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The Tongues of Angels

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  167 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"I'm as peaceful a man as you're likely to meet in America now, but this is about a death I may have caused. Not slowly over time by abuse or meanness but on a certain day and by ignorance, by plain lack of notice. Though it happened thirty-four years ago, and though I can't say it's haunted my mind that many nights lately, I suspect I can draw it out for you now, clear as ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 17th 2000 by Scribner (first published May 16th 1990)
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Don Thomson
Jan 10, 2010 Don Thomson rated it really liked it
I loved this book for the flood of memories it brought me. Although fiction, it was set in a place close to my heart: Camp Sequoyah. Set in 1954 but all descriptions of the camp property, cabins, buildings, activities, camp fires, rituals were all just as I remember it in the late 60's. The writing and story are wonderful. This book made me laugh and almost weep on many levels.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Takes place in 1954. A young man, Bridge Boatner, works as a counselor at a summer camp for boys in the Great Smoky Mountains. He tells you right at the beginning that one boy dies (so this is not a spoiler!), and Bridge feels at least partly responsible for the death. It's really fun to read about the quaint summer camp of the 50's. You know something bad is going to happen and to whom right from the start, so that gives it a nice tension all the way through, wondering how and when this bad thi ...more
Oct 27, 2016 Pat rated it really liked it
This novel is set in 1954 in a boys' camp in the Smoky Mountains, where Bridge Boatner is a counselor. There is an expectation of a tragedy from the onset, and Reynolds Price sets the stage for it in his signature courtly, elegant writing style. It begins slowly as Bridge's personality emerges and builds to a heartbreaking end. The story is told from Bridge's adult perspective, which adds an extra dimension. Reynolds Price is a treasured story teller.
Crystal Joyce
Feb 05, 2011 Crystal Joyce rated it it was amazing
Riveting......I was kept on edge waiting for the climactic end to the story of Rafe and Bridge Boatner. Reynolds Price is so poetic, the words seem to dance off the page, forming a colorful portrait of characters which is totally unlike any other author I have read. I look forward to reading more of his work.
Aug 13, 2009 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A moving account of a 21-year-old summer camp counselor's encounter with a memorable 14-year-old boy. It had lots to say about the meaning of art (the counselor was a painter, the boy a remarkable dancer), some about faith, & more about dealing with loss.
Bob Schmitz
Oct 24, 2010 Bob Schmitz rated it it was ok
I picked this book up in a doctors office with a note on it "This book is free if you would like it" or some such. Never having read anything by Reynolds Price, a North Carolina author who does or did teach at Duke, I started to read. Wow the language was so beautiful. Good authors can explain what the reader has experience, thought, felt better than him/herself and Price sure did!

I took the book home and was enthralled for the first half. Then the story, of a young college student being a coun
Apr 21, 2011 Joell rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars I guess. I really like Reynolds Price. I like his slow, southern style. Makes you feel like sitting on a hot porch swatting bugs. The MC in the story is quite the fascinating character and the narrator - not so much.

At the end, I felt like Price cranked out a story based on himself as a narrator and as someone who really interested him as an MC, but he kind of tried to phone in the story. Maybe it's just that I'm not a painter and I think that Price really wanted you to look
Jamie Deal
Jun 14, 2016 Jamie Deal rated it liked it
The language is clean and beautiful; the setting idyllic, begging for nostalgia and primed for historical commentary; the characters ... meh. The narrator, Bridge Boatner, was more captivating than the supposedly captivating boy who enthralled him that summer long ago. I truly wanted to find something special in Rafe Noren. After all, the book pushes the reader hard in that direction. But nothing really lay behind the hype, and I was left feeling like a puppy shoved into an once-promising but no ...more
May 22, 2010 Tricia rated it liked it
I really love Reynolds Price's slow and suspenseful writing style and great character development. He is a quintessential Southern writer. He makes me think. I would give this a 3.5 but not quite a 4. These particular characters were not ones that I personally related to, but again, I enjoy his style. Talking about with my book club tomorrow and interested in their thoughts.
Jan 14, 2009 Alison rated it it was amazing
this man is a simply splendid writer telling a vivid and haunting tale. I love him. I will read all of his stuff.
Jun 28, 2011 Jack rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2016 Roger rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Took me back to my camp counselor days and some early adolescents I learned from.
Joshua Anderson
Nov 26, 2013 Joshua Anderson rated it really liked it
Interesting, sensitive, well-written novel about a tragedy at a summer camp in the 1950s. Made me want to investigate more of Price's novels.
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Reynolds Price was born in Macon, North Carolina in 1933. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University. He taught at Duke since 1958 and was James B. Duke Professor of English.

His first short stories, and many later ones, are published in his Collected Stories. A Long and Happy Life was published in 1962 and won the William Faulkner Award for a best fi
More about Reynolds Price...

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“Many Americans would die naked in the middle of the road before they'd tell you what's hurt them most. But a born Southerner will show you the cell in their heart that burns the hardest. They'll hold it out to you in their bare right hand.” 13 likes
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