Last Good Man

Overview

'A gripping and remarkably fine first collection of eleven stories, mapping the changing moral byways of a dying New England mill-town and angling inside the lives of town's often warring Irish, Italian, Wasp, and newer Puerto Rican inhabitants, ...all of it rich in detail and theme.' - Kirkus Reviews
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Overview

'A gripping and remarkably fine first collection of eleven stories, mapping the changing moral byways of a dying New England mill-town and angling inside the lives of town's often warring Irish, Italian, Wasp, and newer Puerto Rican inhabitants, ...all of it rich in detail and theme.' - Kirkus Reviews
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Editorial Reviews

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870239786
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 4/25/1995
  • Series: Associated Writing Programs Award Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

The First Snow 1
Violet 16
The Miracle 33
Giancarlo, for a Moment 50
The Greyhound 58
All Best Wishes 77
The Clear Blue 89
The Birthday Cake 105
New Math 110
Brothers 126
The Last Good Man 143
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