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Noon Wine

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Audio Cassette
Published January 1st 1985 by Caedmon (first published January 1st 1971)
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Jan 18, 2010 rated it liked it
God, I read the weirdest shit when I'm sick and can't get to the library. The Brujo's mouldering relics from 23+ years of teaching high school English include, bizarrely, this. It's like watery Harper Lee, with some gapeworthy moments.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This short novel by Katherine Anne Porter (1937)is included in a collection of her stories (1965.)In the preface she abhors the designations 'novella'and 'novelette," so I'll stick with 'short novel' out of respect.

Her genius in this story is creating characters--from the bizarre villain to the strange hired man who owns a collection of harmonicas but only plays one tune, a song about wine at noon. The story takes place on a Texas dairy farm, 1896-1905, owned by the Thompson family, people
Edward Cheer
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Probably of all the books and plays that take me around an hour (give or take), I'd have to say that "Noon Wine" did the best with it. I know I complained in my review of "Trifles" of it's brief storytelling, but that's because it did little with it. It felt like a scene, not like a whole one-act play. I like short stories (The video game "Portal" comes to mind as I mention this) that take their time and still manage to tell an effective story, while also being very brief. Now that I've padded ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A haunting story that sticks with you.
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
This short novel to me fell within the same category of books like Of Mice and Men or even O Pioneers―stories of life on farms, full of struggles for owners and hands alike, with tragedy looming in the background waiting to strike. But each is no doubt different, with its own unique tale, its own tragedy. Noon Wine takes us to the farm of the Thompsons where Mr Thompson is quite clear on what the jobs of men and women on the farm should be but his wife isn’t strong enough to cope. Luck comes ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really liked Porter's writing style, but I honestly couldn't grasp the point of this short story. A farm family in Texas hires a drifter from North Dakota, Mr. Helton, a silent man, but one who does his work well. He's with them for 9 years and becomes a part, silent part, of the family. Out of nowhere comes another man from North Dakota looking for Mr. Helton claiming that he had killed his brother and been in and out of the "looney bin" after that. The last few pages relate the violence ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
she signed a book of mine and now it is lost. this story haunts me.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
בחור אלמוני מתקבל לעבוד ולחיות בחווה בדרום טקסס. כעבור שנים מגיע מרחוק גבר אשר הכיר את אותו עובד ויש לו מידע חשוב עבור בעל החווה בקשר אליו. מכאן מתפתח הסיפור באופן בלתי צפוי, ואף גורם לתהיה מה קרה אחר כך.
נובלה קצרה ומוצלחת על הטבע האנושי ההפכפך.

יין צהריים/קת'רין אן פורטר
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A pleasant surprise. What starts out as a folksy, slice of life story about a scrabbling Texas farm family and the mysterious hired hand who turns their fortunes around, suddenly turns dark and becomes a poignant portrait of a man's guilt. Very well done. I will certainly be seeking out more of Porter's work.

(Incidentally, despite this book appearing in a collection called Six Great Modern Short Novels, it's really not a novel or even a novella. At around 20,000 words, it technically qualifies
Matthew Berkshire
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Vanessa Braganza
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sight and gaze play an interesting role in this novella...
Thom Dunn
Aug 03, 2011 marked it as to-read
A 50-page short novel included in Seven Contemporary Short Novels (Charles Clerq and Louis Leiter, eds, 1969) along with an essay on it by Louis Leiter.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing short novel with a few surprises to reveal and a nice twist in the middle. I won't spoil anything but it's interesting how the story goes in a drastically different direction after a certain event. It reminded me of Flannery O'Connor's short stories in the way it was set on a remote farm and contained a surprisingly gruesome element. There is plenty to ponder here and it is certainly worth reading.
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novellas, fiction
So much going on in this short novel. . . I read this on the recommendation of a writing teacher, and I can see why it's so admired. It sets the bar high for telling a "stranger came to town" type of story.
Connie Lee
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is this short novel that inspired me to read more of this author's work. In Noon Wine, I was transported to another time and another place. My mouth is still dusty from the aftermath of the read. Too bad I did not appreciate Miss Porter' s work fifty years ago. Fortunately, I see clearly now.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Imagery and characters were fabulously done.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprising all the way through. Good description. Read for my Dartmouth graduate creative writing class - Novella.
Devashree Vyas
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Date read: 05.04.2018
Date of review: 12.05.2018

Rating: 3.5/5

This was one among twelve short novels I read, within a book entitled 'Twelve Modern Short Novels'. I have saved each book individually on Goodreads, as I am unable to find the entire book on the site.

Noon Wine is simultaneously meaningful and peculiar. It speaks of humans in general through a few characters. A family residing on a farm is approached by a young man, who offers to work there on their terms, which involve minimal pay,
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Noon Wine by Katherine Anne Porter

Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:


I was surprised to find that Noon Wine is described as a short novel.
And it is the author herself that has chosen this category over “novella” that she considered:

- "slack, boneless, affected word that we do not need to describe anything." She also said "Please call my works by their right names. We have four that cover every division: short
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Katherine Anne Porter was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist. She is known for her penetrating insight; her works deal with dark themes such as betrayal, death and the origin of human evil.
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“The boys ate warily, trying not to be seen or heard, the cornbread sticking, the buttermilk gurgling, as it went down their gullets.” 2 likes
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