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Fancy Strut

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  309 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Speed, Alabama, is frantically preparing for the event of a lifetime: Sesquicentennial Week. And all her proud citizens are kicking up their heels in a lively, pompous fancy strut....
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 29th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1973)
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Rebecca Brothers
I've been lucky enough to see Lee a few times. She never fails to have a grin, a mischievous grin, plastered on her face, like she's laughing at you and with you all at once. And I see why in this book. Fancy Strut is a TRIP. Smith takes us inside the world of Speed, Alabama to see how they will celebrate their Sesquicentennial Week (that's 150 years young, for those of you not up on your Latin roots). This is sometimes in the 1960's, and the Ladies-who-Lunch crowd figures prominently in this ta ...more
Lee Smith is really the perfect author to read after a semester of grading is over with, and summer is just beginning. This novel did not disappoint, but it also did not stand out as her best work.

Packed with Smith's familiar cast of characters -- quirky and semi-crazy small towners -- this story is just delightful. Using a rotating omniscient point of view, Smith expertly weaves in and out of different characters' perspectives.

I'm intrigued by the way she is able to switch from one character's
As a majorette, the title of this book caught my eye, and I laughed when majorettes are actually in the book as well!

* * * * * *

May 18th - I finished the book last night - I will tell you that it was difficult to get through. The book had a ton of potential as a fascinating small town of characters, but it fell flat. Not to mention that the majorettes were displayed in a very unfavorable light! ha! Some of the story lines interested me, but most didn't, and I was expecting this outrageous clim
I usually love Lee Smith's books...this was a quirky story about odd folks. It was first published in 1973...not her best!
Very different from Lee Smith's other works. This novel follows a cast of characters in a small Alabama town through their preparations for a Sesquicentennial celebration in the early 60's. The novel appears at first to be a feel good look at the town's nostalgic present, but it turns quickly into a A.M. Holmes style novel where everything is falling apart with dark overtones. I liked the characters in this novel a lot, but you have to get all the way through this book to really "get it."
So far, I am enjoying this much more than Lee Smith's Last Girls. This is a good portrayal of a Southern town, including some of the smugness and racism to be found in such places as Speed, Alabama, the setting.

This still gets a 3 after finishing it. Lee's characters are just not fully realized and seem like stock characters rather than real people.
Great start but in the end only satisfactory. This time the author herds a small Southern town full of disparate characters through a sesquicentennial celebration. Even the cover picture is a miss, as a Fancy Strut is certainly not a youngish girl in a flowery dress reaching for the sky in a summery field.

I adored On Agate Hill, the first novel I read by her, so quickly bought this one & read it but was sorely disappointed. Nothing wrong with it, but neither clever nor exciting.

I would not recommend Fancy Strut at all.

I also bought one called something about Linen -- I've got high hopes for that one.
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Oct 10, 2008 Stephy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: some of my women friends.
Shelves: fiction
This is actually a very finny book. I like the story line so far, and look forward to the rest of the story. Some of the characters are really humorous, in a twisted way.
May 01, 2009 Marti added it
Unfortunately Idid not put any sort of comment in my journal when I read this book almost 5 years ago. Lee Smith is an author I have read before or since.
Very funny, and an interesting contrast to Lee Smith's more recent works, like On Agate Hill.
Renee CK
I am still processing this one. There is so much going on, just the kind of stuff I love.
Mixed up tale of a town's celebration. Too many characters.
This book got really boring really fast. Did not finish.
This didn't come close to Lee Smith's other books.
May 01, 2009 Tommyb added it
Shelves: 12-11-2007, 22-32
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Growing up in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia, nine-year-old Lee Smith was already writing--and selling, for a nickel apiece--stories about her neighbors in the coal boomtown of Grundy and the nearby isolated "hollers." Since 1968, she has published eleven novels, as well as three collections of short stories, and has received many writing awards.

The sense of place infusing her
More about Lee Smith...
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