Sharon's Reviews > Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
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's review
Jul 29, 2010

it was ok
Read in July, 2010

This was a strange book-it took me a little bit to get into it. It is the story of about the uber poor and not so smart Lester Family. They are basically tenant farmers caught up in their own poverty, sexual longings, and crippled by their selfishness and lack of intelligence, who have been left behind by changes in farming and the emergence of the textile mill society that took over the south. Erskine Caldwell, born in the first decade of the 20th century was the son of an itinerant Presbyterian preacher in rural Georgia. You certainly get the impression that though this book is fiction, it contains much of what he witnessed during his youth. One of the reviewers on the back cover commented on the humor in the book being similar to Mark Twain. I haven't read any Mark Twain beyond the obvious Tom Sawyer-and that was 15 years ago-so I can't compare. Tobacco Road did remind me very much of Faulkner's Compton family with a splash of Flannery O'Connor with the presence of Bessie the "woman preacher" who was very much flawed. If you have any experience with the poor south or an interest in the plight of the tenant farmer/sharecropper in the south you'll enjoy this book. If you're looking for a light uplifting book-probably should skip this one.

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