Mark Oppenlander's Reviews > Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
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's review
Jun 12, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 2011

I have read Berry's poems and essays before this, but this was my first time delving into his fiction. After reading this lovely novel, I suspect that I will be back for more. Berry writes in such a simple, elegant way about the people and life of the small town of Port William, Kentucky, that one almost wishes it were not a fictional place.

It took me a while to read this book, but I realized that this was due not simply to a lack of time on my part, but also to the fact that I wanted to stop and savor each chapter after I read it.

This bittersweet story of a lonely, quirky barber belies the complexity of its characters and themes through Berry's seemingly effortless execution. What Jon Hassler did for Minnesota, Berry has done for Kentucky. Highly recommended, especially for those who love character studies or portraits of small town life. But even if that's not generally your cup of tea, you could do worse than take a chance on this wonderful novel.

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