A Death in the Family [NOOK Book]

Overview

A Death in the Family is an autobiographical novel by author James Agee, set in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began writing it in 1948, but it was not quite complete when he died in 1955. It was edited and released posthumously in 1957 by editor David McDowell. Agee's widow and children were left with little money after Agee's death and McDowell wanted to help them by publishing the work. Agee won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1958 for the novel. The novel was included on Time's ...
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A Death in the Family

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Overview

A Death in the Family is an autobiographical novel by author James Agee, set in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began writing it in 1948, but it was not quite complete when he died in 1955. It was edited and released posthumously in 1957 by editor David McDowell. Agee's widow and children were left with little money after Agee's death and McDowell wanted to help them by publishing the work. Agee won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1958 for the novel. The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923.

The novel is based on the events that occurred to Agee in 1915 when his father went out of town to see his own father, who had a heart attack. During the return trip, Agee's father was killed in a car accident. The novel provides a portrait of life in Knoxville, Tennessee, showing how such a loss affects the young widow, her two children, her atheist father and the dead man's alcoholic brother.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014033244
  • Publisher: Zuubooks
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 198,711
  • File size: 985 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2004

    He knows what he is talking about

    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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Death in the Family

    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)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2006

    A Death In The Family

    ' A Death In The Family' is a profoundly moving book, that will captivate the heart of anyone who has ever lost someone dear.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Death in the Family

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    great book!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2006

    The egg as symbol:

    There is an ineresting parallel between Agee's book and a book by Hermann Hesse, 'Demian', which explains a great deal about, 'Death in the Family'. In Demian, Sinclair finds a note, it reads: 'The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God is Abraxas. Two pages later Sinclair's teacher says, 'Abraxas was the god who was both god and devil. Of interest is Sinclair's teachers name, it is Dr. Follen. Now in Death in the Family, Ralph, Mary's brother in law says of himself, 'He was just no good. He saw that. Just incomplete some way, like a chicken that comes out of the shell with a wry neck and grows up like that.' Ralph and Mary's husband, Jay are Follet's. The difference between the religious affiliations of the Follet family and Mary's extreme belief are obvious. The use of the 'egg' symbol in both books and the similiarity of the names, Follen and Follet seem to be more than coincidence. The idea of 'Abraxas' goes back to early Christianity if not before.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2005

    Good Book

    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...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2005

    Not Interesting

    'A Death in The Family' a book written by James Agee has a story to tell when it comes to this novel. It's well written and understandable and if you're a kind of a person who likes sad stories then this is the book for you. As for me this isn't my type of book. I like suspenseful and horror stories so I chose the wrong book when I this one. I disliked the story I couldn't really relate to the plot or the setting and it didn't seem to keep my interest at all. The story was a bit boring, it was basically telling a story of a family that went through some problems in the 1920's which didn't interest me at all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2005

    A good tear jerker

    This was a good book,but in the beginning it is kind of hard to get interested in it. I liked the book because it showed me that I take my family members for granted. You should read this book if you if you do not feel that your family is important to you or if you have lost someone close to you. You will be glad that you took the time to read this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2004

    Not a bad book to read

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2004

    Hard to read

    I personally didn't like this book. I didn't really follow the book, they kept jumping back and forth in the story and lost me. It is interesting to see how the young boy deals with the death of his father.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2004

    Very emotional

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2004

    Not My Type Of Reading

    This book is not that bad, but you really have to be into the 1900's and KNoxville's history, I consider the book to be too old for my level, the type of setting in the book really did not get my attention and then there were some parts, where the italized parts were, that I would ask myself, What is going on? I would recommend this book to a History major, becaus they can get into things like this.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    Book turned out to be O.K.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2003

    How TO Survive A Death In The Family

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2003

    A Beautiful Account of Family in Mourning

    This novel is not action-packed, nor does it have sophisticated plot. Instead of those superficial attention-grabbers,Agree gives us a deep and tender account of the Follet family. I thought this book was descripitive and modesty enjoyable, but not its plot did not seem to go far. A good read it you having nothing else to do, but not for those in search of a timeless classics or an adventurous suspenseful thriller. A Death in the Family allows us to more fully understand something of the human condition. Agee's novel is the stuff our lives are made of

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2003

    A beautiful account of a family in mourning

    This novel is not action-packed, nor does it have a sophisticated plot. Instead of those superficial attention-grabbers, Agee gives us a deep and tender account of the Follet family. With his lyrical writing style, he gives us profound insight into the minds and hearts of each member of this family as they go through a terrible experience. A Death in the Family allows us to more fully understand something of the human condition. Agee's novel is the stuff our lives are made of.

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

    Posted January 11, 2003

    Too old for my taste

    I did not enjoy the book at all. I choose it for a book report for my english class and needless to say, I had to force myself to read it 4 days before my critique was due. I was very disappointed. The night Jay died went on for what seemed like forever. I also did not like hearing about Rufus' name. I don't think that was appropriate.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2002

    Decent at best

    I thought this book was descriptive and modestly enjoyable, but its plot did not seem to go far. A good read if you have nothing else to do, but not for those in search of a timeless classic or an adventurous, suspenseful thriller.

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

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

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