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The View from Pompey's Head

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Sweet, sleepy—beautiful—old Pompey’s Head, South Carolina. Anson Page thought he’d ground it out of his life for good. Now a Manhattan lawyer representing a large publishing house, he’s returning to his hometown after fifteen years to investigate the mystery surrounding one of his client’s authors, a major American novelist who lives on nearby Tamburlaine Island. Both pain ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Lsu Press (first published January 1st 1954)
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May 31, 2012 Philip rated it really liked it
Interesting, the ways we find our ways to books. I've encountered this title many times over the years in used bookstores, and though I had no interest in it, the title and the author's name have always stuck with me.

I recently came across a mention of it during some internet-surfing about something else, and was intrigued by a mention of its main plot: "Manhattan attorney Anson Page returns to his Southern roots after 15 years, arriving in Pompey's Head, South Carolina, to investigate the myste
Sherrill Watson
Jan 24, 2014 Sherrill Watson rated it liked it
"Voices of the South" is a better title, also: View from Hilton Head island. Written in 1954.

Anston (Sonny) Page is somewhat working to make partner in the lawfirm of Roberts, Guthrie Barlowe & Paul, appropriately called by his wife, Margaret (Meg), 'Boring, Barlowe Tedious and Impossible.' He is pulled into Barlowe's office to go back to Pompey's Head, where he grew up. Mrs. Lucy Wales is suing Phillip Greene for $20,000 (quite a bit of money in 1954) for money her husband, Garvin Wales, a
Feb 07, 2015 Joe added it
I'm not sure what book is described in the "book description" but it is not The View from Pompey's Head by Hamilton Basso
Feb 28, 2015 Devon rated it liked it
1/2 cup Heart of Darkness
1/3 cup To Kill a Mockingbird
1/4 Stop Time

Mix together dry above with a splash of Southern Comfort and a generous dose of "don't you dare leave this place or we'll never forgive you" Bake at 90 degrees for 375 pages then put out in torrential downpour to get the full effect of the ending.

I can see why this book was featured in Dow Mossman's best books of the 50s in the documentary Stone Reader. The writing is strong enough to keep the reader's attention even though the
Tony Taylor
Sep 06, 2011 Tony Taylor rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Don't bother
The author, Hamilton Basso, was a popular writer in the '50s and had some best sellers, including this book, The View from Pompey's Head (Note: Pompey's Head is the name of a fictional town in the Low Country of South Carolina). The book is definitely a product of the '50s both in style and in the setting, including the characters. It is the story of an attorney who works for a New York law firm, and is asked to return sent to his home town of Pompey's Head to help investigate a "mystery" surrou ...more
May 26, 2012 Manray9 rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-lit
A Good Writer from the Recent Past

Recently I read an article published several years ago in The Boston Globe about two prominent 20th Century writers who are now largely forgotten. Perhaps it says something about me that I have read both and enjoyed their work. They are Calder Willingham and Hamilton Basso.

I finished Basso's "The View from Pompey's Head" just last week. It is slow moving in a pleasant, languid, distinctly Southern manner. Basso gradually develops memorable characters, crafts fin
Jan 21, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
A really good story in the tradition of Southern authors. Anson returns to Old Pompey on assignment, but learns about a lot himself and Southern society while he is there.
Jun 25, 2011 Viki rated it really liked it
If you don't like a lot of detail, then this book is not for you. But I do, so I gave it a 4 star rating. The setting was in the 30's primarily and the plot explored social standings and the focus put on ancestors background to establish those standings. The main character struggled throughout his life with finding acceptance within himself. The author exposes how small town values influence those who live there and especially those who try to escape that influence by moving away.
Barbara Van loenen
Jan 15, 2014 Barbara Van loenen rated it liked it
It certainly held my interest even though the narrative was slow in a few places. It was fun to read a period piece about a time and place I know so little.
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Joseph Hamilton Basso (who went by the name Hamilton) was an influential journalist and the author of eleven novels.While writing for New Republic, Time, Saturday Review, and the New Yorker, among other publications, Basso published novels, most set in either Louisiana or South Carolina. Throughout his writing, Basso attempted to refute romantic myths of the old South by portraying minorities—wome ...more
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