Karolyn Sherwood's Reviews > A Good Man Is Hard to Find And Other Stories

A Good Man Is Hard to Find And Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
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Mar 23, 2012

really liked it

Book reviews are nebulous. Some reviewers base their assessment solely on literary merit; others, like myself, lean toward a more personal account. The way I see it, if you're looking for an objective opinion about Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard To Find you can find that on Amazon or Wikipedia. If you're reading my review, you must want MY opinion about this book. If I were being objective about this short story collection, I would give it Five Stars. The writings is superb, the stories are deep and visual, the realm (Southern America in the first half of the twentieth century) is wide. Another reviewer might mention the absurdity of O'Connor's use of the "n" word, and the horrendous predjudice against African Americans in the book. But, as with the case of Tom Saywer and the brouhaha of editing out such words is, in my opinion, is a dishonest depiction of our history and reality. I think it is beneficial to Americans in the Twenty-first century to see how wrong our ancestors were, and to see how far we've come, and think about how far we still have to go.

But back to my review. This is how I see each of O'Connor's stories: La di da di da di da... Boom... La di da. Seriously, the story begins, the story progresses (casting a slightly unsettling vibe because her world is so different from mine), then whamo!, something crazy happens, and then she quietly wraps up the story. It's beautiful in such a subtle way. Also in each story, there are at least two significant characters; each one plays a roll in the "bang". Because of that, I thought of two alternative titles for this collection: It Takes Two To Tango, or I've Got A Brand New Pair of Rollerskates; You've Got A Brand A Brand New Key. But since her title has become an American cliché, I guess I'll let it stick.

This collection contains ten stories. The title story blew me away, probably because I (wrongly) assumed it would be about a woman looking for a man. It wasn't, at all. it was shocking and fantastic in the worst possible way. You owe it to yourself to read at least this one story. I would love to elaborate on each of the stories, but that would take hours. Let it suffice for me to say this: This is an excellent collection of American short stories, but since this is my review and I prefer novels, I give it Four Stars.
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