The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart: A Novel

The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart: A Novel

by Glenn Taylor
3.8 19


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Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Skully_1970 More than 1 year ago
I would have never picked up this book on my own. A friend of mine from Huntington, W.V. gave me as a gift.... and I'm so glad he did. This is a well written novel about an unlikely character that will quickly become someone you want to get to know much better. The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart is Americana, the story of a West Virginia who is or should be folklore. His life story is filled with turmoil, adventure, love and follows the rich history of turn of the century West Virginia. The line between this book being fictional and an actual biography of a real mans life is blurry. If you like a little historical fiction, a great story then you will enjoy this book.
tpucin More than 1 year ago
Trenchmouth Taggert is a quick read. Unfortunately, that is primarily due to a lack of depth for characters and plot elements. There was a potential for this book to be far more interesting by giving more dimension to a few more characters and providing more context to some of the historical elements. I like the book ok, but it left me wanting more
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great read! The characters were well developed and definitely colorful. A well done combination of history and earthy, realistic action that holds the readers interest. Hope he has another book in the works! Buy it, you'll truly enjoy this wild moutain man character.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I checked out The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart based on a review in the Chicago Tribune (the author is a Chicago-based English prof) and I couldn't have been more pleased. This is a great read in every regard--punchy story, quirky characters, a nice mix of fact and fiction weaving through American history. I highly recommend it!
Batnipplesbad More than 1 year ago
Trenchmouth Taggart will pull you in as well as any 'great' book. The style and character descriptions draw you into a world that is vivid and colorful. The author puts together brilliant ideas about a young boy, growing up in a dirty world....

But then it kind of falls apart from there. Told in three books, Trenchmouth goes from Brilliance in Book 1, to Kind of Interesting in Book 2, to absolute Bore in Book 3.

Worth reading? YES. Memorable? Kind of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it, incredible story.
LOBOPA More than 1 year ago
This is a folk tale from the West Virginia Appalachian Mountains. TrenchMouth is the Paul Bunyan of the rural poverty stricken West Virginia. Snake worship, running illegal whiskey, and the social ills of this area are what makes TrenchMouth so notable. The social problems of this area would be good points for a heated book discussion. But, if you are squemish about snakes, this is not the book to read!
baldknobroyalty More than 1 year ago
This fictional story had a feeling of realism. The coal wars were a dangerous time in West Virginia and Kentucky. The description of the times and how people lived them was very accurate. Readers of Appalachian stories will truly enjoy this book. I would definitely read other books by this author.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
He is probably the oldest person in Appalachia rumored to be born back in 03 that is 1903; in the West Virginia section of the mountain range he is considered older than dirt. Over a century ago, his thirst for life and his moniker of Trenchmouth Taggart came from the same harrowing incident. His not so sane mom tossed him into an icy river. Taggart survived but suffered a nasty infection in his mouth. On his 108th birthday, he had his lips sewn tight with fishing line wire except for a straw opening for coffee, tea and moonshine, as his latest means of survival; this time from an outside reporter. He learned to survive and to insure he depended on only himself thanks mostly to his grit and that strong Mountain Widow Dorsett who saved his life after his mom tossed him to his watery grave; as she taught him to rely on himself. Although now a senior's senior citizen, he still gets aroused in fights against those blowing off mountain tops, but Taggart has gone aground ever since he set up target practice as a union sniper targeting the coal mining firms; suits and scabs were his favorites. He surfaces when he needs liquor or music. Although he cannot speak, he tells THE BALLAD OF TRENCHMOUTH TAGGART to a Time reporter. This is a fascinating ballad that provides the audience a deep look into West Virginia's Appalachia across the twentieth century where poverty has always led to the loss of childhood innocence at an extremely young age. Trenchmouth is an interesting character with his tale enhanced by those in his lives starting briefly with his fire and brimstone mom drowning him; to the Widow teaching him to be independent and strong; to the union leaders hiring him to shoot the enemy, etc. Fans will enjoy his life on the outside as his recreation is moonshine and music. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CDO More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I immediatly brought it home and read it. It started great and just went... well, nowhere and everywhere. I thought that the author could have expanded more on the characaters and maybe that would help the plot. I doubt i really read anymore books by this author....
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
This novel is the tale of a West Virginian named Trenchmouth Taggert. He was born in 1903 to a rambling musician of a father and a religiously Schizophrenic mother who tried to baptize him, when he was all of two months old, in a frozen, coal-sludge choked creek and this baptism caused a mouth infection that lead to his name. But a name is too simple a thing to describe anyone, especially this memorable character. Through this tale, this man meets, among others: Hank Williams, Sr., Chuck Berry and John F. Kennedy. He makes a living by being a: Pentecostal snake-handler, woman ¿pleaser,¿ Coal Strike sniper, Hermit, Woodsman, professional musician, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and a vigilante but those things are not his life.
Had Forest Gump been reared by Will Rogers, he may have resembled Trenchmouth Taggert. The wisdom that originates from seeing what is real, not necessarily what is being witnessed, the courage to act upon what is before him and the moral integrity to ¿do the right thing¿ is the best description this Student can offer of this fresh, shocking, engaging character. The story his life tells is one of a proud People who have been orphaned by their country and must therefore depend upon themselves. They are connected to the land in ways only those who realize the depth of that dependence can understand. Those who act to ruin the land, abuse its people or make demands to which they have no right, must prepare to meet Trenchmouth Taggert. His life spans 108 years and ends as it was lived, at a place and occasion of his choosing. Trenchmouth does not die, he chooses to ¿travel on.¿
The author, M. Glenn Taylor, proves himself to be a worthy recipient of his mountain tale-telling heritage. He ¿knows¿ the history of West Virginia as it is his own history, as is true for Trenchmouth. Mr. Taylor speaks of good people in a bad situation, evil people using others to further their own egos, the reality that such people can be one in the same and justice is not only blind but often fickle. It is just as true that no one gets to dictate how others choose to live their lives. They can only affect the external environment of life - not what matters.
This novel is peopled with unforgettable characters, and characters that are ethereal (they exist, have influence but are not clearly defined). This is a tale worth hearing. Like many Mountain folk, Trenchmouth lives a life unconnected from other people, yet people feel deeply connected to him. He moves down the path he has chosen, the reader connects with each stage of this trek while Trenchmouth merely passes through. He cares, but remains detached from those around him. He does so as if his life depended upon it.
This story is a description of modern life. There is disappointment, hardships and greed at every turn, it seems. One only wishes for a place of retreat, where one can find rest and not ¿have to live life looking over their shoulders, sniffing the air like dogs.¿ The success this book will have, and it will be successful, will be due to good writing and the connection the readers have with Trenchmouth. A connection forged in the age of a crashing stock market, useless wars and a Government that seems to have forgotten its people. In this work, Trenchmouth is known by many names, one that would be most fitting is ¿Everyman (or woman).¿ As he seems to speak our language.
JDM More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that I had a lot of fun reading this. I did not grow up in the mountains, but it felt like I was reading about stories I heard from relatives in the South.

Trenchmouth is a great character. I think I will find myself thinking about him from time to time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You will find it hard to put this lively tale of this West Virginia outlaw/hero(?). I was mesmerized by the adventures this boy-to-man-to-elder character experienced. Take time to experience a real element through this fictional story of West Virginia instead of what is stereo-typically thought of its people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Taylor's writing style of short, clipped sentences add even more punch to the main character of Trenchmouth - who is a whirlwind of a character to be sure. This book is great on a number of levels and was a thrill ride from start to finish. The BOTT is a vivid story about a man from a section of the country that often falls prey to parody and misunderstanding. Taylor succeeds in not only dispelling many of these myths, but to weave a riveting story of a renaissance-mountain man on the run. Please do yourself a favor and buy this book.