From the author of "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" we are met with another foray into a world best described as Southern Genteel Self-From the author of "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" we are met with another foray into a world best described as Southern Genteel Self-Loathing. I have read all of Fannie Flagg's books for one reason alone: They are funny and entertaining. But if I were living 300 years from now and trying to compile a sociological study of the south from her books, here are the things I would conclude. 1. Southerners count politeness as the greatest of all virtues... 2. even when murdering and cheating on their spouse. 3. Southern women are infinitely stronger than Southern men. 4. Southern women are infinitely more dangerous than Southern men. 5. Southern mothers do not understand their daughters. 6. Southern daughters all grow up to be their mothers.
I love her dialog and settings. If you want to learn how to be a novelist, your section on "Setting" could be learned by spending a few weeks reading Flagg's books. Her places come alive with sounds, smells and language. Her characters (with the exception of Fried Green Tomatoes) are cardboard and 2-dimensional, which works for comedic works. But I suspect in this book, Flagg was trying to break ground a little further from her regular plot of land. She was subtly making historical statements as well as telling a story.
As many others have noted, this book has a dark theme which won't allow it to be funny and a wry approach that won't allow it to be serious. Flagg may be of the opinion that this makes the book both funny and serious. The result is limp writing with a tired sub-text about suicide....more
In this book, Bryson continues in his vein of humorous travel books by pursuing the Appalachian Trail from south to north. Except that he actually onlIn this book, Bryson continues in his vein of humorous travel books by pursuing the Appalachian Trail from south to north. Except that he actually only walks about 40% of the trail. Except that at least half the book is Bryson railing about various ways that the society of the Eastern United States has wiped out species and various expressions of nature. Except that for the most part, this isn't very funny. What this book does have going for it is that just as Bryson starts overdoing something in a chapter, he has the sense to change the subject. I enjoyed the trip through the book in the sense that I wasn't bored and I found it entertaining to think of two overweight, middle-aged men attempting to get into shape by walking long distances. His friend is the best part of the book and will keep you walking. If you really want to read a great book about walking the Appalachian Trail try out "Walk Across America". It has more variety in the sidetracks....more
The author, a Freudian psychoanalyst, takes the art of dry fly-fishing and draws parallels to the entire human psychological condition. He does a realThe author, a Freudian psychoanalyst, takes the art of dry fly-fishing and draws parallels to the entire human psychological condition. He does a really good humorous job of it, but essentially there is too much Freud and not enough common sense....more
I am only going to write one review for all of McManus' books, since essentially they are the same book with more or less the same basic story. This iI am only going to write one review for all of McManus' books, since essentially they are the same book with more or less the same basic story. This is by far the best humorist in America...except for maybe Dave Barry, but McManus is more subtle and less predictable. If you have never read this guy, let me give you the nickel tour. His writings are collections of essays, most of which have been featured on the back page of Outdoor Life magazine for about 20 years. He grew up in a very small town in the Panhandle of Idaho and rarely moves his stories more than a few miles from home. He has taken all his favorite people from boyhood to manhood and, after giving them all nicknames, tells us essentially true stories peppered with tons of hyperbole. He is an Outdoors fanatic, and most of the stories talk about hunting, fishing, camping and the food related to each sport. I have done most of these, but that is not the appeal of his writing. He just knows how to turn a funny phrase. He is self-depricating, has editing down to a fine art, and throws life philosophy in everywhere. His love for Idaho and all things rugged is apparent, but even the most dedicated city slicker will be intrigued. Pick up just one of his books, and I dare you to not buy another....more