Rachel's Reviews > Celebration

Celebration by Harry Crews
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's review
Apr 28, 08

bookshelves: southern-grit
Read in March, 2007

** spoiler alert ** This book is awesome on so many different levels. Probably my favorite Crews book, at least that I can remember. I don't think I'll ever forget the character of Too Much, who I still haven't decided about - whether she represents God or the devil. She really seems to take a tough-love approach to making people happy, bringing them joy and helping them learn to love each other and, more importantly, themselves. But, is making people love themselves (often at the expense of others) a divine work or a proliferation of selfishness? Some would say selfishness is divine, because we have to know and love ourselves in order to live our fullest, most creative lives. And if that is not holy, what is?

I guess Stump is a sort of Satan figure, with his wishing people would die... but really, he's just human. He doesn't have enough influence over anybody to be really evil. Too Much really is superhuman. I guess her extraordinary upbringing led to her warped emotions - so full of pride, so confident and determined. This attitude led her to control and enthrall others - an endless cycle. I thought Stump would find a way to put her in her place but he is a weak man. I just wonder about the ending... is he going to be killed or changed forever? Murdered by the thing that repulses him the most - celebration - or by putting on his army boots (involuntarily) is he joining the residents in their costume, celebration, life? I guess I would be interested to read a criticism of this book to see what others thought of it.

P.S. The mopping scene was hilarious!
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