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Down Town

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
A rollicking tale of a small Southern town by the bestselling author of Run with the Horsemen With his naturalistic and humorous storytelling style, Ferrol Sams has won fans from all walks of life, especially those drawn to Southern fiction. And while the literary landscape of the rural South is peppered with great storytellers, few are as endearing as James Aloysius Buste ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published June 1st 2007)
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Ann Marie
Jul 09, 2011 Ann Marie rated it it was amazing
This book made me laugh out loud on several occasions. The characters were colorful. The stories were so unbelievable they were believable. I really really really liked it. Though the voice in my head while reading it was that of Blanche Devareaux and not some backwoods attorney.
Jun 28, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-writing
Let me begin this post by saying I absolutely adore Ferrol Sams. I consider him to be one of the premiere southern writers and I loved his trilogy sequencing the life of Porter Osborne from his wild childhood to his education (both intellectual and social...and *ahem* sexual) to his sad journey through World War 2. If you have not read them--Run with the Horsemen, Whisper of the River, and When All the World was Young--get to it now so we can talk.

Gosh, I loved those books so much that I could n
Michelle (meshe)

A rollicking tale of a small Southern town by the bestselling author of Run with the Horsemen

With his naturalistic and humorous storytelling style, Ferrol Sams has won fans from all walks of life, especially those drawn to Southern fiction. And while the literary landscape of the rural South is peppered with great storytellers, few are as endearing as James Aloysius "Buster" Holcombe, Jr., the observant narrator of Sams's new novel. From Reconstruction, the first World War, the Depressio
Debbie Maskus
Usually, I enjoy the books chosen for this book club, Southern Voices, but I disliked this book. The writing style is similar to Mark Twain's fireside chat with the good old boys that weighed down the story. Ferrol Sams presents a picture of Atlanta from the end of the Civil War to present times. The span is too great and the characters are too many for the reader to enjoy the book. Sams tries to tie all the events and characters together, and instead presents a confusing hodgepodge. The story m ...more
David Ward
Down Town: The Journal of James Aloysius Holcombe, Jr. for Ephraim Holcombe Mookinfoos by Ferrol Sams (Mercer University Press 2007) (Fiction - General). I dearly love the writings of author Ferrol Sams. His Run With the Horsemen trilogy, which is barely-disguised autobiography, is southern writing at its very best. The current offering, Down Town, is more purely fiction; it is a collection of stories about quirky small-town characters. This volume reads more like Fanny Flagg's Welcome to the W ...more
May 22, 2012 Karlyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My favorite Ferrol Sams yet. Down Town captures the nosy, preposterous, petty, and self-obsessed daily life of residents in one small town. Decades pass and newcomers arrive but the Cofields and their legacy still matter as much in the 1980s as they did when Major Cofield appeared in the days after Sherman's march.
Mar 31, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
I read this book without expectations. I never expected it to be linked to his other books, and it isn't. The love he shows for a town, real or fictional is evident. The colloquialisms and some of the sayings are true to the area around Fayetteviile, GA. Its fun. Especially after you find out why the story is told.
Karen Breda
Jun 09, 2013 Karen Breda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This charming book chronicles the history of a southern town's growth over 100 years. The relationships built, the progress made, and the morals of its citizens are revealed in the charming, humorous voice of Aloysius (Buster) Holcombe. His quirky stories made me grin while getting a glimpse of our early history.
Shirley Lawton
Ferrol Sams is one of my favorite authors. I like this book, but not as much as the trilogy about Porter Osbourne. Those books are genius. Down Town contains some of the same humorous insights, but there were so many characters in his reminiscing that it was a big confusing, especially if there was a gap between your reading times. I would recommend it, though.
Dec 19, 2013 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Sam's writing in Run With The Horsemen, the sometimes irreverent, sometimes serious look at Southern life. The was irreverence and sincerity here, too, but it didn't connect with me in the same way. I don't know if it's my age, or the story just didn't stand up to Sam's previous stories. In all, it was an enjoyable read, but it didn't affect me as I expected.
Write a review...I en joyed this, but not as much as the Run with the Horseman trilogy or some of his short story collection like The Widow's Mite. He is an excellent storyteller and here tells the story of a rural Georgia town from Civil War to today as it struggles to maintain its identity as the suburbs of Atlanta come out to engulf it.
Mar 31, 2016 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even if you want nothing else to do with this book, read Chapter 12. Suffice it to say that there is a wedding, a CATHOLIC wedding (gasp!), and that one of the characters is called Mr. B.M. Cofield.

PS If you're not Southern, you probably won't understand why any of it is funny. I'm very sorry. Bless your heart.
Hollis Duncan
Jan 26, 2009 Hollis Duncan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I was thoroughly disappointed by this book — a slog to read from beginning to end. Although there was a teaspoon of hope in the Benediction that closes Down Town even it didn't measure up to Ferrol Sams' standards. Still few authors match his wit and it's for using such jaw-dropping acronyms as "BMBP!" that's what makes Sams' fiction so fun to read.
May 27, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
The ambiguous narrator at the beginning of the book was hard to get behind. I loved reading the different stories about this town. I thought the "Benediction" part at the end that explained things could have been worked into the beginning of the book.
Sep 17, 2009 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Ferrol Sams and this was a hoot. However, the one fault is there are so many characters that I got confused at times. Really a laughable tale with a big heart. If you are Southern (as am I) you will enjoy this.
Stephanie Loomis
Nov 26, 2012 Stephanie Loomis rated it liked it
This book is so linked to the region that is really doesn't have a universal appeal. Native Southerners may enjoy it (the way many Californians like Steinbeck), but otherwise it gets tedious. The end was a nice twist, but it really comes too late to salvage the rest of the book.
Chandra Power
Oct 06, 2010 Chandra Power rated it did not like it
Ordinarily I love Ferrol Sams, but this title just didn't work for me. I kept feeling that he had thrown in all the jokes and one-liners he hadn't found a place for in previous books. I just didn't like this one at all.
May 02, 2012 Beth rated it liked it

I have read all his books and this one was extremely hard to get interested in until almost the end of the book. Glad I stuck it out to the finish, but his other books are better reads.
Oct 28, 2014 ~mad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksiveread
This one has been on my shelves since it as published in 2007.


Very good read.
Ann Curry
I never finished this book. I just didn't get drawn in. I was so excited to get a new Ferrol Sams book because I've thoroughly enjoyed all his other work. So disappointed.
Gail Strickland
Although knowing the" town"of Downtown somewhat, this book aims for Sams' usual wonderful story telling, but misses.
Jun 05, 2013 Barry rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read. Possibly his best work. Full of the anecdotes that so colored his Porter Osborne trilogy.
Pam Craven
Aug 04, 2012 Pam Craven rated it it was ok
I enjoyed him so much more as a 20 year old...just couldn't wrap my head around this book....not sure why.
Jan 14, 2008 Peter marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
One of the best parts of Good Books is to stumble upon another treasure. I missed the release of his latest books last year and am off to Amazon to track it down
Jennifer rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2012
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