Hopshoe's Reviews > A Feast of Snakes

A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews
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's review
Oct 30, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: folks from the deep south who understand the twisted social hierarchies
Read in August, 2005

having actually attended a few of the annual rattlesnake round-ups in whigham, georgia growing up, the spectacle at the center of this novel is all too familiar to me. people would come from miles away peddling their snake skin wares and bringing their rattlers to compare and compete with fellow snake enthusiasts. as one walked through the festival/bazaar areas featured goods included, velvet paintings of rattlesnakes, snake skin boots, belts, hats, & jackets, snake-themed novelty items, and even baby rattles made from snake rattles (this is not a joke). even as a child i questioned the sanity of the participants and "craftsmen/craftswomen" in attendance, as well as that of my father for having gotten us caught-up in the middle of this twisted atmosphere to begin with.

crews paints some of the most memorable characters i've ever crossed in southern literature: the washed up high school quarterback turned alcoholic-alcohol peddler; the daffy, shut-in sister who's skin has turned pale under the greenish glow of the television; the metabolically-enraged, muscle-bound, southern intellectual (duffy deeter possibly stands out the most in my mind); the young, innocent, down-trodden, african american daughter of the house servant, amongst others.

crews is sincere in his use of profanity and his depiction of the ingrained racism and white trash mentality of this part of the south. anyone who has ever wondered if these people really exist...the answer is yes (within an inch of the truth).

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message 1: by Alyssa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alyssa Capo What'd you think of the ending? Was the murder/suicide an act of courage? Could it be considered purification for the degenerate state the place had fallen into? (I'm new at this, maybe this comment should be under book discussion)

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