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A Cry of Angels

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  26 reviews
It is the mid-1950s in Quarrytown, Georgia. In the slum known as the Ape Yard, hope's last refuge is a boardinghouse where a handful of residents dream of a better life. Earl Whitaker, who is white, and Tio Grant, who is black, are both teenagers, both orphans, and best friends. In the same house live two of the most important adults in the boys' lives: Em Jojohn, the giga ...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by Brown Thrasher Books (first published May 1974)
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Gregory Janicke
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Jeff Fields put a curse on me.

I happened upon his book, A Cry of Angels, many moons ago. Jeff, and his magical, miraculous book, changed my life in the worst way.

Jeff made me want to look at my world as he saw his, full of sun and smoke, laughter and love. Jeff made me want to write, which is one of the worst things to wish upon a person.

You see, his book is up there with Harper Lee and Mark Twain. It gets under your skin. Every time I step in mud, I think of Jeff’s description of “work-stained
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It’s been over thirty years since I last read A Cry of Angels it’s still a 5 Star read and is still a favorite book. Thirty years dulled my memory about some of the details but not the feelings. It’s still a moving and touching story. On the cover of the copy I read it’s written, “The most touching, gripping and memorable story since To Kill A Mockingbird”. I for one believe this is true. I have read both books. Both gripped me from the start, both touched my mind and heart, and both stories are ...more
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I never understood why this book never reached the same level of critical acclaim as To Kill a Mockingbird. It is my number two of my list of all time favorite books.
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book in the mid-70s, and my mind has kept wandering back to it, to some of the sharply-etched characters and the peculiarly Southern flavor of the tale. I got online and found a library copy of the original hardback from 1974...for less than $3. I love the Internet:
It is the mid-1950s in Quarrytown, Georgia. In the slum known as the Ape Yard, hope's last refuge is a boardinghouse where a handful of residents dream of a better life. Earl Whitaker, who is white, and Tio Grant, who is b
Patti Jean
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books, one I've read over and over since the first time I discovered it in 1974. No matter where life takes me, I make sure this book goes with me. I can't understand why it was not A) a huge success and, B) made into a movie. I laugh and cry out loud every time I read it. A true masterpiece.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"A Cry of Angels", which I have reread a few times, is probably one of the best books I have ever read. I rate it up there with "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Secret of Santa Vittoria", and "The Milagro Beanfield War", all of which I consider classics.

This story of a Southern boy, his friends and relations, is immaculately drawn and very endearing. With each read the book retains its magic and charm and I can finally replace my old beat up paperback with this newly reissued edition.

Until this new
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bob recommended I read this book. I am very glad he suggested I read it. It is set in a fictional Northeast Georgia setting that is based on Elbert County, where I currently teach high school. A Cry of Angels is truly a wonderful explanantion of small town living, with the separation of the races, back in the 1950s. There are lots of references to granite, rivers, building a dam, SC, and, Athens, also.
Darrell Kastin
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Modern classic. I wish more people knew about this book. Great coming of age novel with numerous memorable characters.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's a lot of love for this book, and some exasperation for the fact that is not as popular as "To Kill A Mockingbird" as I've read in one review. It does share some stuff with Harper Lee's classic; this too is a children's story disguised as adult fiction, only rougher, more explicit. It's a similar setting, 1950s small-town South. Language is gorgeous as well, plot is fast-paced and characters are nicely built and wholesome. Situations are sometimes exaggerated though but it's all made up w ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
one of my all-time favorites. I never forgot this book when I read it, in the late '70s/early '80s, and I was thrilled when I found a first edition hardcover in Half Price Books, I felt like I'd found buried treasure. Over the years, I looked to see if Jeff Fields ever wrote anything else and couldn't find anything. I still remember scenes-about the bees under the armpits, the cast-iron skillet that had the black scrubbed off, and the Vachel Lindsay, who I'd never heard of and went out and found ...more
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The book was good, but dragged too much in parts. The ending was memorable about wanting to leave a place before time changes it. About leaving it before you lose your dream of it, lose the way it seemed when you were young and innocent. My favorite character was Em Jojohn, the “Indian.” And I liked the depiction of the South, of the hard life of poverty and segregation. And, that if people stick together they have power. But often, it is the single person who makes the most change.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is the very first book I ever read twice. I read it in the late 70"s and it just resonated with me. I thot it was fabulous and would have made a great movie. After reading it in the 70's then the 80's I still loved it. I even read it a third time. I'm overdue to read it again. I'm always surprised that more people haven't heard of it. Great storytelling.

Oct. 2017
I just read this again for a book club. I still love it and still think it's one of the best fiction books ever written.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! I had never heard of it until I saw a list of greatest books by GA authors. So glad I did. It's a great southern book. It's a great boy-coming-of age book. It's a book filled with eccentric characters vividly drawn. It ranks up there with To Kill a Mockingbird, A Confederacy of Dunces, and Mark Twain's works.
Bruth George
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quoting back of the book: "It is the mid-1950s i Quarrytown, Georgia. In a slum known as the ape Yard, hope's last refuge is a boardinghouse where a handful of residents dream of a better life. but those dreams are on a collision course with Doc Bob, a small-0town Machiavelli who rules the Apre Yard...."

Wonderful characters, good reading.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Carol by: Ralph R. Colelli
Originally published in 1974 and set in the 1950's southern United States. I don't know how I missed this book first time around. So glad it was released in paperback. Storytelling at its best! The terrific characters made me laugh and then, pages later, made my heart hurt. Once you start reading you can't stop.
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This was written in 1974, apparently had limited but loyal success, and has been reissued in paper. It has an excellent ear and is a gentle and sometimes not-so-gentle story of a pair of adolescent orphans growing up in the South in the 1950s. Well worth hunting down.
Morgan Jameson
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is simply a wonderful book. My father recommended it to me years ago, and I've read it twice. It'll make you laugh, cry, get angry, then laugh again. It should have won the Pulitzer IMO. I highly recommend it.
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, 2013
An eccentric architect, two orphan boys, a femme fatale, a gigantic nomadic Indian and an undertaker villain all come together to make this little known book a rollicking good read. The secondary characters are terrific also and I loved the southern flavor of the book.
Gayle Alston
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is the only book I've ever read twice. It is that good.
Oct 21, 2010 added it
Recommends it for: Linda
Recommended to Vickie by: Mary
I thoroughly enjoyed this! Pre Civil rights era, loved the characters, especially Jayell! It's always fun to find something written years ago (30 to be exact) and find it so timeless!
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book takes you back to time when a mans character and word meant something. Laugh out loud parts kept you reading for more. Enjoyed this book!
Veronica Harris
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Robert Lamb
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a very good novel, under-rated in my opinion.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-book, southern
Reminded me of "Cannery Row."
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good book. Its always a positive sign when I find myself missing the characters and setting after the story's over.
Interesting look at racial issues in 1950s backwoods Georgia. Some surprising adult situations.
Cynthia Ulmer
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2014
Katy Daily
rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2010
rated it it was amazing
May 30, 2012
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Jul 08, 2014
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