Jon Hassler was born in Minneapolis in 1933. He received degrees from St. John’s University in Minnesota, where he was an English teacher and writer-in-residence, and from the University of North Dakota. The author of many widely acclaimed novels—Staggerford, Simon’s Night, The Love Hunter, A Green Journey, Grand Opening, North of Hope, Dear James, Rookery Blues, Dean’s List, The Staggerford Flood, The Staggerford Murders, and The New Woman—Mr. Hassler passed away in March 2008.
Staggerfordby Jon Hassler
This utterly charming, deeply poignant debut remains perhaps the signature achievement of beloved novelist Jon Hassler—once hailed by The New York Times as “a writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction.”/i>/b>/b>
The classic novel of a small Minnesota town—and of one school teacher who calls it home
This utterly charming, deeply poignant debut remains perhaps the signature achievement of beloved novelist Jon Hassler—once hailed by The New York Times as “a writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction.” It’s the story of a week in the life of Miles Pruitt, a thirty-five-year-old bachelor who teaches high school English in Staggerford, Minnesota. And though it is only a week, it’s an extraordinary week, filled with the poetry of living, the sweetness of expectation, and the glory of surprise that can change a life forever.
Praise for Staggerford
“Witty, intelligent, compassionate . . . an absolutely smashing first novel.”—The Plain Dealer
“You’ll remember it for a long time.”—The Minneapolis Tribune
“One of the year’s truly freshly conceived and carried out novels, one whose not always so gentle ironies address themselves to a broader range of life than is to be found in Staggerford, Minnesota.”—The Kansas City Star
“A thoroughly convincing X-ray vision of small-town life . . . so sincere, so true, so honest with itself, and so very, very funny that a reader often has to wipe the tears out of the corners of his eyes before he can—as he must—read on.”—The Houston Post
“Very entertaining . . . [Miles is] one of the most likable protagonists of modern fiction.”—The Pittsburgh Press
“Staggerford, Minnesota, is a town out of control. It is as weird and convoluted as any lover of comic fiction could wish.”—Boston Herald American
- Random House Publishing Group
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Staggerford... a charming collection of quirky characters. Jon Hassler was one of the best...I will always count him among my favorite authors.His "slice of life" stories are consistently wonderful and delightfully offbeat.
I chose to read this book for an English group discussion. I was skeptical at the beginning because it started off so slowly, but as the characters grew and were shown further in depth it grew into an amazing story! I thought it was going to have some cheesy ending where this teacher has an inappropriate relationship with one of his students or somehow finds the woman of his dreams. But I cried for about an hour at the surprise ending given in this story! I loved it!
I am a 86 year old lady that lives in the heart of Duluth, a wonderful, beautiful city in northern Minnesota. I can tell you one thing and that is that this story made me crawl in a closet and sob for 3 nights staight. Wonderful, heart warming story of a teacher.
i had to read staggerford for my ninth grade english class and i thought that it was quite boring. i would only recommend it if you like boring novels and if you want a misconception of life in small town minnesota. there was only a couple of good parts and it has a sudden but not so suprising ending. thanks to sagmoen we had to find symbolism in the smallest and stupidest things. it is quite hard to find symbolism in the most unsymbolic things. but whatever.
I am only 13 years old, yet I know a good book when I see one, and this one is great! The story of a small Minnesota town teacher. It seems like it would be really boring, but yet it makes you keep reading. Every moment seems to be a cliff-hanger.
I read Staggerford two years ago, but it is still foremost in my thoughts as far as all time best/favorite books go. Reading Staggerford was fun! It not only contained stunning and heart melting content, but also an exceptional subtle humor that made me laugh every few pages. The things he wrote about were wonderful. Very ordinary, but very extraordinary in their content. What really got me was the way he wrote it. It just made me feel good to read it. I didn't want to sop, but I enjoyed taking my time so I could prolong the goodness. I can't wait to read more of his books. I am an avid fan. Way to go Mr. Hassler!
Slaggerford, written by Jon Hassler, was a bit of fresh air for me. A relatively inexpensive book I purchased on my Nook turned out to be worth its weight in gold. I can’t really say it was one of those books that you can’t put down and yet there was something about it that kept me coming back at every spare moment for yet another glimpse into small town life in Staggerford. Part drama, part mystery and (for me), part comedy, I somehow felt connected to each character. Miles Pruitt is a high school English teacher in a small town. Unmarried, no relationships on the horizon and living in a rented room in a little old spinster’s house (also a teacher), his life seems far from perfect but yet it is far from uncomplicated. The variety of characters living in this town was as broad as the selection of fresh vegetables at a Farmer’s market in early summer. There is a non-active school superintendent, a “bone-woman” who corrals the streets at night collecting leftover dinner bones from residents, faculty parties that go awry, students jumping out of windows and pulling knives on one another, Indian uprisings, school girl crushes on teachers and a giant. Sounds peculiar, doesn’t it? But as I read it, I kept hearing myself say that it would make a fantastic sit-com – well until the end. It felt a bit like reading a script for a Jerry Seinfeld episode. It wasn't really story about anything – and yet you find yourself enthralled in the lives of each character. So went my enthusiasm with Slaggerford. In retrospect, it tells the beautiful story of cause and effect. It translates how we have the ability to impact the lives of others through words and deeds. But for once – I’d like NOT to place emphasis on my take-aways from the story but just remember the smiles and smirks evoked from meeting the inhabitants of Staggerford. Move over Peyton Place – you may have met your match.
Builds up ro fast paced end
This was a good novel and a very enjoyable read. One of the main themes that runs through the novel is the generation gap between young and old and how to overcome it.