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Butterfly Weed

(Stay More #7)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  17 reviews
This is the life story of the colorful physician of Harington’s acclaimed Stay More novels, Doc Swain: how he becomes a physician without benefit of medical school education, how he winds up as a high-school teacher of hygiene and enamored of a pretty student, how his love for her ultimately leads him to face some heartbreaking choices. Bawdy, rich in language and detail, ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1996)
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3.91  · 
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 ·  200 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best one of the series yet. I'm tempted to annotate the book in terms of historical fact. Couple of examples:

The frame story is told by Vance Randolph, who really was a folkorist who specialized in Ozarkian folklore.

Automobiles really were manufactured in Arkansas in the early 20th century by the Climber Motor Company.

Artificial pneumothorax and thoracoplasty(!) really were used as treatments for tuberculosis. There really was a tuberculosis sanitorium near Booneville Arkansas. In one way,
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
‘Butterfly Weed’ takes the form of a novelist speaking with a retired folklorist at his nursing home. The folklorist stumbled into Stay More with typhoid and was nursed back to health by Doc Swain. Doc Swain was cut from the womb of his mother by his biological father who killed his parents and gave the baby to reclusive healer in payment for learning the trade of healing from the recluse. The recounts the story of Doc Swain a doctor taught by his adoptive father in their remote cave. Without fo ...more
Bud Mallar
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: karen-rec-read
Again, one should start with Mr Harington's first book in the Stay More series to pick up the running narrative of several characters.

But, like most of them, this will work as a stand alone.

This, like all the others, are full of Arkansas rural characters, folklore, stories and bits and pieces of reality.

But this story, like the others, touches us all. It is about life, and love, and choices, and acceptance and is a wonderful break from all the grit lit I go through. Perhaps the 'sex scenes' - al
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
I picked this up as light reading after finishing Lonesome Dove. It was perfect. Harington knows how to tell a story. I laughed every single time I picked up this book. It is rife with Ozarkian folklore, folk medicine, folk humor, and folks. It's a bit fantastical as Doc Swain cures people in their dreams, meets his lover in their dreams for their first romantic liaison, and sets up a student who is endowed with two penises with another student who's got two vaginas, but this aspect is buffered ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Any book by Harrington is always a good read, but I was just a bit disappointed about one aspect of the book. Most of his books tell agreat story, have interesting characters, and have wonderful twists and turns to the plot line. Sex was just a natural part of the story. With Butterfly Weed I felt that sex drove the plot rather than events or the characters. This has not been the norm for other books by Harrington.
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A good Harrington starter. Harrington has more humor in his little finger than most have in their entire arm. He transfers his humor and personality to the page. His latest comes out in May 2008...more from the town of Stay More, where most of his novels take place. You get to know an entire community when you digest one of his books.
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I got caught up in Donald Harington's world of Stay More, Arkansas years ago, with his book Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks. I've read a number of his books since. Butterfly Weed is not my favorite, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless. Very funny, bawdy, just a little too "self aware" for my taste.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arkansas, fiction
Another beautiful story from Donald Harington. This time he tells the story of Doc Swain, one of my favourite Stay Morons. I was surprised to learn after reading it that the character Vance who narrates the story to Harington in the book (yes, it is meta) was a real-life folklorist.
Jim Krotzman
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoy the folklore scenario of the novel.
The Ozark dialect is entertaining if not accurate. I don't know if it is.
There are many sexual situations in the novel.
The character of Colvin U Swain is well developed.
The superstitions and medical therapies of the mountain folk are entertaining.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just amazing.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I never tire of this author.
Jul 13, 2008 added it
Okay. I didn't finish this. I tried to because the writing is interesting and unique--folklore of the Ozarks. However: I simply couldn't stick with it.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this some time ago and never took it off my to read list. Hmmm, I remember that I enjoyed it enough at the time, but the book did not live within me like a really good book does.
Veronika Suess
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
That was just lot of fun! A great book indeed!
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Donald Douglas Harington was an American author. All but the first of his novels either take place in or have an important connection to "Stay More," a fictional Ozark Mountains town based somewhat on Drakes Creek, Arkansas, where Harington spent summers as a child.

Harington was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He lost nearly all of his hearing at age 12 due to meningitis. This did not pr

Other books in the series

Stay More (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Lightning Bug
  • Some Other Place. The Right Place.
  • The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks
  • Cockroaches of Stay More
  • The Choiring of the Trees
  • Ekaterina
  • When Angels Rest
  • Thirteen Albatrosses: (or, Falling Off the Mountain)
  • With
  • The Pitcher Shower
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