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Riveting, often heartbreaking stories that take readers through country that is figuratively and literally unmapped. These stories are set in a nameless community too small to be called a town, a place where wanting an education is a mark of ungodly arrogance and dowsing for water a legitimate occupation. Offutt has received a James Michener Grant and a Kentucky Arts Council Award.
|The Leaving One||33|
|Old of the Moon||71|
|Aunt Granny Lith||129|
Posted July 12, 2002
Chris Offutt is the most overhyped writer of the 90's. Considered by outsiders as 'telling it straight' Mr. Offutt is a liar and a charlatan. Mr. offutt did not have the poor background that he claims, his father was a science fiction author, he also has a brother who is professor of computer science at George Mason University. Any hardships that this man has faced have been his own doing. He is a self-imposed loner. What Mr. Offut has managed to do is perpetuate an untrue stereotype and cash in on typecasting much like the Kennedy 'documentary' American Hollow. The writing of MR. Offut tries to capture the absolute worst of any people. His originality in the language of the area is deplorable, he makes up phrases and language that simply do not exist in this area. Much like what Prof. Billings says, there is really no Appalachia that distinguishes itself from the rest of rural America, there are just hack writers who try to capitalize on it. See Breece DJ Pancake. After having met MR. Offutt, I left with two things on my mind--what kind of drug is this dude on?, and did anyone teach him personal hygiene? In his new book, No Heroes, Mr. Offutt lashes out at his hometown for not celebrating the fact that he has been published and making him a local hero, much like the fact that his father was not considered that great of a writer and not celebrated in his hometown. If Mr. Offutt were a better writer, or would at least write about what is realistically northeastern Kentucky, then maybe someone from here would take notice. But all I read about are people who are inbred, can't read, and can't manage to get out of the hollow. In reality there are many people who have managed to sustain a subsistence living in fairly fertile ground working-- MR Offut has no grounding in what does run these communities, which has been working daily on farms to make a living--all he can manage to see are the 1% of the population who won't work. There has been little progress in the area of Appalachian literature in the past twenty years, and since the passing of James Still last year, I kind of hope that it has died, if what we are to expect are more offerings from Mr. Offutt. Please, more people go out to libraries to check out his work and read it for the drivel it is, instead of believing the reviews. The short stories are the best he can do, he cannot manage to put together a series of events managing to become a plot. Just try not to waste any money on it. Use your money to buy old Jesse Stuart books or even better--Sharon McCrumb.
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Posted January 22, 2012
Posted December 8, 2011
No wonder people believe that all Kentuckians are pure hicks. I have lived in the heart of Eastern Kentucky my whole life and have never seen things as bad as most of these stories. Yes we have poverty. Yes, we have people that are down right stupid. Any place you go has the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is NOT the norm, but because it is what people want to hear and to believe, it is the focus of many books and documentaries. Keep you money..this aint worth it!
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Posted June 15, 2011
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Posted October 15, 2008
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