Look Away, Look Away: Dixieland Short Stories of a Peculiar Nature

Look Away, Look Away: Dixieland Short Stories of a Peculiar Nature

5.0 1
by Bill Hunt
     
 

LOOK AWAY, LOOK AWAY, Dixieland Short Stories of a Peculiar Nature, brings together a remarkable collection of stories so varied in subject and voice it may be difficult for a reader to believe that the same author crafted all ten stories and never bogged down in description overkill. Each story has its definite style and tone, and translates smoothly to the reader… See more details below

Overview

LOOK AWAY, LOOK AWAY, Dixieland Short Stories of a Peculiar Nature, brings together a remarkable collection of stories so varied in subject and voice it may be difficult for a reader to believe that the same author crafted all ten stories and never bogged down in description overkill. Each story has its definite style and tone, and translates smoothly to the reader who will applaud the creative structuring, dialectic spelling and the exciting use of fragments and institutional "no-nos" other authors might be fearful of putting in their manuscript.There's a definite unencumbered writing style with a rapid-fire approach, creating a strong punch in movement, covering more ground without losing the poetic details astute readers expect and enjoy. Clearly defined and independent, the stories deliver common themes relative to underdogs and outcasts, the beauty of innocence in youth, and complications of "living a life, sometimes out-of-bounds," all serving as a backbone from one story to the next, bonding the collection in an interesting reading adventure. Each story speaks of people, places, and events but never feels stretched, stale or dishonest. Readers quickly believe where the characters take them, through conflict, their pasts, their futures, through suspense, twists and turns, doubts, and surprises in the plots, and in the end, there's just enough detail for readers to piece it together on their own. From the prognostication in "The Browning," the tragedies of "A Good Son" to the heartfult sweetness of "Christmas Cakes" and "The Last Time I saw Paris," the author has created lovable characters, and other characters of questionable notions. The writing style of the author is beautifully crafted, providing entertainment that quickly envelopes the reader. The stories are about today, our society: race, outcasts and underdogs, death, regret, burdensome secrets, and the beauty of innocnece in youth...all sweetened with superior Southern storytelling. Look Away, Look Away is a unique reading experience, highly enjoyable and pleasing, to be read again and again.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-18
Hunt (A Full-Grown Man, 2009) offers a playful collection of short stories set in the American South and featuring plenty of local color and family drama. These stories, billed as "somewhat peculiar," highlight 10 different voices, united mainly by their Southern drawl. The opening story, about an aging mixed-race hermit and her riches, as told to a rookie Latino reporter, sits alongside a doctor's account of an eerily intimate exchange with his new patient; the story of a family squatting and stealing to get by; and the tale of an uncultured Alabama father begrudgingly accompanying his wife and daughter on a trip to Europe. In these diverse scenarios, Hunt repeatedly returns to the theme of family conflict. Although he doesn't shy away from confronting race and class violence, he also shows how trauma can come from those closest to us. These stories range in tone from unsettling to nearly devastating, but they occasionally offer a glimmer of hope. With such ambitious scope, however, they sometimes fall short of their attempted depth, with subtleties often obscured by awkward prose and half-formed ideas. In "Soul Mates," for example, a recently dead narrator thinks, "The how, when, or why were totally disregarded in the format of information that clicked through my mind." This experimental attempt to narrate disorientation unfortunately falls flat, as it lacks a precise voice or vision. However, there are successes, such as the charming romance "Willie" and the emotional "Special Arrangements at Mickey Spitzer's," a black child's account of rural poverty. Readers may find some of the forced, stereotypical speech patterns uncomfortable at times ("You waitin' for Miz Willie, Mista White Man?"). However, the author's critique of social hierarchy is ultimately the book's engine, and although the collection may be a bit spotty, his picture of a complex society fully emerges by the end. A well-intentioned but inconsistent smorgasbord of Southern vignettes.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781490423906
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date:
10/04/2013
Pages:
196
Sales rank:
1,375,944
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.42(d)

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