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Bell Hammers

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  305 ratings  ·  111 reviews
🏆 finalist for Glimmer Train's Fiction Open.



Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by t
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published October 12th 2020
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  • Bell Hammers by Lancelot Schaubert
    Bell Hammers: The True Folk Tale of Little Egypt, Illinois

    Release date: Oct 12, 2020
    💕 Valentine's Day giveaway: 100 copies

    "Wonderful." — Glimmer Train
    "The writing style is excellent, reminiscent of Mark Twain." — Scribbes
    "One of a kin

    Format: Kindle book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 1070 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 08 - Feb 07, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.57  · 
    Rating details
     ·  305 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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    Schaubert's book features a series of swell little vignettes that tell of a life well-lived. Read it, and you will learn why you should never put a combination lock on a privy.

    And, I liked this tale so much, I've decided to share it:

    For his senior prank, he led three hogs up onto the third floor of the high school . . . and he'd painted a single number on each of those three hogs in bright blue paint: #1, #2, and #4. Took eight hours for them to get out the three little pigs and clean up the sh
    Ankit Garg
    Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    “Bell Hammers” by Lancelot Schaubert is a fun and humorous story delivering a powerful message. The book can be summarized as a collection of several stories. The characters are loving and realistic. The writing style is excellent, reminiscent of Mark Twain.

    Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC.

    Verdict: Recommended.

    Read full review here.
    Louise Wilson
    May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
    This book is sometimes humorous but poignant. We learn of Remmy's childhood straight through to his death. All his life he wanted to build Camelot. He dreamed of having a great time with his merry men. Some chapters were a little dragged out. Family play a big part in this story. 5his is a series of stories told from Remmy's perspective. He learned to be a prankster from his grandad so he pranks people. He hates the mineral and soil companies as they messed up the land that he loved. This is a e ...more
    Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Humorous, folksy and charming. Reminiscent of Mark Twain's style of storytelling. As comfortable as a pair of slippers and an easy chair, this read is well worth the time spent.

    A review copy was provided by Net Galley and the publishers. This is an honest, unbiased, uncompensated review.
    Lancelot Schaubert
    Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
    Confession: had I known how painfully relevant this book would grow in light of the recent insurrection, I would have done more to give it more media exposure. The original hope was to raise my voice to help — in some small way — prevent something like this from happening by forcing folks outside the context to reflect on the plight of rural poor and by forcing the rural poor to think through the consequences of such an insurrection on the country, their lives, families, friends, and history. I ...more
    Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is a story that needed tellin, simple as that. Boy I’m sure glad he did. You see, my people from way back when are just like these people, so I grew up hearing stories and tall tales just like the ones in this here book. Most of em are probably true, but who knows and honestly, who cares? Like I said, these are stories that needed tellin. And they are told just like they were said, in that wonderful spoken vernacular of those wonderful people. It brought me back to when I was a little girl ...more
    Sarah Jackson
    Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
    "Bell Hammers" traces the life of "Remmy", Wilson Remus Broganer from his childhood to end of life, through a series of anecdotes, tall tales, and dubious recollections. Remmy is a wonderful character, set on creating a happy life for himself and the other less fortunate folk. The story is set in a region in Illinois known as Little Egypt, and describes a land of hard working farmers and oil company entrepreneurs.The style of writing is reminiscent of Mark Twain, in that the author liberally use ...more
    Linda Martin
    Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This story is told from a boy named Remmy and the life he lead in Southern Illinois. It’s told in a whimsical way, that you feel like your there with him. It’s a different genre for me but I really liked it.
    Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bell Hammers: The True Folk Tale of Little Egypt tells the life story of Wilson Remus “Remmy” Broganer. There is a helpful map of the geography where Bell Hammers takes place at the beginning of the story, which starts in the year 1941 when Remmy was six years of age and ends with his death in 2015. Remmy grew up in a working-class family in Little Egypt, Illinois, and readers are given a bird’s eye view into Remmy’s everyday life from childhood, adulthood, marriage, fatherhood, and on into the ...more
    Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bell Hammers: The True Folk Tale of Little Egypt
    by Lancelot Schaubert

    About the Book:

    Remmy and Beth grow up in Bellhammer, Illinois during the time that oil and coal companies rob the land, stripping if of everything that made it paradise.

    Remmy’s Grandad teaches him how to pull outrageous pranks on his neighbors, friends, and foes. Under his Daddy’s guidance he starts a construction company, which depends on contracts from the Texarco Oil Company.

    Remmy has a fascination with “Robin Hood”, castl
    Hana Correa
    Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This is a very different style of novel than I have found myself reading in some time. Written as a collective story that follows the life of one Remmy Brogenar. Born in recession era Illinois, Remmy was born and raised in the shadow of big oil and coal. Defying the corrupting effects of having a town full of big oil money, Remmy finds a way to make a life in Southern Illinois. Often humorous, there is a folkloric undercurrent to the story, as Remmy’s outlook is so often painted in the shadow of ...more
    Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction
    It is a little ironic calling southern Illinois "Little Egypt." Egypt is exotic, mysterious, and mystical. Southern Illinois is none of those things, at least to those uninterested in careful reflection. Lancelot Shaubert is not one of those people. Bell Hammers is Shaubert's compelling, imaginative, and even magical tale centered on the type of place and the type of people often overlooked in the collective imagination. These are Shaubert's people. Their story is his story, and he tells it with ...more
    David Fish
    Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    The first time I met the author, he was a high school student visiting some of his college friends, who were enrolled in my first year Greek class. He came later as a student, and I intersected with him in Greek class. He was obviously a very skilled wordsmith. Though as a college teacher, I don't really have a lot of extra time to read fiction, I made time and read Bell Hammers almost straight through. Believe me, it involved some wee hour of the morning reading. Though I usually LOI (laugh on ...more
    Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bell Hammers is a wonderfully fun and delivers a powerful message as well. A child's dream and how it shapes the way he views and interacts with his world. The people you meet along the way bring depth and perspective on the times while drawing you into their world. An enjoyable and worthy read.

    Thank you to the author for providing a review copy. This is an honest and uncompensated review.
    Bonnye Reed
    I received a free electronic ARC of this historical novel from Netgalley, Lancelot Schaubert, and IBPA. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. In a style all of his own, Schaubert brings us the poignant history of a town, a family, that is crystal clear in minute vignettes of time and place through the eyes of youngster Wilson Remus Broganer.

    Remmy is 6 years old when his story begins i
    Anneliese Grassi
    Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: arcs, the-review-crew
    Unfortunately, I had a really hard time with this book. I was intrigued by the subject and it seemed interesting (think Robin Hood and pranks), however, the book just never went anywhere for me. The first couple of pages were funny and it pulled me in, but then it just kind of dragged on as I was waiting for something more and found myself struggling to get through it. To me, it seemed like a bunch of stuff just thrown together to make a book, which in a sense I guess it was since the book was c ...more
    Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bell hammers is a humour filled entertaining read set in Southern Illinois, and focuses on the life of Remmy from his adolescence to the end of his life tracing every stage of his life from childhood, adulthood, married life, and ends with his death.

    This book is a collection of series of anecdotes, tall tales. Remmy from his childhood enjoyed playing pranks on people where few were fun-filled while some are unpleasant. It shows his creative ways of money-making and how he started the house buil
    Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
    One of a kind book that tells serious issues in a funny way. While reading the first chapter, i knew how special the main character Remus is. Humorous and heartfelt throughout. The relationship between Remus and relatives is very relatable. It was bit dragged in some chapters, but I loved the use of local slang and scenarios by the author. Surprisingly i found the language mimicking some classic authors. Well thought and more pressing than I thought it would be!
    Thank you NetGalley, Lancelot Sch
    Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    A comfortable, fun and humourous story, reminiscent of Faulkner and Twain. With loving and realistic characters and excellent writing a story that needed telling done well. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the arc.
    Sharon Rogers
    Bell Hammers is beautifully written with a really distinctive voice which engages you from the first sentence. Really enjoyable narrative and prose, a real page turner.
    Mara Benigno
    Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I loved it a little too much! What a great book!
    Khansa Jan Dijoo
    I received this book from a Netgalley request for an honest review.

    Bell Hammers: The True Folk Tale of Little Egypt, Illinois by Lancelot Schaubert is a story about Wilson Remus who lived his whole life in Little Egypt, Illinois. It is a very simple story about a man who aims to build his own paradise for the people he loves. I liked this book because of its plot, its themes, and the point of view. One aspect which I did not like about this book was the development of the plot that dragged the
    Bell Hammers is a book about a man from a family living in Little Egypt, Illinois.

    The story is documented by a bemused grandson who does a great job of capturing the local speech, logic and philosophies of the large family which surrounds his grandfather, Remmy. Family traditions include pranking – this got my attention because the men in one side of my family were pranksters and teasers, and it all went south as they married, so it was a family battle I was willing to compare as I opened the fi
    Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Thanks to Kimberlee of The Review Crew and the publishers for sending me a review copy of BELL HAMMERS by Lancelot Schaubert.
    Wilson Remus Broganer, better know as Remmy, is the protagonist of this humorous, yet often poignant story. He is quite the prankster, even from his childhood when he tries to go to school with no clothes on so he won't miss his ride.
    In his small town in Southern Illinois, Remmy dreams of having a castle like that of Camelot and building a band of Merry Men to his vision o
    Veronica (Honey Roselea Reads)
    Oct 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
    Shelves: 2020, arc-booksirens, dnf
    Thank you to BookSirens for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and for Lancelot Schaubert for getting in touch with me.

    Bell Hammers is something that I usually don't read as I'm not one to dabble into such humor as this but as I began to read this, I realize that it was not just the humor that was disagreeing with me it was pretty much the whole story. Yes this is the story about William Remus, but truthfully, what story was there? Each chapter was a literal year in his life bu
    Drew K
    Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bell Hammers is and enjoyable and thoughtful read, one that captures life in southern Illinois Coal Country during the 20th century. The novel is told in stories, starting in Remmy's childhood, and bringing us through his adulthood, marriage, fatherhood and grandfather hood. Overshadowing everything is the Big Oil company, and Remmy's long play to develop a prank designed to even the score. The book is both funny and poignant and as I read through, I really felt myself bonding with these charact ...more
    Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I almost stopped reading this book. But then I realized that I was reading it too seriously in my college english prep mind voice. I needed to read it somewhat phonnically in a southern Iowa/Illinois mind voice. Then the story came out. Remmy, always the prankster finds out that the bigger the prank the bigger the repercusions. The Good Lord may help you think twice but sometimes He lets you learn your lesson the hard way. But you have to give Remmy an A for creativity. It comes naturally to him ...more
    Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bellhammers follows an ornery child on his path to become an ornery man. The story begins in a modest town in Illinois with Remmy getting a bath in a metal tub. When the "bus" (an old flatbed truck) pulls up the street he runs naked after the truck to catch the bus. Even from the first page the reader understands that this is no normal lead character, but one with life and stories...and pranks.

    Throughout the book, Remmy and his best friends, a.k.a. the "merry men" battle the big bad oil company.
    Ryan Mac
    Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

    Bell Hammers is a wonderfully written book that follows Remmy through life in southern Illinois. It is told in a series of short stories linked together with each chapter covering a year of Remmy's life starting in elementary school. Remmy learns how to be a prankster from his grandfather and the book is peppered with jokes between him and friends, wife and children. When a faulty oil derrick falls in Remmy's yard and
    Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Bell Hammers is told through the voice of Remmy, using a series of stories which may have been passed down through generations. Remmy lives in Little Egypt, southern Illinois, his enemy is Texarco, the oil company. He has learned from his grandfather how to play jokes and pranks on others, as life can be a bit tedious.
    The book is based on the actual experiences of some of the authors' own relatives, so this makes the events more meaningful to the reader and you could say it was a story waiting t
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    Two excerpts of Lancelot Schaubert's ( debut novel BELL HAMMERS sold to The New Haven Review ( Yale's Institute Library ) and The Misty Review, while a third excerpt was selected as a finalist for the last Glimmer Train Fiction Open in history. He has also sold poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to TOR (MacMillan), The Anglican Theological Review, McSween

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