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Lightning Bug

(Stay More #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  464 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Latha Bourne, the attractive postmistress of Stay More-a small town in the Arkansas Ozarks-didn't expect to see Every Dill again. Now everyone in the village is surprised that Every had the nerve to reappear in this tale of loss and of finding. ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Toby Press (first published 1970)
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Lauren This is the same question I wanted to ask. However I just read the choiring of the trees, and loved it, not realizing it was part of a series. When I …moreThis is the same question I wanted to ask. However I just read the choiring of the trees, and loved it, not realizing it was part of a series. When I came here I wanted to see if there was an order to the books. (less)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  464 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Mike Sullivan
Shelves: southern
"The smells of things in the air of the night are the calls of lives wanting to be found. Why else are fragrances fragrant?
We see to find, we hear to find, we smell to find and be found. Until we find or be found, we are lost and wanting."

The theme of the mood of an ending is of a loss or finding.I first came across Donald Harington 20+ years ago. He wasn't a priority because, heck, I was working in the bookstore business, and new and exciting books were passing beneath my nose every day. I was
I can't quite work out if what I just read was supposed to be a parody, or take-off, or lampoon of romantic conventions, or if it was just…really objectionable. You know all those trashy romance novels set in the Wild West, where there's a small dusty town and one feisty, independent woman, and there's a hero who's super manly and beats up all the other men but then he's all shy and tongue-tied around the girl, and there's some scene where he has to take his pants off so she can apply lotion to ...more
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Check this author out!
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Lawyer
Shelves: the-south
While Donald Harington is relatively unheard of, he is an author you should probably make yourself familiar with. From the first few lines of his second novel, Lightning Bug, Harington's immense talents can be discerned as he magically transports you into the vast, vibrant Arkansas summer nights filled with stary skies and flashing bugs. You can literally smell the land and feel the heat as you sit on the wooden porch of the Stay More Post Office beside Latha Borne, Harington's beautiful heroine ...more
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Admirers of unique southern literature, "Magical Realism,"
Recommended to Lawyer by: Oxford American, 2006
I have to thank "The Oxford American," a journal devoted to southern literature and culture, for introducing me to Donald Harington. The fine folks at that magazine let me know about him way back in 2006, when they handed out their first Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Southern Literature to this guy from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Donald who? It pains me to say it, but I'd never heard of the man.

You'd think I would have run right out and bought every Harington in sight, but this is
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ozarkers, bank-robbers-turned-preachers, sex-starved postmistresses

The lightning bug, or firefly, is neither a bug nor a fly, but a beetle. I like bug, because it has a cozy sound, a hugging sound, a snug sound, it fits her, my Bug.

Deep in the dark blue air sing these lives that make the summer night. The lightning bug does not sing. But of all these lives, it alone, the lightning bug alone, is visible. The others are heard but not seen, felt but not seen, smelled but not seen.

Lightning Bug is set in the early 1930s, in the fictional Ozark town of Stay More, Ar
Set in Harington's fictional, beloved representation of a town of Stay More, we learn about the mysterious, beautiful postmistress, Latha Bourne. I'm glad I was directed to read The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks first, because I have a frame of reference for the characters and events...anyway. Harington is terrific and I wish I'd been told about him long ago.

I'm finding that I have difficulty liking a book if I can't somehow imagine how the character feels, if I can't imagine myself being
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sue by: Southern Literary Trails
Well I just wrote a review I absolutely loved and the system killed it! Now I don't know whether to try again or give up. I doubt I'll be as successful this time but here goes.

Once again, On Southern Literary Trail has introduced me to a wonderful new author. Donald Harington has created his own world of Stay More, Arkansas, in the Ozarks, and peopled it with odd and occasionally somewhat mythic men and women (and a few children) who live in this tiny mountain spot with nature and not much else.
Apr 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes great writing
Recommended to Bill by: karen
Shelves: lit-fiction, fiction
first of all, many thanks to my good friend karen, who enlightened me as to the existence of donald harington.she has impeccable literary taste as every book/author she has recommmended to me has been great.

considering i have spent a fair amount of my life browsing new and used bookstores and libraries i find it amazing that i have never heard of or ever seen a book by a great author who has written 15 books.

lightning bug is the first of 14 books (unfortunately harington died fairly recently so
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I decided that since I have moved to a new area of the country that I'd read a book by a local author. This is the one that I landed on. This author has been called "an undiscovered continent" and "America's greatest unknown novelist". I'll have to agree with those statements.

This novel is horrible and brilliant all at once. I just couldn't look away. It's set in a slowly vanishing rural northwest Arkansas township in the Ozark mountains. The plot of the book centers largely around the township
Larry Bassett
A cursory reading of GR reviews suggests that Donald Harington is an undiscovered gem. He is a recipient of the Oxford American Lifetime Award for Contributions to Southern Literature. Lightning Bug (published in 1970) is set in Stay More, Arkansas, a fictional Ozark Mountains town. He is certainly undiscovered by GR readers: this book has garnered only 9 reviews and 63 ratings. But, importantly, over 80% of the reviews gave the book four or five stars.

This is the leadoff book that introduces on
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
Absolutely wonderful. So funny, sad, heartwarming, heartbreaking, philosophical and VERY unique. I had already read The Pitcher Shower (also wonderful) when I realized it was part of this series. So..... as always, here I am starting from the beginning, but I don't think I'll be anything but delighted while on the journey. Highly recommended. ...more
Ava Catherine
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lightning Bug is set in Harington's beloved fictional town of Stay More, Arkansas. The postmistress Latha Bourne is beautiful and mysterious. Latha has been limited in life, agonizes over her bad choices, and isn't permitted to decide for herself. These are concepts that women in the 1930s lived with.

This is a love story, set in one very eventful day with flashbacks that tell what happened and why things happened the way they did. There is quite a bit of lusting for sex and sex. However, the na
Connie D
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: small-town
I have mixed feelings about this book. There are certain appealing aspects for me: quirky characters, unusual story and interesting writing style (often using 2nd person "you" point of view). Some of the unappealing aspects are similar: oversharing (for me) of quirkiness and sex, unnecessarily strange point of view, irritating characters, and an interesting but rather unpleasant story.

P.S. After finishing the book, I read a note that said Donald Harington lost his hearing at the age of 12. This
Justin Haynes
So LIGHTNING BUG by Donald Harington is one of those good ol' Southern novels that you feel like you've read 100 times before. He talks about the bull frogs croaking and the whipperwhills moaning and he describes the smell of honeysuckle and fresh dew on a warm summer morning. We've all read this a million times and it's boring as hell.

Then something happens. The real meat of the novel starts and I realized I have this wonderful treat on my hand. It's like a cool popsicle on a hot August afterno
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: arkansas, fiction
After reading Harington's other Stay More novels, I was dying to learn more about Latha Bourne, who shows up in so many of them. This book didn't fully help me understand her charm or allure. I wanted more from this short book. Very atmospheric and hazy (a perfect book to read during a heat wave). ...more
I can easily see why this is a hit with the men. Latha Bourne, no relation to Jason Bourne, I'm assuming, is quite the sexy mama. She has men, boys, of all ages, vying for her attention. I mistakenly thought this would be a good book to listen to while working and uh-hum soon found out I should best have read this late at night under the covers with a flashlight. It is a good story though, by an author I have just become acquainted with, thanks to Southern Lit book club. I understand there are m ...more
I know now that I want to read a LOT of this author's works.

His foil of young 'Dawny' to portray his protagonist's life story is stellar. I'm not sure how the ending really ended, but am happy that I get to revisit this book in my thoughts over the next year (or two)... playing out the meanings.

I wasn't prepared for the bodice-ripper nature, but must admit that I've never read a book so full of well-written sex scenes, almost cerebral descriptions of intimate events. I was also surprised to find
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I discovered this gem at a garage sale while on vacation in northern Michigan. There were quite a few shelves of old books, I went right to this one because of the title, skimmed the first page, and bought it for a nice shiny quarter. It's the original from the 1970's. I started reading it, and didn't put it down until I stopped. I was in love! A wonderful book! ...more
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-gothic
Smooth as molasses. Deep, rich, engaging ambiance. Great voice. My second Donald Harington read. My first exposure being The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks. A five star read. The story line in Lightning Bug was a little weaker. I am captivated by Harington's writing skill. Unique. I shall savor more of his work. ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Lightning Bug wasn't as good as Harington's Butterfly Weed, and it certainly wasn't as good a The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks. Still a fun read in the Stay More series, though. And it explained a lot about Latha Bourne, who I was familiar with from the other books. ...more
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Unusual switching of POVs. Good use of dialect (but not over-done). By page 75 or so, I was hooked and finished the rest of the book in one gulp. The plot doubles back on itself, and then winds around and back forward again. In a category by itself. Well worth reading.
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite read of 2010 so far..
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good Southern writing.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with the main character and have ventured back to her many times.
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
An odd but engaging book.
Craig Amason
I had never heard of Donald Harington, which isn't surprising given that he is often described as a good writer without enough recognition. Now that I live in the Ozarks and have a mission to learn as much about the place as possible, I have started reading books originating from the region. Lightning Bug is probably a bit too bawdy to be taken seriously in an academic setting, although well-respected and award-winning authors like Ron Rash have praised Harington. Rash wrote an introduction to a ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I find myself rather conflicted on this piece of literature. On one hand, it was well-written period-fiction in early 20th century Arkansas. On the other, and rather strange hand, the book often went into pornographic details narrated by a 5-year-old, held a woman fall in love with a multiple rapist and thief, and had a pornographic scene involving Jesus. Reveling in reminiscence of the sounds of childhood Kentucky, Donny Harington delivers a nostalgic piece of a simpler time and tells a tale of ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This popped up on my radar when I read an interview with Kevin Brockmeier. Found the first novel about Stay More, Arkansas and dug in. I love discoveries like this. Kind of a literary marriage between Faulkner, Lewis Nordan, and Fred Chappell. Just awesome.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
wow. this is one of those rare books that's a true work of art AND STILL A GOOD YARN. a little smutty but that's ok. I dare you to try the first 2 pages and not love it. ...more
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Genetic recombination of literary genes from John Barth and T.R. Pearson!
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On the Southern L...: Lightning Bug, by Donald Harington: January 2013 22 56 Feb 23, 2013 09:51AM  

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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)
  • Some Other Place. The Right Place.
  • The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks
  • Cockroaches of Stay More
  • The Choiring of the Trees
  • Ekaterina
  • Butterfly Weed
  • When Angels Rest
  • Thirteen Albatrosses: (or, Falling Off the Mountain)
  • With
  • The Pitcher Shower

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