54th out of 71 books — 29 voters
O the Clear Moment
In this enormously appealing “implied autobiography,” Merry Prankster Ed McClanahan has assembled a gathering of what he calls “coming-of-age to coming-of-old-age” stories that are both quirky and cutting, hilarious and lyrical, all told in the inimitable voice of one of his generation’s best southern chroniclers of American life. The tale begins in 1950, the year he turne...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Counterpoint
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I've read that McClanahan--along with Gurney Norman and Wendell Berry--married the hippie ideologies of the summer of love on the sunny west coast with the agrarian philosophies of the Kentucky farmer. Indeed, there is an infectious, driving tunefulness behind his freewheelin' words that reminds me, at times, of a Bill Monroe-fronted Grateful Dead. McClanahan probably hasn't changed a lot of lives with his writing, but I can guarantee that he's entertained the heck out of anyone who has had the...more
I find I can only read about one story from this book at a time, mostly because I'm out of touch with the time period(s) McClanahan is writing about. I think this collection would be hilarious if I had a sense of the time, but I grew up kind of insulated even from my own decades, so this is a bit of a miss with me. I'm still working my way through, though. Despite that it seems McClanahan wrote this to humor himself, it does have it's enjoyable moments, and I'm happy to read them out.
I would actually give this 3.5 stars. This is a collection of autobiographical stories, primarily from the author's experiences in the 1950's and 60's. The stories were interesting and fun to read. McClanahan is a good story teller. I may look up some of his other books.
Edward Poage McClanahan was born in Brooksville, Kentucky in 1932 to Edward Leroy and Jesse (Poage) McClanahan. He attended school there and later in nearby Maysville, Kentucky where the family relocated in 1948. McClanahan graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in English in 1955 and from the University of Kentucky in 1958 with a M.A. in English. McClanahan taught English at Oregon State Uni...moreMore about Ed McClanahan...