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Trouble in July

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Through the summer twilight in Depression-era South, word begins to circulate of a black man accosting a white woman. In no time the awful forces of public opinion and political expediency goad the separate fears and frustrations of a small southern community into the single-mindedness of a mob.

Erskine Caldwell shows the lynching of Sonny Clark through many eyes. However,

Paperback, 128 pages
Published 1949 by Signet (first published 1940)
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Jun 07, 2016 ELIZABETH-ANNE rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
One of my favorite Caldwell books, not because it is a 'nice ' story, it is anything but, but it is realistic, as history has proven of the lives poor black folks down South endured since forever.

It is about a lynching and I will say no more so as not to spoil it for anybody who wishes to read it. I love most of his books, and all the ones that deal with the South, along with Place called Estherville and this one is incredibly moving. I highly recommend this book. A+++++++
Aug 13, 2016 Lara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern
Good lord, this was dark. Imagine To Kill a Mockingbird without Atticus Finch--in fact, without a single character with a lick of moral conscience--and you have Trouble in July. It's a sadly, disturbingly accurate look at racial politics in the South. It was published in 1940, but the attitudes in this novel have not changed too much in the past 76 years. I'm from South Carolina, and I was disturbed by how realistic the scenario in this book felt. This was an excellent read and one that deserves ...more
May 18, 2012 Stevefk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the other Erskine Caldwell books that i've read, this is an extremely disquieting tale of racism and evil mixed with a quirky off-the-cuff sense of humor. The first time i read Caldwell (Tobacco Road) i was surprised by how funny he could be with such ugly topic matter. Sure, rural southern culture has a reputation for fostering ignorance and stupidity, but could it really reach a level of inhumanity this low? Of course, Trouble in July was written in the 40's, and that was obviously a much ...more
Mike Robbins
Nov 28, 2014 Mike Robbins rated it it was amazing
This is a fine book - one of those that I read many years ago but that has stayed with me. It's good to see that it's back in print; also that it's now available in e-book form.

The subject matter of Trouble in July - a lynching - means it's not always an easy read, but it is so well put together, and so atmospheric, that you are drawn into the narrative from the beginning. The humid air of a southern summer seems to seep right off the pages.

A key to this book - and one of the other reviewers to
Mark Saha
Nov 09, 2015 Mark Saha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel of the economics and sociology of racism ...

What fascinates is that whether or not young black Sonny raped a white girl is irrelevant.

Frustrated poor-whites want a pretext to kill something. Wealthy land owners know if Sonny is lynched it will start a wave of such hysteria and blacks will flee the county, leaving them without pickers when the cotton matures in August (hence the title).

The Sheriff, who lives rent free above the jail house with his wife, and doesn't want to lose his job
Jan 26, 2014 Paolo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siamo nell'epoca della Depressione, e la questione razziale nel Deep South Statunitense non è ancora risolta. Un'America abbrutita dalla povertà e dall'ignoranza che, a seguito di un presunto stupro di un ragazzino di colore nei confronti di una ragazza bianca, scaglia la propria rabbia, indipendentemente da ogni criterio di accertamento della colpa, sul più debole, sul popolo nero, fino ad allora tollerato solo perché indispensabile al lavoro più duro.

Rischierebbe di essere la solita vecchia st
Henry Chavez
I really enjoyed this story. As always, the author creates interesting characters and clever dialogue that not only develops the atmosphere, but also gives one a sense of the characters themselves. I don't pay much mind to opinions of political ilk regarding the story. The story is a drama and oft times drama is ugly. If you enjoy Americana, this book is for you. Cheers!
Aug 19, 2016 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, like "A Place Called Estherville," deals with the racism and violence in the South during the Depression. It is very different from "Tobacco Road" and "God's Little Acre" as there is very little humor--that is unless you consider the antics of a county sheriff trying to hide out so he won't be called upon to stop some good ole boys having a bit of fun and thus alienate some voters come the next election.

Yes. That's right. That "bit of fun" is a lynching. This book is not just unsettling,
Carrie-Anne O'Driscoll
Trouble in July has a "Too Kill A Mockingbird" vibe at first. A black man is accused of raping a white woman. However, there is no Atticus Finch to save the day. In fact, the end is more true to life.
Mar 08, 2014 Cyndy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story - strange politics in a small county seat in the rural south. The ending was expected, but there were surprising aspects. I would recommend it if you enjoyed God's Little Acre.
Con l’uscita di Fermento di luglio si conclude la ripubblicazione del Ciclo del Sud di Erskine Caldwell, iniziato con La via del tabacco e Piccolo campo.

Estate, Georgia, estremo Sud degli Stati Uniti. Tra i campi di cotone oppressi dall’afa, l’iroso abbaiare dei cani, i cespugli gialli di polvere ai bordi delle strade, si svolge una drammatica caccia all’uomo. Katy Barlow, bianca, accusa ingiustamente Sonny Clark, nero, di stupro. Da una parte il negro braccato, con gli occhi sbarrati dal terror
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Jun 17, 2014 La Stamberga dei Lettori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: patrizia
In un’afosa notte di luglio, lo sceriffo di Andrewjones (Georgia) viene bruscamente svegliato dai suoi vice; per Jeff McCurtain, lo sceriffo, è l’inizio di una tormentata vicenda in cui la sorte di Sonny Clark, ingiustamente accusato di aver stuprato una ragazza bianca, è uno dei fattori meno rilevanti. Ci sono le elezioni e Jeff è consapevole della difficoltà di ottenere i voti necessari alla sua rielezione; d’altro canto non vuole tornare, dopo molti anni, a lavorare la terra. Il suo unico int ...more
David Ward
Trouble in July by Erskine Caldwell (New American Library 1940) (Fiction). This short volume is the story of a lynching in rural Georgia in the 1930's when a black man was wrongly accused of the rape of the fifteen-year-old daughter of a white sharecropper. It is close to racial pornography; it must have been incendiary when published. My rating: 7/10, finished 7/11/16.
Leggere ha dei punti in comune con l'amore. Ed una delle prime regole - se non la prima - di una relazione amorosa è non pensare agli ex. Se ciò capita, è evidente che qualcosa non va. È lo stesso che mi è accaduto leggendo "Fermento di luglio": leggevo Caldwell, ma pensavo a Steinbeck. Perché una storia così cruda, così vibrante, così attuale, merita qualcuno dalle capacità espressive molto superiori a quelle di Caldwell. Qualcuno che non descriva pedissequamente gli stati d'animo dei personagg ...more
Mar 10, 2009 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Extremely depressing account of a lynching of a black sharecropper accused of raping a white woman. It all takes place over the course of one day, showing how everyone contributes to the lynching. It was well written, just very frustrating to read. So although I think it's a good book, I just can't say I "liked" it, or that I recommend it.
Mar 06, 2016 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a refreshing change from some of his previous books that only seemed about incest and perversion.
Anna Davoli
Jun 09, 2008 Anna Davoli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting; I liked the way to describe the atmosphere...
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La Stamberga dei ...: Fermento di luglio di Erskine Caldwell 1 3 Jun 20, 2014 01:24PM  
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Erskine Preston Caldwell was an American author. His writings about poverty, racism and social problems in his native South won him critical acclaim, but they also made him controversial among fellow Southerners of the time who felt he was holding the region up to ridicule.
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