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The Southern Cross

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The sixteen short stories featured in Skip Horack's prize-winning debut collection paint a richly textured vision of the American South. Set in the Gulf Coast over the course of a year torn halfway by the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, these stories, filled with humor, restraint, and verve, follow the lives of an assembly of unforgettable characters. An exonerated ex-con wh ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 12th 2009 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Adam Johnson
Jan 29, 2013 Adam Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The stories here are set in LA, MS and north Florida, and the first thing you notice is how Horack gets everything right--the trees, tides, fish, food, accents and pickups. He's a lot like Rick Bass in that way--the atmosphere is always pitch-perfect. I lived in Louisiana for a few years, and this collection really transported me. The real feat of this book is the people, though. Horack specializes in working class, hardscrabble men who try to eek out existences off the land. Their dreams are mu ...more
Nov 20, 2009 Aeron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories set in the South, and it is a wonderful read. While the stories aren't directly related to each other, they work together well, creating a tapestry of regional life that is very real and moving. Hurricane Katrina sits in the background like a shadow, but non of the stories are really about the hurricane. I have to say as a disclaimer that I took a class from Skip, the author, at Stanford, but I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves bea ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, Horack can really write. He does just about everything well in the collection - voice, sense of place, dialog, use of time, pacing - all of it, except for writing good endings. Too many of these stories left me unsatisfied. It's not that his stories are open-ended; it's that they just end, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. That's not to say that all the stories in the collection are that way, but too many for me to really love the collection as a whole. Horack is certainly a young writer ...more
Caroline Gerardo
Skip's short stories will hug you so tight your brain will want to stop. He takes a wand and combines nature, cityscape, and raw emotion with violence and grinds it in a mortar to haunt you.
Skip can write dialogue that each word has not just meaning, but sound and fury. ( think Faulkner there)
Nov 29, 2009 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skip's a friend, so I suppose I should admit to bias. But I know that I would love this collection even if I stumbled on it blind. Horack's language and depiction of setting are both pitch-perfect, and these stories each have an emotional resonance that lingered long after I put the book down.
Feb 19, 2013 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never before been so moved by fiction. The rabbit story, especially -- barely more than a dozen pages, but I felt as if I had lived a lifetime of emotion. This what short fiction is about -- making every word count. Horack does it masterfully.
Mar 03, 2010 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories are better than others, wish you could continue with a few to see where it all goes. The writing style takes a little getting used to.. alot of forward/backward transitions.
Jul 27, 2013 Kossiwa is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I read his short stories in Narrative Magazine, such as The High Place I Go and I look forward when I'm able to purchase this debut collection and read it.
short stories -- some very, very good and some you just want to ask him why did you include this one with the collection??
Nov 02, 2009 Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible collection of short stories...
Apr 24, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of stories!
Christin Lee
Apr 16, 2011 Christin Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2!
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