Hannah's Reviews > Somebody Told Me: The Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg

Somebody Told Me by Rick Bragg
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's review
Oct 21, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011-reads, non-fiction
Read in October, 2011

Rating Clarification: 2.5 Stars

I would easily say that Rick Bragg's trilogy of his hardscrabble life was some of the best non-fiction I've ever read:
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg Ava's Man by Rick Bragg The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg


This compilation of his newspaper articles-- not so much. I think Bragg writes best when he writes about those things closest to his heart. There were some notable exceptions, of course. I cried buckets over his article regarding Florida State troopers doing double duty as suicide counselors as they try and coax jumpers on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to choose life and hope over despair and the finality of death. Likewise, his story of Oseola McCarty, (an 87 year old black washerwoman who amassed over $150,000 in savings and donated it to the University of Southern Mississippi to fund scholarships for young blacks), was a testiment to the greatness of people who too often go unnoticed and unvalued in our materialistic and self-centered society.

However, his bleeding-heart articles over the plight of geriatric death row inmates left me cold. Sorry, but I can't drum up a nickle's worth of sympathy over 70+ year old murderers who will die in prison. I imagine their victims would have liked to have lived so long themselves.

A decent read, but it doesn't have the heart and soul of his trilogy, IMO.



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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy S I've never heard of him before. Your review was neat since I live at the bottom of the sunshine skyway! I know that bridge well!


Hannah Amy wrote: "I've never heard of him before. Your review was neat since I live at the bottom of the sunshine skyway! I know that bridge well!"

That's cool. Are you a native Floridian or a transplant? My late sister moved to Florida and we spent a few happy summer vacays in Naples and did the obligatory Orlando Wally World trip (my first exposure to Florida). Beautiful state.

Bragg is an awesome writer. One of the best of the southern storytelling tradition - but it's a sad life he came up from.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy S I am a native. Fifth generation, actually! I will have to check out his books.


message 4: by Hannah (last edited Oct 28, 2011 04:56AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hannah Amy wrote: "I am a native. Fifth generation, actually! I will have to check out his books."

Very neat - and it seems unique to know someone from FL who isn't a Yankee and over 60 years old! :)

Would love to know what you think of Bragg. I don't think any of my GR friends has read him.


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