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The Feud

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  224 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Berger chronicles small-town America of the 1930s in his narrative of the feud between the Beelers of Hornbeck and the Bullards of Milville. A major film based on "The Feud" is to be released in the autumn of 1989.
Paperback, 266 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by Little Brown & Co (P) (first published January 1st 1983)
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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara KingsolverThe Corrections by Jonathan FranzenThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Snow Child by Eowyn IveyThe Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Pulitzer Prize Finalists
66th out of 68 books — 66 voters
Gone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckThe Age of Innocence by Edith WhartonTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Pulitzer Prizes - Novel/Fiction
158th out of 160 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jon Recluse
Aug 03, 2014 Jon Recluse rated it really liked it
A delightfully funny novel concerning feuding families, re: the Hatfields and the McCoys, that amply displays just how silly these things can be. Although set in the 1930s, the comedy is timeless, as the motives and machinations behind these neighborhood brouhahas never really change.

Highly recommended.
Jan 14, 2016 Realini rated it it was amazing
The Feud by Thomas Berger
Exhilarating masterpiece

This book appears to be so simple and yet it is a spellbinding, fabulous work.
In fact, I loved it so much that somewhere at 60% I stopped and have placed it in the waiting section of my to-read list.
When I enjoy a book extremely, I tend to like to prolong the pleasure, which ultimately means that I simply stop reading it.
I have interrupted the encounter with Paradise Lost, Adventures in the Screen Trade, No Orchids of Miss Blandish and a few more.
Feb 25, 2015 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Mayberry as told by Erskin Caldwell. This book is one of the best I've read in quite a while. The characters are brilliant, the writing is brilliant, the pacing, the plot--it's all brilliant. Berger is one of my favorites, and this THIS is the reason why.
Christopher Sutch
Jul 29, 2015 Christopher Sutch rated it liked it
This 1983 novel won Berger the Pulitzer, though I'm not sure why. It's a fine novel: interesting characters, competently written. But that's also the problem with it: there is nothing very original about it, nothing that gives Berger's best works a special flavor or make them worthy of interest. Partly, for me, this comes from my lack of interest in the setting (1930s Ohio town life, much like his earlier novel _Sneaky People_). Also, though, there is little social satire or commentary in this w ...more
Aug 17, 2011 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Guardian this book was recently championed as a forgotten classic. On the strength of this review (and Tom Cox gives a fair assessment of the novel) I hunted out this hard to find book, and was not disappointed.

Although initially I was, a little. The prose is a little lacklustre. On the strength of this one book, I wouldn't recommend Berger for his writing style. His narrative, however, especially as you are caught up in its wheels after about a third of the way, is excellent. All the com
Benjamin Kahn
Apr 29, 2015 Benjamin Kahn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but it's hard for me to nail down why I liked it so much. It was a simple story, the characters all hovered on the edge of parody but didn't quite go over it. I was intrigued to see each twist and turn with all the characters and how their lives intersected. Just an fun, enjoyable read. You care about the characters and want to see how everything works out for them.
Aug 26, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it
Has beautifully ugly dialect and dialogue. Period setting perhaps serves the same purpose as Coen Brothers' 'Big Lebowski' or Haneke's 'White Ribbon' - it's set in the past as commentary on something, not because the story dictates it be set in the past in any specific way.
Thing Two
Jul 14, 2010 Thing Two rated it really liked it
LOL funny! This Pulitzer nominated book of fiction starts off with a bang and keeps on going. Published in 1983, I've got to wonder if the author spent a lot of time watching The Andy Griffith Show. This is Mayberry on drugs - with the Hatfields and McCoys added just for fun. I will definitely look for more by Thomas Berger. Well done!
Dec 23, 2008 Seán rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
It's another effortless comedy in Berger's 30s mid-western dope-dialogue oeuvre. The book reads like a companion to Sneaky People and, as in that one, there's the easy assured voice that'll gladly take in the curious but doesn't abash the casual passerby.
Peter Weissman
Jun 19, 2009 Peter Weissman rated it really liked it
I like Thomas Berger, a lot. He's a humorist, and a satirist, and a good one. It was my good fortune to be assigned this book to copyedit, and I can unequivocally say it was the best book I ever edited. But I do like some of his other books better.
Hannah Baker
This was very funny! Unfortunately it started to get pretty repetitive halfway through, and I could see where it was going. So I gave up and just read the ending. But, I enjoyed it and would recommend it!
Aug 18, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
I thought this book was pretty good. Flowed nicely and was an interesting take on the whole Hatfield and McCoy's feud. Worth a try.
Pete Camp
Jul 10, 2016 Pete Camp rated it did not like it
Poorly written , read like a children's story. Not even worth one star actually
Peter Delorenzo
Jul 03, 2009 Peter Delorenzo rated it liked it
Berger creates unique, quirky characters that are funny.
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Thomas Louis Berger is an American novelist. Probably best known for his picaresque novel Little Big Man and the subsequent film by Arthur Penn, Berger has explored and manipulated many genres of fiction throughout his career, including the crime novel, the hard-boiled detective story, science fiction, the utopian novel, plus re-workings of classical mythology, Arthurian legend, and the survival a ...more
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