Tony's Reviews > Nightwoods

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
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's review
Jul 08, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: firstreads-wins, u-s-lit
Read from July 02 to 08, 2012

Plot-driven, so one can hurry through to the end. Having gotten away with a cinematic ending in Cold Mountain, Frazier made this entire slim volume made-for-TV. The characters are ready-made, from central casting, so there's no need to explain why they are the way they are. The dialogue has moments but no great scenes like Inman and the Goat Woman from CM.

Frazier has become of a type, along with Richard Russo: readable if predictable stories, a workshop feel. If a gun is introduced in the first chapter...... Here, the introduced weapon is a straight-edge barber's blade. Gee, I wonder if that will come in handy? Frazier's witty dialogue is wry to Russo's laugh-out-loud.

I read once that it is hard to believe in the criminal justice system when you realize that your case will be decided by twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty. Frazier restates that with a Southern twist, "What a grand idea democracy is, where every fool who can't get out of jury duty gets to have his opinion counted."

This book is neither original not deep. It is re-warmed and gussied up. Either an old story with a different accent, or a remembered voice singing a forgettable song.
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