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Off for the Sweet Hereafter

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  266 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
First published in 1986, T.R. Pearson's second novel, "Off for the Sweet Hereafter, " fulfilled the promise of his first, "A Short History of a Small Place," returning once more to the mythic environs of Neely, North Carolina, and to the madcap antics of its odd but endearing inhabitants. If "A Short History" delved deeply and hilariously into the burdens of family legacy ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Henry Holt & Company (first published 1986)
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Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
T.R. Pearson is one of my favorite authors. After re-reading "A Short History of A Small Place," I picked this up to see just what else he's been up to. About a third of the way in, I nearly gave up. But I kept going and I am glad I did, as that is when it all turned into the most hilarious Bonnie and Clyde story ever, with sex and filthy language. I loved it. It would definitely have been four stars if not for the slow-ish start and some sections where I was confused by the grave-digging crew. ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ficton
Screamingly funny in spots, but until you get used to Pearson's rendition of Southern dialect and his page-long sentences, it's like reading in a foreign language. It's well worth the effort, though.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was my third, possibly fourth, time through this wonder of a book, which is one of my all-time favorites. When I loaded my books into Goodreads several years ago, I rated 'Off for the Sweet Hereafter” five stars: I don't see any reason to change that now.

It's the story of a crime wave ---- but you might as well say that “Moby Dick” is the story of a whale. The book opens with the words---

“That was the summer we lost the bald Jeeter...”

They are followed by many other words before the first
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Off for the Sweet Hereafter" is darker and cruder than "A Short History of a Small Place" was. "Short History" was narrated in the first person by Louis Benfield, who was a young boy, so it came across as innocent and good-natured. "Sweet Hereafter" on the other hand, was a more conventional third person account that involved quite a bit of sex, violence, and unlikeable characters. It also included the rambling conversational style that Mr. Pearson used so effectively in "Short History". But in ...more
David Ward
Jan 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Off for the Sweet Hereafter by T. R. Pearson (Henry Holt & Co. 1986) (Fiction – General). T.R. Pearson's second novel is a sequel to his first, A Short History of a Small Place, which was set in the fictional Neely, North Carolina. This volume focuses on the daring exploits of two hard-luck lovers who cut a memorable path and leave a trail of mayhem in their wake. My rating: 7/10, finished 1987.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Absolutely hilarious. Pearson's long, rambling sentences capture the aural rhythms of Southern speech (I would love to hear an audiobook of this novel). Recommended vacation reading (if you think you'd enjoy a mashup between William Faulker and Elmore Leonard on your next vacation)... I don't recommend reading it in the ten and fifteen minutes sessions I ended up reading it in.
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love T. R Pearson's writing style. I think he's fantastic, but this wasn't my favorite book of his.

His style isn't for everyone, but I was sorry to see the book end. It's such a pleasure to be immersed in his language and the worlds he creates.
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this book (although more for the characters and description than the plot), but it made me realize that I will never be a true Southerner. I think Pearson should be required reading for misplaced Yankees.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite of Pearson's, maybe because it was the first of his that I read. I became -and remain- hooked.
Notcathy J
Jun 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
Cathy says, "could easily have been a nice short story."
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was great -not for the faint of heart, but a good read. Pearson has a interesting writing style that I enjoyed after I got used to it. Looking forward to reading more by him.
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These first three...I just love 'em.
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ditto my comments on other T.R.Pearson reads.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
(no. 48 of 2017)
(re-read; same 3-star rating)
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Thomas Reid Pearson is an American novelist. Pearson was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was a student at North Carolina State University, where he gained a B.A. and M.A. in English. He went on to teach at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina. He started work on a Ph.D. in Pennsylvania but soon returned to North Carolina, where he worked as a carpenter and a housepainter while he beg ...more
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