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Father and Son

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,609 ratings  ·  123 reviews
1997 Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Glen Davis is the bad seed. It's Sheriff Bobby Blanchard's job to track him down in what promises to be a violent, High Noon stand-off between the two men who represent what seems pure evil and its exact opposite. "One: Larry Brown is a master. Two: FATHER AND SON . . . is a stinging, tragic history of the legacy of mise ...more
ebook, 281 pages
Published September 15th 2012 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (first published 1996)
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Loved, loved, loved this...

So good on so many levels. A fine piece of Southern Gothic, indeed.

The title Father and Son(the perfect title) resonates throughout and serves the story on many levels. The language is simple and clean, even subtle and quiet, yet so many of the scenes were so well-constructed and vivid that I felt myself absorbed while reading in a way that doesn't always happen. Like many, I see the story unfolding on the big screen of my mind as I turn the pages, but unlike many stor
Diane Barnes
I am still in shock at how great this book was, and how close I came to not reading it at all. It was one of the October choices for the group "On the Southern Literary Trail". There are 2 choices each month and I like to read at least one of them to get in on the discussion. The other choice was "The Bad Seed" by William March, and since I remembered the old movie with Patty McCormack as the evil child, I put it on hold at the library. But "Father and Son"was available on the shelf so I checked ...more
Larry Bassett
Here is something by and about Larry Brown to get yourself ready to read Father and Son. Always good, I think, to know a little bit about the author. He says, “I try to start with trouble on the first page, trouble on the first page.” So, here it is. Trouble for seventeen minutes:

Now, I recommend that you read Father and Son and get to know Glen.
He didn’t feel much like spending the whole day looking for a job. It was probably going to be the same story
This was a very dark, raw and unfiltered tale. The blurb on the back cover describes this novel as a “classic story of good and evil.” No kidding! Even so, I was mesmerized – sometimes disturbed, but always compelled to finish the book.
Oh, whoops. OK. I’ve been reading this book “over a month” but really I was reading Provinces of Night five more times (not kidding) and this only took something like three days, because it was good, so good, and dark and brutal but Larry Brown kind of good. It will stick with me, I can tell from the time I’ve already spent thinking about Jewel and David and Virgil and Mary, and it didn’t do what I feared, which was make one man too good and the other too evil. No, both are drawn in shades and t ...more
The setting and characters in this story are so vividly alive in my mind as bits and pieces of reality that I can hardly separate the two. I can see real faces and real places in this novel so it is very hard for me to truly make an unbiased review of this novel . To me Larry Brown wrote Father and Son as one of his finest novels ever. It is a novel that moves from conflict to uncomfortable conflict constantly as his characters stay in motion. The whole book is like a thunder storm building up i ...more
Ruth Turner

I only discovered southern literature when I joined Goodreads and I've read some amazing books since then. When I saw all the great reviews for Father and Son I was sure this one would be added to the ever growing list. Not so.

It took me nearly half the book to get interested. The characters were flat and bland, so much so that I had trouble keeping the who's who straight.

The writing was choppy at times and rambling at others. I found myself re-reading sentences or paragraphs trying to clarify w
More "literature" than crime fiction, Larry Brown takes us on a slow train ride of life and death set in the grinding poverty, alcoholism and tragedy of rural Mississippi of 1968. Glen Davis is released from prison after serving three years for vehicular homicide and wants revenge on everyone in his life he believes wronged him. Turns out, that's a long list, staring with a bartender and his pet monkey and ending with his elderly teacher and mother of his half brother Bobby, the County Sheriff.

Apr 18, 2009 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steinbeck lovers, southern writer fans, family relationship fans.
Recommended to Michael by: Liked the reviews when published.
This story is the anthisis of "The Prodical Son." In this work it isn't the repentent son coming home to ask forgiveness but a rebellious malcontent fresh from prison after serving time for vehicular homicide.

Bobby Blanchard is the sheriff. He had put Glen Davis into jail after Glen had run over and killed a young boy. To add to the drama, Bobby is in love with Glen's girlfriend, Jewel, who is the mother of Geln's illegitimate son.

The action takes place in the few days after returning from priso
This is my first Larry Brown book; it will not be my last.

Brown's writing is phenomenal in his ability to paint characters outside of most people's experience as well as describe settings in such a way that I found it hard to comprehend--a description of the trailer "home" of a minor character is worth the reading of the book.

After reading Serena recently, I am again struck with the main character's lack of compassion, empathy in his thoughts, intentions, and indeed actions. Yet just when the
Oct 11, 2013 Mel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mel by: On the Southern Literary Trail Group Read
It is hard to describe with words the impression this story made on me. This is a very haunting dark and violent story; one that I believe will stay with me for a long time. I felt like I knew these people, and spent time with them in their hard luck little town.

I wish I would not have had to spend any time with Glen but I got to know him too.I didn't like him although there were times when I thought I could give him a chance but he just would not let me like him. He just was unable to act like
Kirk Smith
My second that I have read by Brown and I am understanding him a little better. His slow pacing sets a mood and it just can't be rushed. By the second chapter there is a bloody bar fight with a mean little yellow-fanged monkey that left me laughing and shaking my head. Lots of action and violence, I plan to vote this in the top five on a list: "Country Noir". Larry Brown is a real trickster. He creates lousy mean characters that as soon as you are ready to write them off as unredeemable killers ...more
Angela Herring
When I finished it I was shaking. This is a beautiful, horrifying story of a man just released from prison in Oxford,MS and all and everyone that waits for him at home. The characters in this book are so much more fleshed out that in Joe, the other Larry Brown book I've read, although the outlines of them seem to exist in the latter as well. These characters -- and there are a few -- are real, dynamic, interesting, scary and compassionate. Even the killer himself. Definitely read it.

Larry Brown
Quick geometry review.....three sided shape? Triangle. Four sided shape? Square. Five sided shape? Pentagon. Hanging in so far? OK, six sided shape? Hexagon. Now, for the one that applies to this book, for all the sided shape?

Well, the answer to that quiz is the descriptive shape I would use to outline this one. Not your typical love triangle book of predictable proportions, but a love heptagon (I admit, I hit up my friend Google to be sure I was correct). Did you ace the test?
I'm giving this novel 4.5 stars and rounding up to 5. It's a good read, a page-turner; shocking at points, funny at others. As a story set in small town Mississippi during the 1960s, it invites comparison with Faulkner, and has plenty of Faulkner's melodrama, but without the convoluted prose style and endless sentences. In the opening pages there are two murders and the killing and mutilation of a monkey. This is followed by scenes of heavy drinking, desultory sex, rape, street fighting, shootin ...more
The story is told in third person but with a lot of stream of consciousness thrown in, much like the last novel I'd read, American Rust by Phillipp Meyers. The problem with this technique, if it is a problem, is that it results in quite a bit of repetition from various characters' points of view which slow down the novel without necessarily advancing the plot. I have been fascinated by how these Southern writers employ Romantic elements, such as using the setting--time. landscape, and weather--t ...more
Donna Everhart
I've been on a Larry Brown kick since last October when I visited Square Books in Oxford MS and purchased LARRY BROWN, A WRITER'S LIFE. Larry Brown was born in Oxford, and his stories take place in small towns nearby, and throughout MS. After reading this biography by Jean Cash, I was so intrigued, I bought BIG BAD LOVE, FACING THE MUSIC, JOE, FAY, FATHER AND SON, BILLY RAY'S FARM, and A MIRACLE OF CATFISH. I think the only two books I don't have are DIRTY WORK and ON FIRE.

Either way, this is my
(written 6-03)

Wow. Larry Brown is a master craftsman - I like him even better in the novel form than in short stories. he gives you just the right hints, keeps you just enough in the dark to stay interested, reveals past events not through narrative but through natural speech, like it would actually happen. The southern slang dialogue is perfect. Glen's five days home after he gets out of prison are awful. He murders, rapes, gets drunk and wrecks his car, neglects his son, he's bad news. Refresh
I had high hopes for this book going into it but I rapidly found myself surrounded by one dimensional characters, no one of which I could find likeable (except possibly David). Adding to my dislike was the fact that I found the tone dull. Sometimes a simple style adds to the story, but in this case there was no character development or plot twists to be enhanced by a minimal style.[return][return]I didn't dislike the book to an extreme because there was nothing in it to make me invest enough in ...more
Chilly SavageMelon
This is the first Brown I've read, sort of Bukowski (without the sardonic humor) meets Jim Thompson in the Southlands. Nice telling on the backstory of various interweaving characters and their current motivations. Brown brings something back from the land of misery and hangovers to create a novel everyone might relate too. Authentic in the telling, grit in the details. If nothing else, and homage to what a DUI paradise the rural 70's were...
Jun 16, 2014 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Carol
Shelves: audio
I love a Southern novel and this one had all of the Southern elements. A great listen as the narrator had a true back country Mississippi red neck accent. May be too much for some listeners but as a former MS resident it wasn't too much for me. Suspense and down right unlikable characters. I remember many references to author Larry Brown from Booktopia Oxford authors and I finally read Larry Brown.
Wow, just when you thought Larry Brown could not get any more intense he surprises you once again. This is a brutal, menacing book. It unfolds as many of his books do slowly at first but building momentum till you feel like your standing on the tracks and have a ten ton freight train barreling at you. The story, as with all his books is deceptively simple. Glen, the main protagonist is released from jail and returns home to pick up his life where he left off, but time and people have moved on. T ...more
I know it's very different setting, but I heard it all the time while reading Father and Son:

I was driving up from Tampa
When the radiator burst
I was three sheets to the wind
A civilian saw me first
And then there was the cop
And then the children standing on the corner
Your love is like a cyclone in a swamp
And the weather's getting warmer

I was getting out of jail
Heading to the Greyhound
You said you'd hop on one yourself
And meet me on the way down
I was shaking way too hard to think
Dead on my feet abo
My first Larry Brown novel and, though it was overstuffed with a few too many descriptions of lighting cigarettes, puffing cigarettes, staring about with cigarettes in their hands, I still found it a novel worth reading. Not quite up there with McCarthy, William Gay or Harry Crewes, but still better than a 100 other authors being published.
This book grabbed me from page one and didn't let up til the very end. And who could have predicted that ending?!? This is my first Larry Brown novel but certainly NOT my last. I'm wiating on "Fay" right now. Phenomenal author! Superlative writing!
Larry Brown you did it again. What a book....what a book.
Lily Java
I found this book simultaneously so well written AND so darn frustrating. Where to begin? At the end of course. I've never read anything by Larry Brown so this could be his pattern but the last 20% of this book drove me bonkers. There's nothing wrong with a slow build to an intense climax. In fact I don't even mind being a little impatient about that because at least that means I'm feeling something and not yawning. However to take a main character through many, many paragraphs where he's essent ...more
Jul 12, 2015 Tuxlie marked it as to-read
Father and Son tells the story of five days following Glen Davis’s return to the small Mississippi town where he grew up. Five days. In this daring psychological thriller, these are five days you’ll never forget.Convicted and sentenced on a vehicular homicide charge, Glen is the bad seed--the haunted, angry, drunken, and dangerous son of Virgil and Emma Davis. Bobby Blanchard is the sheriff, as different from Glen as can be imagined, but in love with the same woman--the mother of Glen’s illegiti ...more
Father and Son was my first Larry Brown book, and although I did like it, I don't consider it to be the classic novel that many others do.

The book reads incredibly quickly, and I'll admit that it's incredibly easy to get wrapped up in the story. I finished the book in under a week, which is faster than I read most 350 page novels. The characters are all well-defined, and it doesn't take long to keep track of who is who and to be able to imagine them all as real people.

That being said, I found t
Mar 20, 2015 Doug rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who appreciates a good read
To qoute David Allan Coe, "...I told him it was not the perfect country and western song because he hadn't said anything at all about Mama. Or trains. Or trucks. Or prison. Or getting drunk."

Well, I contend that Larry Brown has written the perfect Southern novel. This book had drinking, fighting, cussing, and single-wide trailers. It had church, family, and community. In other words it had both the bad and the good of growing up in the rural South. It even had a monkey for goodness sake! I was b
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On the Southern L...: Initial Impressions, No Spoilers 28 48 Oct 28, 2013 11:30AM  
The Bookhouse Boys: Father and Son Discussion Thread 33 16 Mar 03, 2012 11:42PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Larry Brown was an American writer who was born and lived in Oxford, Mississippi. Brown wrote fiction and nonfiction. He graduated from high school in Oxford but did not go to college. Many years later, he took a creative writing class from the Mississippi novelist Ellen Dou
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