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The Pallbearer

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Lynch, West Virginia, is a husk of a town: houses collapsing, deserted coal mines, the money gone. The residents who have not abandoned their homes find themselves living in poverty with little-to-no job opportunities, fighting for scraps and survival under the rule of Ferris Gilbert--the patriarch of a local family who governs the town with manipulative cruelty.

When Jason
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Skyhorse
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-netgalley
*** 4 Stars***
The Pallbearer by Jordan Farmer was a great read that I highly recommend. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't wait find out how everything would play out. I loved the character development and how all the character's stories intertwined. The Gilbert family runs this small town and one of the brothers ends up in jail for a crime. The main Gilbert, Ferris, goes to extreme circumstances to help his brother, including blackmailing and murder. I don't want to give away any det

CW: addiction, animal cruelty, homophobia, physical altercations and self-harm

He kept thinking about the small handwriting, the elegant loop in the cursive P of please. It was capitalized, a single word followed by the dark blot of a period. Words were such fragile, imprecise things, but that please explained everything.

Based solely on the premise, I thought this story could go either way.. but I'm happy to report that not only is Pallbearer one of my new favourite English words, Jordan Farm

Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded down.

I first became aware of this through a Lambda Literary blurb, and am somewhat disappointed that the gay content is really incidental and doesn't figure more prominently - although the innovation of the titular character being a dwarf somewhat mitigated against that. Aside from that, Farmer's debut displays real talent and grit, but it took an abysmally long time for the book to really take off for me, and there were far too many languid passages. I also found it difficult to ke
Crystal Brown
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, fiction, 2018
I'll be honest with you all: I chose to read The Pallbearer simply because I really liked the cover and because it is set in Appalachia.

I was a little worried going in that the protagonist Jason Felts' dwarfism would be used as a gimmick in the story, as would Terry's homosexuality, but I am quite pleased to have been wrong on both fronts.

Too often, authors emphasize a character's disability so much that the character basically becomes that disability. In this instance, Felts is written as a com
Janet Martin
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This debut is a hard book, gritty and unforgiving. The main character grew up in a funeral home, carrying coffins of those who lacked relatives to do the task, and has spent his adult life working in his community attempting to carry lost souls out of misery. Handicapped physically, his spirit is indomitable. Depressing and uplifting, this portrayal of a community locked up by criminal elements, strikes home the reality of 21st century life on the edge of an economically divided country. Farmer ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this as much as I did. The writing was beautifully done, descriptive and yet not dragging. The characters were the most imperfect people, in the best way possible. I loved how every character had a flaw and had a strength.

Will definitely be recommending! I love it!
Susan Obryan
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A decaying small town in West Virginia is the setting for the debut novel by Jordan Farmer. "The Pallbearer" holds no punches at it depicts the sadness and desperation for a group of folks whenever they've known is dead or dying.

Jason Felts, a dwarf and prison social worker, has felt society's sting all his life, even when he was called upon as a teen to be a fill-in pallbearer at his family's once-prosperous funeral home. Now, as an adult, he's assigned to help Huddles, the teen-age brother of
Aaron Mcquiston
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
"The Pallbearer" is the story of a poor small town, Lynch, West Virginia, and the crime and corruption that happens in many of these towns throughout America. Practically ran by the Gilbert Family, they think that they can get away with anything, including drugs dealing, assault, and murder. Who is going to stop them when they are above the law?

Jason Felts, a dwarf and social worker, who grew up above the funeral home and was a stand in pallbearer when needed, gets tangled into the web of the Gi
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
OMG. What a read. I highly recommend this book for your reading pleasure. Hooks you from page one and does not let go. Interesting subject matter and superb writing. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not affect my opinion of this book nor my review.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Now this is how to write a true to life novel. No Hollywood bullshit. Gritty realism all the way through. Examines both sides of loyalty and intentions. Excellent pacing, down and dirty characters, and a few angels thrown in to keep you believing. Fine as frog’s hair.
Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
Summary: Jason Felts is a counselor at the Shelby Youth Correctional Facility in Lynch, West Virginia. When he was younger, he worked as a pallbearer at the local funeral home. As someone who was--and continues to be--bullied because of his physical challenges, he has a soft spot for the boys in the "Shell", the nickname for the boy's prison.

Lynch, a coal mining town well onto its final skid into oblivion, is home to those who have nowhere else to go. At the top of this slag heap is a hoodlum n
Hana Correa
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Randee Green
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
THE PALLBEARER is Jordan Farmer's debut novel. It will be published November 6th 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing.

Lynch, West Virginia - a poverty stricken town in the dying coal region - is ruled by the ruthless criminal Ferris Gilbert. When Ferris' younger brother is incarcerated at a juvenile facility, Ferris manipulates and threatens social worker, Jason Felts, into smuggling a deadly item into the jail. Jason, who only wants to help people, is forced to choose between saving Huddles Gilbert or h
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been going back and forth on my review for this one. This was a tough book to read - animal harm, self hard, homophobia, etc. - but tough books have never been an issue for me. I actually like reading the tough stuff - I just can't watch it. The tough stuff wasn't my problem - it was the feeling I got when I read it that was the problem. I felt so heavy and sad and depressed the entire time I was reading. There wasn't any joy - nothing to ease the sadness that I felt as I read. I think th ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A well written, interesting plot which moves right along and is easy to read. Unfortunately the subject matter is depressing and demoralizing which makes this a "not fun" book. I believe the author did a fine job of capturing the plight of Appalachia where there are few prospects for advancement and those that are available are largely illegal or of questionable moral quality. Just as the plight of the Appalachian inhabitants is depressing and hopeless, I found the book to be the same.
Abigail (Abbe)
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: npr
The ending lacked the strength of the rest of the novel. A great read.
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Sep 02, 2019
John Murphy
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Dec 13, 2018
Denice Langley
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book drew me in. Then I read the synopsis and decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did. The Pallbearer is about real people with real problems trying the best they can to survive. A small West Virginia town, dying as the coal mines close, run by the only family left in town with enough money to influence everyone else. There are several main characters, all living different lives that end up pulled together by chance. How they work through their differences to get ahead make ...more
Maggie Magnusson
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Feb 14, 2019
Thomas E Baldwin
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Tom Bennitt
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Dec 13, 2018
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