Donoghue
Crapalachia is the genuine article: intelligent, atmospheric, raucously funny and utterly wrenching. McClanahan joins Daniel Woodrell and Tom Franklin as a master chronicler of backwoods rural America.
The New York Times Book Review - Allison Glock
Scott McClanahan comes from…A West Virginia where existence is both tedious and shocking. Where violence is something to do. The death rattle something to waltz with. He writes about this grasping, confounding place in his insistent, balletic, more-poem-than-memoir memoir, Crapalachia. McClanahan's prose is miasmic, dizzying, repetitive. A rushing river of words that reflects the chaos and humanity of the place from which he hails. He writes in an elliptical fever dream so contagious that slowing down is not an option. It would be like putting a doorstop in front of a speeding train. This is not a book you savor. It is one you inhale.
Publishers Weekly
In this innovative "biography," McClanahan, author of three previous story collections, blends the oral storytelling traditions of his native rural West Virginia with a contemporary memoir style, recounting formative experiences under the influence of his indomitable, melodramatic grandmother Ruby and spirited Uncle Nathan. The latter had cerebral palsy and was unable to speak, though McClanahan understood him perfectly, and after these powerful forces in his life pass away, he moves in with his classmate Little Bill, who was tormented by OCD and unrequited love. McClanahan’s exuberant voice is conversational and confrontational, regularly breaking the fourth wall and joyfully blurring the sacrosanct division between non-fiction and fiction. The non-traditional narrative chronicles the peculiarities of Appalachian life——punctuated by mine collapses, quotidian tragedies, and recipes for chicken and gravy——and is infused with both boundless love and the ever-present specter of death. McClanahan oscillates between the resignation that surrounds him and a galvanizing hope that allows him to rise above the despairing, often violent place he calls home, just enough to get away, but not to forget. His singular mission is to create a lasting testament to the people he has loved and he succeeds: the book leaves an enduring impression. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937512033
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 239,422
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 7.32 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author


Scott McClanahan is the writer of Stories II and Stories V!. His fiction has appeared in Bomb, Vice, and New York Tyrant. His novel Hill William is forthcoming from Tyrant Books.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2014

    McClanahan's writing finds the beauty in the ugliest of places.

    McClanahan's writing finds the beauty in the ugliest of places. It's full of pure heart that will inspire you to see the world differently. And with more love than ever before. I recommend visiting one of his readings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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