Hanger Stout, Awake!

Hanger Stout, Awake!

by Jack Matthews, Barbiel Matthews-Saunders
     
 
Clyde Stout is a high school graduate in a small Ohio town; he loves tinkering with cars and dreaming about his girlfriend. He has interests and aspirations, but no definite goals. He is coasting….until he discovers he has a new talent: the ability to hang from a metal bar longer than anybody!

Others start calling him “Hanger,” and an out

Overview

Clyde Stout is a high school graduate in a small Ohio town; he loves tinkering with cars and dreaming about his girlfriend. He has interests and aspirations, but no definite goals. He is coasting….until he discovers he has a new talent: the ability to hang from a metal bar longer than anybody!

Others start calling him “Hanger,” and an out-of-town stranger, trying to help the boy to profit from this talent, organizes various “hanging competitions.” At first, Hanger goes along, but after a while he becomes suspicious of the stranger’s motives; is he for real? Hanger is no longer a boy and not yet an adult – but he finds himself in a world where older adults are constantly offering advice and supervision and alleged wisdom. Until then, Hanger had always been an amiable and trusting sort; now Hanger needs to look at things through adult eyes — can he adapt to a world which seems less safe or reliable but possibly more profound?

This slender 150 page novel was first published by Harcourt in 1967 and reprinted several times. Now it is available as an ebook. Time Magazine described it as a “gentle first novel told with a fine ear for adolescent patois,” and National Book Award winning poet William Stafford called it one of the most neglected works of the 20th century. Southern novelist Eudora Welty said about the book: “I like it, and warmly admire his sturdy subject and delicately restrained treatment. It seemed to me blessed with honesty, clarity, directness, proportion and a lovely humor. . . .”

The book is a fun and easy read… Not too much seems to happen in the novel, and the protagonist (we’re sorry to report) is not a werewolf or vampire or time traveler or wizard or superhero; to all appearances, he’s just an ordinary guy, but if you penetrate beneath those appearances, you’ll find that he’s defiantly and unforgettably unique. This book will help you remember how it felt to be a teenager…before you needed to start worrying about more serious matters. Like life, or what passes for life in the world of adults.

Editorial Reviews

Eudora Welty
“I like it, and warmly admire his sturdy subject and delicately restrained treatment. It seemed to me blessed with honesty, clarity, directness, proportion and a lovely humor. . . .” (about Hanger Stout, Awake)
William Stafford
When the literary magazine ANTAEUS did a series on “Neglected Books Of The 20th Century” and asked well-known writers to list the best candidates for the accolade, National Book award winning poet William Stafford chose only one work: HANGER STOUT, AWAKE!
Stanley Lindberg
Matthews's early novels are all rather short, though they are richly developed and populated with memorable characters—originals with much more than just literary validity, ranging from gas-station attendants and warehouse laborers to used-car salesmen and battered cowboys. Most of them are essentially innocents, viewed with unsentimental compassion as they try to cope with what they see of the confusion around them; but they carry their innocence in interestingly differing ways.
TIME MAGAZINE
(A) gentle first novel, told with a fine ear for adolescent patois...
something of a literary atavism: a story about innocence that
encounters pure evil and couldn't care less."
KIRKUS REVIEW
Introducing from the tree limb on the left, the hangingest hanging man in the country, Clyde Stout. Sound like a wiggy field event? It started when Mr. Comisky drove into the station to have his car fixed. But it's Clyde's story, told in diary form and he's one of the most charming, congenial characters met in years. Clyde isn't too intelligent but he's smart. He's also in-cred-ibly naive, innocence personified. A delightful notion of a book. Hang in there boy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014237383
Publisher:
Personville Press
Publication date:
03/20/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
151
File size:
439 KB

Meet the Author

86 year old author Jack Matthews has not only written more than 15 works of fiction, he was distinguished professor of Fiction Writing at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio for over 4 decades. Winner of Guggenheim and several arts grants, Matthews has been anthologized widely, translated into several languages and nominated for a National Book Award. His own books have been praised by Eudora Welty, Anthony Burgess, Shirley Ann Grau, Tim O’Brien, Doris Grumbach, Walker Percy and a host of other famous and highly accomplished authors. In 2011 he published the novel Gambler’s Nephew (about the accidental killing of a slave by an abolitionist while trying to save him) and a fiction writing guide which he used to distribute to his creative writing students (A Worker's Writebook -- now available as an ebook).

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