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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Down-and-out Atlanta writer Charlie Sherman has no idea what madness awaits him when a mysterious stranger convinces him to finish a dead man's book about a horrific crime that's gone unpunished for decades. What Charlie inherits is an unwieldy manuscript about the mob-driven expulsion of more than 1,000 blacks from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. During the course of his...more
Paperback, 462 pages
Published May 14th 2012 by Thornbriar Press (first published February 5th 2012)
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Jul 30, 2012 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: pretty much anybody
Recommended to Katy by: Jonathan Grant
Book Info: Genre: Literary Fiction Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this novel from the author through the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review. I later received an offer for it through NetGalley, which I accepted.

Synopsis: Down-and-out Atlanta writer Charlie Sherman has no idea what madness awaits him when a mysterious stranger convinces him to finish a dead man's book about a horrific crime that's gone unpunished for decades. Wha...more
G.d. Brennan
Imagine Neil Gaiman and Flannery O'Connor collaborating on a story about the legacy of a true-life ethnic cleansing in rural Georgia. Better yet, imagine that story being told by someone with both of those authors' greatest skills--Gaiman's deft and believable blending of the supernatural and the realistic, O'Connor's sharp eye for the South's gritty underbelly--and a wicked sense of humor that easily surpasses either of those authors. Imagine that, and you'll have a chance of picturing "Bramble...more
Charlie a stay home Dad and ‘wanna’ be writer finds himself out on his ear after his wife discovers pornographic images on his computer. Wandering around with nowhere to go and feeling depressed Charlie finds himself on a bridge contemplating suicide. In an ‘It’s a Wonderful life’ moment a disturbance saves him from himself, when he goes to investigate he finds a person engulfed in flames. The burning man turns out to be ‘Trouble’ a strange character who says he is ‘here to help’. Trouble introd...more
Jonathan Grant's Brambleman grabbed my attention before I opened the book. I live in Atlanta, so when I discovered that the novel included some not-so-pretty history of Forsyth County, I knew I had to read it. Brambleman took me on a journey that surprised me. Maybe a better description would be a roller coaster adventure – just when I thought the ride was calming down, it would start taking another loop-de-loop.

Charlie Sherman, a struggling writer and stay-at-home dad, gets kicked out of his h...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
This author really puts his main character through a lot in this story. Those are really the best type fo reads, you really don't know how they are going to make it out ok.
Charlie is down on his luck being called a failure in life by his wife and kicked out of the house. A man by the name of Trouble-literally, offers him a deal that sounds too good to be true, finish a book that was left unfinished by a professor.
As Charlie delves deeper into the events that occurred in the book, he focuses on...more
Marcy Theobald
I REALLY enjoyed this book. Very much a page-turner. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter, and the next, and the next...

Jonathan Grant’s Brambleman is historical fiction, taking place in Forsyth County in my backyard of Cumming, GA. It was interesting, to say the least, learning about what's happened here in the county I've lived in for almost 15 years. More accurately, I was appalled to learn that Oprah's visit here in the late 80's was the tip of Forsyth's history-making iceberg. Lynching...more
Melinda Le Baron
Brambleman is a book with a lot of imagination, a lot of history and a lot of thought put into it. The author has previously written factual historic texts regarding racism in the South, This is version of prose, a poor beleaguered white newspaper editor and writer, who marries into the absolute wrong family, and the events that transpire because of it. They live in the Atlanta George of today, but to God, time doesn't matter at all. Read more and find out what I mean.

PLOT: It is now present day...more
Charlie Sherman is having a spectacularly bad day. His wife has found an incriminating picture on his computer (put there for research purposes, of course), accused him of threatening her with a sledgehammer (circumstantial, of course--he brought a weapon to defeat the would-be attacker who made his wife scream in such a fashion after finding aforementioned picture), and with the aid of the police, summarily evicted him from his home. So, on the night after Christmas, he finds himself homeless,...more
Elizabeth A.
“I’m not from around here, and I’ve been places you’ll never want to go. Unless you’re even stupider than you look.” - Trouble

Charlie Sherman’s been accused of worse things than being stupid. His wife, in fact, kicked him out of the house for being a failure as both a writer and father, though that porn he inadvertently set as the desktop on his computer certainly didn’t help matters.

While at a diner trying to figure out exactly what his next step is Charlie meets a mysterious stranger known onl...more
Maria Miaoulis
The story is powerful and gripping, and even more so when the reader learns it was inspired by real-life events. Grant deserves much credit for bringing the past to life without regurgitating facts and boring the audience in the process. Although a bit lengthy, he keeps the suspense building throughout the entire book. There’s no way to guess how it will end since you never know what each turn of the page will bring. The main character’s plight is just a never-ending series of misfortunate event...more
Another excellent story by Mr. Grant. It took me a while to get through it but it was worth it.

The cast of characters were vast. It was two books in one, which is what it is. By the time Charlie starts the second book, you almost forget there was a first. But it all worked itself out in the end, good or bad, for some.

I know this is probably a bad review but this book was an excellent read. I might have finished it sooner if I had an actual eReader instead of my phone lol.
Fantastic story that will keep you turning pages all day and make you forget about the time passing in front of you. Cant wait to see a film adaptation of this work, since it will make a good and intriguing film. This is a must read.
Excellent but long read about a many who makes a pact with an avenging angel. It was very well written and interesting regarding some history of the Civil Rights movement.
Mar 24, 2014 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of Flannery O'Connor, of historical fiction and of southern novels
Recommended to Sara by: @Brambleman (the author) via twitter
I just finished this long book and can say I wish it wasn't over. Jonathan Grant has done an excellent job of creating a historical fiction piece that is more fiction than historical (recounts actual disgusting practices of whites in Forsyth County, GA) while developing wonderfully flawed characters that I actually cared about. Could it have been cut down? Sure, but it would've suffered somewhere. There are definite spiritual themes but they are interwoven in the story and thankfully not preach-...more
Amazing!! Not what I was expecting but a happy surprise!!
Kathy Bochonko
This book centers around the racial history of Forsyth County GA, where I have lived for 10 years. A friend recommended it so I bought it mainly due to the historical aspect of the book. Honestly I had no idea the main plot line. It was very interesting to read about some of the horrific things that happened here in the early 1900's but none of that was surprising. What was surprising, however, was the strange storyline that actually really sucks you in. I like it when I am consistently wrong ab...more

Read my full review @

Although, I generally liked this storyline...really liked this storyline, I found that the book was too long. Now, not that I don't regularly read 500+ page books, but normally the story flows. I found that parts of this book was almost written as "fluff" to expand the book and didn't bring any meaning to the storyline.

This book deals with some pretty horrific events frequently in a graphic manner. But...more
Bill Thibadeau
Katy and Elizabeth White have written fantastic synopses of this book on so I fortunately do not need to compete with them (phew).

This book does indeed tackle a difficult historical event of the early 20th century - rampant treatment by whites of blacks as sub-human. The author does an excellent job of bringing people of different backgrounds into a well crafted novel.

Even though the book is long, it is not difficult to stay engrossed. The story, while difficult at times due to sub...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jonathan Grant takes the reader on quite a trip with the protagonist, Charlie Sherman. Having moved to Forsyth County about three years ago, I found the history of the area to be quite interesting. I previously lived in the Western U.S. I had heard of lynchings before, but there it was for cattle rustling and such, not to persecute the African Americans and rob them of their land. I liked his terminology for the "bad guys" as being "varmits". That's what we called...more
A Wonderful Feel Good Story About Justice That Came After More Than Seventy Years! Charlie Sherman, A Struggling Wanabee Author Was Thrown Into A Seventy Year Old Murder And The Theft Of Several Black Owned Farms Conducted By Racist Men That Were Jealous Of The Farmers In Forsyth County, An All White County As Every Black Man Was Hung Or Beaten And Run Out Of Town. Charlie Was Supernaturally Chosen To Edit A Book More Than Twenty Years After The Author Died. The Tome Wasn't Very Organized And Ma...more
Got this book from LTMG and found it to be one of the better gets from this group. I enjoyed the historical fiction aspect of it and the delayed determination of the main character to complete his task despite mounting odds against.
I was born in the early 60's and though I wasn't completely aware of it then, I am still stunned thinking back on the amount of discrimination still going on then. I was unaware of the historical happenings that are at the center of this novel but was moved by them.
I received this novel from NetGalley.

this novel was hard to get into and incredibly long and detailed. It took a very long time to develop into the great novel it is and that caused it to drag on painfully.

The characters are all self centred and crude, the children being the only ones who are likeable and easy to relate to, especially Romy.

this is a great novel, once you get past the halfway mark. it is clever and evokes questions and shock from the reader. it is alarming how black people were...more
This book was written by a neighbor of mine, and takes place in Atlanta so many of the venues and even characters were familiar. There is a really good story buried somewhere in this book. It could have been about half the length it was. There were so many sub plots going on, an avenging angel, a prostitute, Russian mafia? Really? The history of Forsyth County is tragic and compelling and needs to be told. Unfortunately this was not the book to do it.
I picked up this book because it was about Forsyth County in the early 1900's thru the 1990's. Having moved here from NY, it looked like a good historical fiction read. While it did have a ton of facts regarding the county, there were many (almost too many) other things going on - relationships, supernatural entities, etc. Overall, the story kept me interested enough to at least skim and get it done.
This book was wordy and frankly not my cup of team A tale of black vrs white
Sue Kelso
What an extremely bizarre but good book. Lots of woo woo...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Jessica marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2014
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Addicted to Book ...: Brambleman by Jonathan Grant 1 3 Nov 22, 2012 05:23PM  
Brambleman author Jonathan Grant is an award-winning writer and editor (The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia).

His firstnovel, Chain Gang Elementary (Thornbriar Press), tells the tragicomic story of a war between a reform-minded PTA president and an authoritarian principal. A Thousand Miles to Freedom, his screenplay based on the real-life adventures of escaped slaves Willia...more
More about Jonathan Grant...
Chain Gang Elementary The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia

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