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|The Blues Is Dying in the Place It Was Born||17|
|My Heart's Content||53|
|The Octopus Alibi||59|
|I Would Like to Go Back as I Am, Now, to You as You Were, Then -||73|
|The Girl from Soldier Creek||75|
|Come Home, Come Home, It's Suppertime||95|
|Everything Must Go||115|
|Going Back to the Bridge in Berlin||131|
|Just a Little Closer to the Lord||137|
|Love Like a Bullet||145|
|The Last Days||169|
|The Fall of the Nixon Administration||187|
|A Modern Tragedy||203|
|Killing Stonewall Jackson||221|
|White Sugar and Red Clay||231|
|And When I Should Feel Something||255|
|How This Song Ends||269|
|From Tucson to Tucumcari, From Hatchabee to Tonopah||273|
|Jesus, Beans, and Butter Rum Lifesavers||295|
|The Dead Girl||321|
|The Right Kind of Person||333|
Posted October 18, 2002
A recent egregious review seems to be jealously based! Ignore it! This compilation is wonderfully worthy! P.S. The cat lived!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2002
Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at least your facts should be correct. The short story, "Left Behind", does not describe in graphic detail the killing of a cat. The reason there is no such graphic detail is because the cat wasn't killed at all. It's based upon a true story. The man used the hammer to pop off the jagged glass collar around the cat's neck which was left when the jar wedged around her head was broken off. The man developed a bond with the cat since they were both left behind by the woman who moved out on her husband and took the other cats. The story was designed to allow the reader's imagination to fill in the gaps. Your imagination filled in the gaps with gruesome graphic details that don't exist.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 25, 2002
What a dismal book, redeemed only by the reliably excellent George Singleton. Don't expect any Flannery O'Connors or Walker Percys in this anthology. Almost every Southern character in this book lives in a trailer, is a violent drunk or married to one, or kills someone. So if you think Southerners are a bunch of white trash drunken murderers, then by all means read this book. Most of the stories rely on simple shock value to get their point across. It's a easy task to shock a reader, and any writer can do this. Most offensive was "Left Behind," a 1 1/2 page story about a man whose wife leaves him, so he kills her cat. This is described quite graphically and since the story is only a handful of paragraphs, it was obviously written for the express purpose of describing this cruel and vicious act. It's pretty clear the writer got as much of a kick out of writing this as his character did from killing the poor creature. That's a sick way to get your jollies. This is not the only story to rely on shock value. Many of the stories describe murder and violence. In "Christmas 1893", a wife who suffers chronic violent abuse from her drunken husband regrets that he was killed because she'll miss that feeling between her legs. As if the fact that he has sex with her makes up for the fact that he beats her and her son. This is totally unrealistic. Even the highly esteemed Rick Bragg is full of cliches in his tiresome "The Blues Is Dying in the Place It Was Born". If there's one thing the world doesn't need, it's another endless litany of sentences that begin "The blues is...". I could go on and cite many more examples of the unimaginative writing in this book, much of it from otherwise excellent writers. I will conclude by saying that I hated this book so much I did not donate it to the thrift shop, as I usually do with unwanted books. I threw it in the garbage--a drastic step for a bibliophile.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2002
If there's no accounting for taste, then I can't imagine what sort of ledger is kept by the reviewer who deemed this lively, quixotic collection of southern writing so unredeemingly bad. What this book does so well is offer 30 or so different voices telling 30 or so different stories that could only take place in the south, and thus could only been told in the clear, strong voices of the southern writers represented in the anthology. While Singleton's story is top-notch, many of the other writers--some established, like Bragg, some making welcome debuts to my reading experience, like Jim Gilbert and William Gay--have proved that some of this nation's best writing shines from many spots below the Mason-Dixon line, sounding more than a yawp over the rooftops.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 6, 2002
i received a copy of this book for my birthday last month (i think my wife wanted it for herself - you know how that goes.) and had a chance to read some of these great new southern writers for the first time. i am not a big short story fan, but even the stories i didn't like so well were fairly good. i feel as though i have now seen a bit of the south, a place i have never visited, and i hope to see a LOT more from these authors in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2011
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