On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

Pelican Road
This topic is about Pelican Road
60 views
Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Moderator's Choice, December 2016: Pelican Road, by Howard Bahr

Comments Showing 1-50 of 76 (76 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
Well, it's my turn again. I have chosen something timely for the season by one of my favorite under-appreciated authors.
Pelican Road by Howard Bahr takes place on Christmas Eve 1940. Two trains head for each other between Meridian, MS and New Orleans, LA.
Bahr is the author of 3 of my favorite books about the Civil War, The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War, The Year of Jubilo: A Novel of the Civil War, and The Judas Field: A Novel of the Civil War. I highly recommend all of them to anyone who loves good writing which "takes you there" between the pages of a book.

For those of you who can't get it through your library, this one has the added benefit of only being $4.99 on Kindle.


message 2: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2000 comments Mod
Very nice and my library has it, yay!


message 3: by Tina (new) - added it

Tina  | 488 comments Nice Diane!


message 4: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
The Kindle version is available for $4.99.


message 5: by LeAnne: (new) - added it

LeAnne: | 1310 comments Super duper!


message 6: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen | 28 comments Thank you Diane for the recommendation of Pelican Road which I just bought from Amazon! I don't know that I will be able to get to it for another month. Could ypu tell me a little more about the three books about the civil war by the same author? Thanks


message 7: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen | 28 comments I added the three civil war books, Diane. I need a extra push to read them before anything else?


message 8: by Brina (new)

Brina Sounds interesting Diane. I will try to get it. Now that holidays are over I can do group reads again.


message 9: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
Karen, I first read "The Black Flower" with this group. It is the first of the trilogy and concerns the Battle of Franklin in TN. It was so good and so beautifully written that I ordered the other two. I have read a lot of Civil War literature and these are my favorites. While not a true trilogy in the sense that they follow each other in action, some of the same characters appear in each book. The second one, "The Year of Jubilo" takes place right after the war when the men are straggling back home to a little town in Mississippi. And the third one "The Judas Field" takes place 20 years after the war when a veteran accompanies a spinster back to Franklin to find her father and brother's gravesites. I can't recommend them highly enough. Howard Bahr was a long time curator at William Faulkner's home for many years before he died.


message 10: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen | 28 comments Thank you so much, Diane for the background of these three wonderful books. I have added them. Each one sounds unique. Thank you so much for the recommendation. I am very interested in reading all four of the books ypu have recommended.


message 11: by Dawn (new) - added it

Dawn (goodreadscomdawn_irena) | 252 comments Diane ~ I too, am going to theme it out on these Civil War books ! Believe it or not I have not read much fiction on the Civil War ! Gone With the Wind and Cold Mountain have been my two favorite books of all time and then when I taught 8th grade one year we read a fantastic book called Across Five Aprils that was incredible for both young and adult . Across five Aprils was the story of a family living in Missouri whose family were farmers . They owned not one slave but there were three brothers. Two of age to fight and the youngest a mere 9 or 10 years old who loved both of his brothers and really did not understand why they could not resolve the issue between themselves without going off to fight in a war against each other. Missouri was a neutral state .

The brothers did go off and the boy was caught in between his love and loyalty to his brothers . He loved them both and thought they were both wrong for fighting. He helped take care of them both when they needed his help . To the boy , love was thicker than any cause that could break apart a family with such hate . Family and all people should discuss and come to compromise with the best solutions for all involved as human beings .

This was a beautiful story set across the five years of Aprils of Spring in a conflicted South full of people who did not yet realize the New World they had founded still would have longer than 5 Aprils to overcome the differences to a better world .


message 12: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
I have never read that, Dawn, but I need to. Thanks for reminding me.


message 13: by Dawn (new) - added it

Dawn (goodreadscomdawn_irena) | 252 comments Diane - you would read it in about a few hours ! I taught it to my 8th graders ! But , I loved the book none the less ! I guess maybe because they did too! Being maybe their first Civil War book because they did not get to Red Badge of Courage until the 10th grade ! HA!

Dawn


message 14: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
I've just scratched the surface of this book so far and I am really impressed with Bahr's writing. The style is very reflective and puts me inside the heads of the characters. I think I am really going to enjoy this.


message 15: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Have not received my copy yet help !


message 16: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
I've just started too. You are right Tom, Bahr does take you inside the head of his characters. I consider him to be one of the best "unknown writers" out there. His Civil War novels are the finest I've ever read on the subject.


message 17: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
I finished reading today. It took me a bit longer than normal because, well, December. But it also gets off to a slow start, so I was just reading a few pages a day. Then I got to know and love these railroad men, and there were hints about what was coming, and I just started reading faster and faster. So for those of you thinking it's not going anywhere, just keep reading.


message 18: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
I'm about a third of the way in and it has occurred to me that the pace is a bit slow. I can tell, though, that the story is in a character development stage and some of the stories are interesting so I'm still plodding along, waiting for it to build up a head of steam.


message 19: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1085 comments Mod
I started this last night and I'm OK with the slower pace because I think I might want to know a lot about these men individually. Another writer I might never have come across without this group. Thank you, Diane!


message 20: by Randall (new)

Randall Luce | 134 comments I'm really liking this one, yeah, by an author I hadn't previously known (thanks much). Trains, and well-drawn scenes in which the little details count for so much -- each a grain of sand and when you get enough of them, throw them on the floor and you have a beach. Reminds me of the best of Wolfe.

This is so well-done, I wouldn't mind if it never does "go anywhere" even though it's clear where it is going.


message 21: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
I'm glad you are reading this one, Randall. It's definitely one that you can appreciate.


message 22: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1085 comments Mod
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! For quite a bit of it, you know where it is going, but that just makes you lean into it and breath a little shorter breaths.


message 23: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
That's a great description of the reading of the last few chapters, Sara.


message 24: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Hi Diane well my copy never did turn up sniff

I will have to move on


message 25: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
Sorry, Jane. Maybe it will turn up months from now when you least expect it. But I'm willing to bet you've still got lots to read!


message 26: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
I really enjoyed his description of the railroads out west. When I was in college, friends and I would hop freight trains and I still remember waking up in the middle of the night once to find we were passing under the Royal Gorge bridge way above us. Bahr's description was spot on.


message 27: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
I also really enjoyed the story about theravens' court. I don't know why but it somehow reminded me of the Kirk Douglas movie, Paths of Glory, probably because it had elements of the executions for cowardice that were so prevalent during that war.


message 28: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1085 comments Mod
When it does show up, Jane, don't push it aside. This one is worth the time spent with it!


message 29: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Maybe I ll see if they have a kindle edition , will be back


message 30: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Thanks Sara


message 31: by LeAnne: (new) - added it

LeAnne: | 1310 comments I don't remember which moderator put this one up for the month, but thank you! It is seemingly obscure and yet something I'm looking forward to.


message 32: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Yes ! It has a kindle edition so I ll get it again


message 33: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
It was me, LeAnne. I specialize in obscure books, plus Bahr is one of my favorite authors.


message 34: by LeAnne: (new) - added it

LeAnne: | 1310 comments Diane wrote: "It was me, LeAnne. I specialize in obscure books, plus Bahr is one of my favorite authors."

I like your style, Diane. Thank you!


message 35: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "Maybe I ll see if they have a kindle edition , will be back"

That's how I'm reading it.


message 36: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane | 738 comments Just started Tom


message 37: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
Yeah, Jane!


message 38: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "Just started Tom"

Huzzah! I also had to opt for the Kindle edition. Hard copies of many of our selections on "The Trail" are hard to come by down under here in New Zealand. Although I always prefer the feel of a real book in my hands, I'm happy to have had the opportunity to read Pelican Road, the only Howard Bahr I had not previously read. It's a wonderful read. I didn't know quite what to expect, having read Bahr's Civil War "trilogy." However, Bahr continues to reveal the memories of men haunted by the tragedy of The Great War. I sincerely hope you will enjoy this one as much as I did. Kudos to Diane for choosing this one!


message 39: by T. (new) - rated it 4 stars

T. (tblakebraddy) | 10 comments I am so glad I found this group! I'm coming to this month's read a bit late, but I'm going to work my way through the book to contribute. Based on what I've seen, it's going to be a pleasure.


message 40: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
Welcome aboard T.


message 41: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
I love it when you talk train-talk, Diane.


message 42: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
I was pretty proud of that one.


message 43: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2558 comments Mod
I just pulled it into the station. Here is my review.

Thank you very much for choosing this, Diane.


message 44: by T. (new) - rated it 4 stars

T. (tblakebraddy) | 10 comments Diane wrote: "Welcome aboard T."

I'm about 25% done with the book, and I absolutely love it. Best elements of what I consider to be southern fiction: It's sad and dark and approachable but wryly humorous and full of wit.


message 45: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1085 comments Mod
Perfect description, T.


Dustincecil | 175 comments I'm glad to have found this group too!

About 100 pages in, and enjoying the slow build. holding back reading your reviews until I finish up in the next couple of days.

Heavy with mood...perfect reading as cold weather creeps in.


message 47: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1085 comments Mod
I have found some remarkable authors and books that I was totally unaware of through this group. I'll be looking for your review, Dustincecil.


message 48: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3973 comments Mod
I'll try not to use another pun, and just say we're glad to have you with us, Dustincecil. We are a great group, if I do say so myself.


Dustincecil | 175 comments what's the worst that could happen with a couple(r) more new people to the mix.?

sry couldn't resist... esp. after having just read that part


message 50: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1085 comments Mod
groan. you are going to fit in here quite well, Dustin.


« previous 1
back to top