The Marrowbone Marble Company: A Novel

The Marrowbone Marble Company: A Novel

4.2 5
by Glenn Taylor
     
 

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“M. Glenn Taylor’s plain spoken eloquence on labor, race, and war recalls the voices in Studs Terkel’s inspired Working. The Marrowbone Marble Company is a novel of stirring clarity and power.”
—Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite

 

Author M. Glenn Taylor was nominated for the

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Overview

“M. Glenn Taylor’s plain spoken eloquence on labor, race, and war recalls the voices in Studs Terkel’s inspired Working. The Marrowbone Marble Company is a novel of stirring clarity and power.”
—Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite

 

Author M. Glenn Taylor was nominated for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for his novel The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart. Taylor returns spectacularly with The Marrowbone Marble Company, a sweeping story set against the changing landscape of post-World War II America that recalls The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and the early lyrical work of Cormac McCarthy. A masterwork of Southern fiction that the National Book Award-winning author of Spartina, John Casey, calls, “a terrific rough-and-tumble novel,” The Marrowbone Marble Company is a gift from a truly exhilarating American voice.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taylor returns to the West Virginia backdrop of his NBCC-award finalist The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart with a novel that spans almost three decades in the life of an orphan. Between attending college classes and working as a factory furnace tender at Mann Glass Company, 18-year-old Loyal Ledford keeps himself busy. But when WWII begins, he dutifully enlists in the Marine Corps, abandons his girlfriend (and boss's daughter), Rachel, and heads off to war, where he quells the trauma with whiskey. Ledford's homecoming is celebrated with a marriage to Rachel, a return to school and the glass factory, and the birth of two children. The ghosts of his wartime stint plague his psyche, but after meeting his part-Indian cousins, the Bonecutter brothers, and becoming enchanted with the family land where they live, Loyal and his cousins begin a marble manufacturing company. Soon, civil rights strife rips through the region, threatening the survival of Loyal's company and the future of his family. Taylor's socially astute and fast-moving sophomore novel is earthy, authentic, and a testament to his literary talent. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
A giant of a man seeks his fortune in the hills of West Virginia. Taylor (English/Harper Coll.; The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, 2008) fluidly composes a portrait of a man whose sheer fortitude makes molehills out of mountains. The book's moral center is Loyal Ledford, a country orphan who sweats out a living tending the furnace at a factory in Huntington. On the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Ledford resigns to join the Marines and discovers the horrors of war in places like Guadalcanal. Returning home in the company of his comrade Erm Bacigalupo, Ledford marries a local girl and tries to settle down to raise his family, but the tremors of war just won't subside. It's only when Ledford meets his two hell-raising cousins that his path becomes clear. "I knowed you would come," says one of the Bonecutter brothers, acknowledging Ledford's almost mystical presence in the lives of those who gather around him. Following a vision, Ledford starts the titular marble company and by the 1960s has built a burgeoning community on Bonecutter Ridge. The communal village is built on common-sense values, providing protection for the working poor and an equal playing field for men of all colors. But rural prejudices and encroaching governmental interference soon not only threaten the safety of those under Ledford's protection but could drive its denizens into an unwelcome Diaspora. Taylor makes a few prosaic missteps-everything seems to be the color of rust-but the powerful prose outstrips its few drawbacks. It's a big, ambitious book that falls somewhere between the sweeping epics of Richard Russo and the masculine bravado of Ken Kesey's best work. A huge ensemble cast and a complex socialnarrative may put casual readers off, but the rewards for those who see this one through are satisfying indeed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061993589
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
227,428
File size:
1 MB

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