The Last Good Man

The Last Good Man

by Daniel Lyons
     
 

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Set in the depressed industrial city of Lawton Falls, Massachusetts, the eleven short stories in this book offer a detailed portrayal of its characters' secret lives. These cohesive stories follow the ethnically diverse group of characters in their bleak environment.

University of Massachusetts Press

Overview

Set in the depressed industrial city of Lawton Falls, Massachusetts, the eleven short stories in this book offer a detailed portrayal of its characters' secret lives. These cohesive stories follow the ethnically diverse group of characters in their bleak environment.

University of Massachusetts Press

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe

Lyons fills his dusky landscape with a marvelous array of characters, all of them distinctly drawn, their dilemmas equally compelling.... The Last Good Man is less a collection of discrete stories than a cohesive portrait of a place and its people, and Daniel Lyons takes us on a rich and eloquent tour.

Booklist

Showing an admirable capacity for depicting neighborhood life in a wonderfully varied ethnic spectrum, Lyons writes knowingly of his characters' predicaments.... An unfailing eye for detail endows these captivating tales with perceptive psychological portrayals. An impressive debut.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The depressed industrial Boston suburb of Lawton Falls is the setting for this impressive fiction debut. In 11 linked short stories, Lyons portrays a bleak environment including corrupt politicians, two-bit mafiosi, abandoned textile mills and characters whose one true talent is survival. Among the well-drawn characters are a young Puerto Rican mother and laundress who appears in various stories and, we discover in ``Brothers,'' was raped as a teen; Jerry Gallagher, the bitter newspaper reporter and protagonist of the title story, who learns--40 years too late--that his one true love reciprocates his emotions; and the priest in ``The Miracle,'' who, when faced with the prospect of losing his parish, makes a deal with the neighborhood devil. The writing here is brisk and clean, if unexceptional, and the stories are finely detailed. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Like Sherwood Anderson's classic Winesburg, Ohio , Lyons's debut collection of 11 stories--winner of the Associated Writing Programs 1992 Award in Short Fiction--lifts the rock off a seemingly sleepy town to cast light on the quietly desperate secret lives of its inhabitants. Lawton Falls, Massachusetts is a dying mill city whose ethnically mixed population includes politicians, priests, blue-collar workers, mixed-up teens, and the newspaperman of the title tale who, at the end of an undistinguished career, wrestles with the morality of making ``a great deal of money in an illicit fashion.'' Lyons, a remarkably gifted writer, renders these slices of life with compassion and a keen eye for telling detail. Highly recommended.-- David Sowd, formerly with Stark Cty. District Lib., Canton, Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870239786
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
04/25/1995
Series:
Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Daniel Lyons is a freelance journalist who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His stories have appeared in Gentleman's Quarterly, Playboy, Redbook, Story, and various literary magazines. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literary fellowship.

University of Massachusetts Press

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