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Noon Wine

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  88 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Audio Cassette
Published January 1st 1985 by Caedmon
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Oct 13, 2011 Bobbi rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really liked Porter's writing style, but I honestly couldn't grasp the point of this short story. A farm family in Texas hires a drifter from North Dakota, Mr. Helton, a silent man, but one who does his work well. He's with them for 9 years and becomes a part, silent part, of the family. Out of nowhere comes another man from North Dakota looking for Mr. Helton claiming that he had killed his brother and been in and out of the "looney bin" after that. The last few pages relate the violence tha ...more
Edward Cheer
Sep 17, 2015 Edward Cheer rated it really liked it
Probably of all the books and plays that take me around an hour (give or take), I'd have to say that "Noon Wine" did the best with it. I know I complained in my review of "Trifles" of it's brief storytelling, but that's because it did little with it. It felt like a scene, not like a whole one-act play. I like short stories (The video game "Portal" comes to mind as I mention this) that take their time and still manage to tell an effective story, while also being very brief. Now that I've padded t ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Jean rated it liked it
This short novel by Katherine Anne Porter (1937)is included in a collection of her stories (1965.)In the preface she abhors the designations 'novella'and 'novelette," so I'll stick with 'short novel' out of respect.

Her genius in this story is creating characters--from the bizarre villain to the strange hired man who owns a collection of harmonicas but only plays one tune, a song about wine at noon. The story takes place on a Texas dairy farm, 1896-1905, owned by the Thompson family, people tryin
Jan 18, 2010 unnarrator rated it liked it
God, I read the weirdest shit when I'm sick and can't get to the library. The Brujo's mouldering relics from 23+ years of teaching high school English include, bizarrely, this. It's like watery Harper Lee, with some gapeworthy moments.
Thom Dunn
Aug 03, 2011 Thom Dunn marked it as to-read
A 50-page short novel included in Seven Contemporary Short Novels (Charles Clerq and Louis Leiter, eds, 1969) along with an essay on it by Louis Leiter.
Sep 13, 2012 Jac rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
she signed a book of mine and now it is lost. this story haunts me.
Vanessa Braganza
Oct 18, 2014 Vanessa Braganza rated it really liked it
Sight and gaze plays an interesting role in this novella...
Feb 28, 2015 Quirkyreader rated it it was amazing
A haunting story that sticks with you.
Matthew Berkshire
Sep 30, 2011 Matthew Berkshire rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it
A pleasant surprise. What starts out as a folksy, slice of life story about a scrabbling Texas farm family and the mysterious hired hand who turns their fortunes around, suddenly turns dark and becomes a poignant portrait of a man's guilt. Very well done. I will certainly be seeking out more of Porter's work.

(Incidentally, despite this book appearing in a collection called Six Great Modern Short Novels, it's really not a novel or even a novella. At around 20,000 words, it technically qualifies a
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Katherine Anne Porter was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist. She is known for her penetrating insight; her works deal with dark themes such as betrayal, death and the origin of human evil.
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“The boys ate warily, trying not to be seen or heard, the cornbread sticking, the buttermilk gurgling, as it went down their gullets.” 2 likes
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