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2.92  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  38 reviews

When Percy Harding, Goliath’s most important citizen, is discovered dead by the railroad tracks outside town one perfect autumn afternoon, no one can quite believe it’s really happened. Percy, the president of the town’s world-renowned furniture company, had seemed invincible. Only Rosamond Rogers, Percy’s secretary, may have had a glimpse of how and why this gr

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 1st 2012)
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Average rating 2.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  120 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 3/5/12
Received yesterday and hope to start soon. I have 10 more plus my current read in front. 3/16/12
Started 4/21/12

Goliath is a small town based on the Harding Furniture Factory. It is full of a fun mix of characters and follows them through the days starting with the factory owners tragic suicide. What will become of the town and its residents?

This book had wonderful characters and a great story line, but I kept thinking okay, is
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't mind this book, but it tries to be existential in this wordy way you forget what this book is about. In fact, you're never really quite sure what the point is because it says it's about the death of this guy, but really, that's just the catalyst to get a sad, morose, inside-look at these people's lives. I got over half-way through then gave up. ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was absolutely horrible! It was so slow, there was nothing in it! It was basically just a collection of paper! I don't know how people actually buy this monstrosity with the intent to finish it!


Sep 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Honestly, not my cup of tea. Found it very slow and not that engaging. But that's just me and I'm sure that it's a great book for the right audience. ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Different, but I liked it
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I have mixed thoughts about this book, it was a slow, calm read but yet it gave a lot of details about the town of Goliath and how one event can trigger or seem to set off other events. It all started with Vincent, a normal teenager who stumbles across the owner of the town’s furniture manufacturing plant who had been hit by a train. Rumors of why would a man of this prestige get hit by a train run through the town and the widow’s actions are something to read about. This event triggers a multi ...more
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
OMG, we were so excited to receive this book in the mail! We haven't officially started up our 'In My Mailbox' feature, but we're working on it ... we promise. Anyways, this was our first ever win from Goodreads, a contest that was apparently sponsored by St. Martin's Press. So, we'd just like to say, thank you!

Oh, right. "Goliath." This was kind of a first for us. From Susan Woodring, and a little out of our young adult realm. Not that this book isn't ... wasn't an amazing book for teens to rea
May 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book as the blurb sounded so good but I finished the book feeling very confused and not really understanding what the bigger picture was supposed to be.

Goliath is about a small town that experiences a suicide of one of their wealthiest, most well known citizens. We hear most of the story through the voice of Ruth, her daughter Agnes, and Vincent (the boy who finds the body). The rest we get in snippets from the people in their lives. It flopped around so much that I
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. Like much of Woodring's previous work, it balances restraint with lyricism. Through the depiction of a struggling small town and a handful of closely observed, if flawed, characters, Woodring gives us an entire world. She captures the tempo and concerns of a one-industry town in North Carolina, but her characters confront the largest of issues -- suicide, unemployment, faith, and family. The omniscient point of view is especially effective as it shows both the reacti ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This book might have been better if its author had known more about her subject. It seemed to be a combination of "restless woman finds true love, happiness, and escape" which she covers pretty well, and "look at Winesburg Ohio" moved to a North Carolina mountain factory town and view the paucity of mill town existence one more time. Somehow, in a thousand little ways she fails to build her landscape or even most of her characters as credible. I wanted this to be a good book about an underrecogn ...more
Betty O'Hearn
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was intrigued by this book when Susan Woodring came to Poetry Hickory and read. Western North Carolina has such an interesting history and living in Hickory, I have seen and heard what happened to local towns when unfortunately, major furniture manufacturing was moved to Asia.

Susan's characters are rich and you can propel yourself into the story. I often felt I was standing in an office watching a main character named Rosamond. You also will be acquainted to small town Southern life.

The book
Jessica Haider
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, giveaways
I won this novel through a goodreads' FirstReads giveaway.

Goliath tells the story of a small southern town, named of all things...Goliath. Goliath is a town anchored by the Harding Furniture Factory. The factory is where most of the town's residents work and the story starts as the factory's owner is found dead by the train tracks.

I found the book to be a slow read and it didn't capture my attention quite the way I had hoped. A blurb on the back compared the novel to Empire Falls by Richard Ru
Lisa Delaine Youngblood
This audiobook details the lives of many citizens of Goliath, a small town kept alive by a furniture factory. When the town's factory owner perishes from an apparent suicide, the town and the people in it begin to change.

Though the story itself is an excellent study of small-town America and the varying characters, festivals, and businesses that comprise that town, the story was far too long. Though the slow pacing was appropriate to the depiction of the town and lifestyles, much of the smae "ma
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
Susan Woodring's Goliath is a remarkable book, filled with fully realized characters, perfect dialogue, and a plot that is always entertaining and never quite predictable. Add to that the omniscient point of view--something you don't see in many contemporary novels--and you've got a truly enjoyable read. The discovery of a body in the book's opening pages is the story's catalyst, but this is no ordinary mystery. Instead, it's something of a love story--or several love stories--not just about rom ...more
Jerry Landry
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
After hearing Susan Woodring speak to the Charlotte Writers’ Club last month, I picked up her latest novel, Goliath, and found myself entranced with her story of a small North Carolina factory town going through numerous changes. The pacing of the novel helps the reader to truly understand the small town feeling of being in the middle of a community yet at the same time sometimes very much alone. Imagery is very important to this story as well, and Woodring weaves it into the plot to create a ri ...more
Laurel Dowswell
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Susan Woodring loves people. She knows them. When you read Goliath, she immerses you into their lives, their loves, their journeys. Whether you are with Rosamond, the small town's unique truthteller/social gypsy/ultimate romantic, a heartbroken drifter, or a teenage boy who just wants to undo what can't be undone, you feel their yearnings, doubts, and dreams. The diverse cast of characters in this novel of a small town faced with a big problem wrap themselves around you and won't let go. This wi ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won an ARC of this book through first reads.

I enjoyed this book. It was a little slow moving, but the descriptions of the town and the people living there were so strong and vivid. That was the part I liked the most. I felt like I really got to know every single character in the book and could feel what they were feeling.

It was interesting as well, to see how the death of Percy Harding, the first thing that happens, could effect an entire town and the events that stem from it.
Shawn Steketee
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. This is a story about a small factory town where everyone knows everyone else. The pace is gentle and the author takes the time to really explore all of the characters. The real story is about the relationships, between mother and daughter, neighbors, school friends, husbands and wives and how those relationships change under stress. We find that knowing someone is not the same as understanding them.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a finished copy of this book through Goodreads, was supposed to receive an ARC copy,but they had my zip code wrong, so they sent me a finished book.
I like this book,it started out slow but after I read awhile I like it. It had alot of descriptions of the town, and I loved Vincent and how the other people in the book were as if I knew them myself.
Nancy Posey
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You don't have to live in Western North Carolina--the so-called furniture capital of the world-- to be drawn into this story of a small town in the aftermath of the death--hit by a train--of Percy Harding, the owner of Harding Furniture, the town's major employer. Woodring creates a townful of characters who are engaging, entertaining, and believable. Beautifully written. ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Small town, USA. Small town in NC sees the furniture company that is so important to the survival of the town close. Why it closed, individual characters that were affected, and the slow demise of a once vibrant town. I could relate to this book as I grew up in a small, one industry town in the 50‘s.
Ann Douglas
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This novel is well-written and the characters are intriguing, but the plot is slow-moving (like the pace of life in the mythical small-town Goliath, I suppose). I was hoping for a bit more sizzle and spark.
Christy Inge
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Didn't finish, which is very out of character for me. Even if I don't like a book that much, I always finish it. However, I decided I had too many other books I wanted to dive into. Perhaps another time, I'll pick it up and feel differently. ...more
Gwen Veazey
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
A rich novel about 1980’s characters in a tiny town named Goliath in western NC. I wanted to read it because this St. Martin’s Griffin published author lives in my county. She’s an excellent writer.
Erica Mears
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
One of the strangest books I have ever read. I kept expecting it to make sense but it really didn't. Descriptive characters with a good potential story but just dragged on. I made it a little over half way and just couldn't take it any more. ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Didn't really grab me but I kept reading. I kept expecting the story to pick up or to reveal a twist or anything to get away from their drab little lives. It has great potential if the author re-wrote it wearing running shoes. ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and its delightfully quirky characters. The small town omniscient voice was masterfully done. Such a pleasure to read!
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Liked this book a lot, but I knew I would from the description.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
I could not get into this jumped around too much and the story line was very boring...I kept reading thinking it would get better but it never did...didn't even make it to the end... ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was ok

Did not enjoy this book at all, forced myself to just finish it and move on to a good book!
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Susan Woodring is the author of two novels, Goliath (St. Martin’s Press, 2012) and The Traveling Disease (Main Street Rag, 2007) and a short story collection, Springtime on Mars (Press 53, 2008). Her short fiction has appeared in Isotope, Passages North, turnrow, and Surreal South, among other anthologies and literary magazines. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short ...more

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