Town Smokes contains nine stories set in rural West Virginia. The stories are masculine in tone, story, and character. Benedict’s world is a regional one, but the stories are universal.
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Town Smokes

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Town Smokes contains nine stories set in rural West Virginia. The stories are masculine in tone, story, and character. Benedict’s world is a regional one, but the stories are universal.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
An often heart-stopping literary performance.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In these nine stories, Benedict evokes the world of hard-bitten Southern men who live in shabby weatherbeaten houses or rickety trailers, who work in tire factories or slaughterhouses, who are slow to speak but quick to explode in anger, and whose women are tangential figures. Benedict deftly delineates his characters and has a good ear for the cadence of Southern speech. But the stories, although powerful, are too grim to be read in one sitting. Most include gory if not violent events: the shooting and flaying of a snake in ``The Sutton Pie Safe''; the killing of a hog in ``Booze'';a barroom fight in ``Hackberry''; and various episodes of stabbing, shooting and dogfighting in ``Pit.'' The title story is as bleak as the others: a mountain teenager is robbed of some of his dead father's possessions at gunpoint as he walks to town to buy cigarettes. At 22, the author is a talent to watch, but one hopes that he injects a note of lightness into future stories. (May)
Library Journal
What Beattie did for urbanites, Cheever and Updike for suburbanites, a younger generationOmstead, Abbott, Cullen, and now Benedictis doing for the rural population. Only 22 and recipient of the 1986 Nelson Algren Award, Benedict has published stories in the Chicago Tribune and Ontario Review. His world is regional, tough, raw, male; these nine stories deal with the mountainmen, sheepfarmers, and hograisers of rural West Virginia. ``Booze'' describes the rampages of a white rogue boar. When the narrator and his friend Ken catch sight of him while digging post holes, they go after him, their only weapon a brush hook used to clear scrub. With echoes of Ahab and the white whale reverberating, Ken kills the beast, but not before he has broken Ken's leg. In this and other stories, Benedict's talent is certainly equal to his vision and his insight.Marcia Tager, Tenafly, N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938103148
  • Publisher: Dzanc Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 137
  • Sales rank: 1,159,572
  • File size: 154 KB

Meet the Author

Pinckney Benedict has published three collections of short fiction, Town Smokes, The Wrecking Yard, and Miracle Boy; and a novel, Dogs of God. His stories have appeared in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, StoryQuarterly, Ontario Review, the O. Henry Award Stories (twice), the Pushcart Prize series (three times, most recently in the 2008 volume), the New Stories from the South series, and The Oxford Book of American Short Stories. He is the recipient, among other prizes, of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Literary Fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, a Fiction Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council, a Michener Fellowship from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and Britain’s Steinbeck Award. 
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Table of Contents

The Sutton Pie Safe 1
Booze 13
All the Dead 33
Hackberry 50
Dog 81
Pit 104
Fat Tuesday 119
Water Witch 131
Town Smokes 149
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2001

    Violent And Elegantly put prose.

    'Town Smokes' made Me very happy to discover a writer that i had never heard of -- but one who is really good. Pinckney Benedict has some story telling abilites for Sure. The story 'Booze' is one of my favorite short stories... I am from West Virginia... Where the book is set and i have seen things just like This.. these are stories that DESERVE to Be told.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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