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Twilight
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Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Moderator's Choice: July 2017- William Gay's Twilight

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message 1: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
Hello Trail Members! I know this has been mentioned but I have chosen Twilight by William Gay for moderator's choice in July. This was my first Gay book and I was hooked from the first page. It's dark, twisty and wicked in true Southern Gothic fashion. This will not be a book for all readers. I have shared this story with a few of you, but I first read this book sitting around a pool in Disney World and prayed no one asked me what my book was about. Remember Disney is supposed to be magical....no one wants me to describe the plot of this book around their children. Nevertheless, this book is memorable. It has shown up on our polls numerous times but just couldn't pull enough votes. It's short, quick and disturbing....happy reading.


message 2: by LeAnne: (new) - added it

LeAnne: GeezerMom | 1310 comments Short. Quick. Disturbing. Exactly how my mother in law describes me. Imma love it!!!!


Dustincecil | 175 comments I'm just going to go ahead and buy a copy now, because I bought provinces of night before I even finished my library copy. Can't wait.


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

Tom Mathews | 2504 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to reading this one.


Cathrine ☯️  | 545 comments I'll join in. July is looking good.


message 6: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
Y'all are some brave readers! We ain't scared, yet!


Cathrine ☯️  | 545 comments Laura wrote: "Y'all are some brave readers! We ain't scared, yet!"

I'm only brave in a group setting Laura 😛
Counseling afterwards if needed right?


message 8: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 3872 comments Mod
I'll read it for a second time, it's that good.


message 9: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
I understand, there is comfort in numbers and it makes one feel less like a weirdo if we read as a collective group.


message 10: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
I've got my copy and I should be able to start this reread by Monday maybe sooner. I hope y'all are ready for this one.


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) I've got my copy and am probably a week behind you all. I'm looking forward to this one.


Cathrine ☯️  | 545 comments I've got my copy. Will start in a couple of days hopefully - - - I think :-O


message 13: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2504 comments Mod
I have mine and will get started as soon as I finish reading The Left Hand of Darkness. Hopefully 4-5 days.


Dustincecil | 175 comments Ursula K LeGuin 4 lyfe!

I'm starting Twilight in a couple of days too. I'm totally stoked.


message 15: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Laura, many thanks for selecting this as your "Moderator's Choice" for July, 2017. Yes, it IS that good. I've read it three times. My review of Twilight by William Gay is HERE.


message 16: by Judi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judi | 397 comments I listened to the audio version of Twilight and the "reader" enhanced the experience. Another five star gem. Dark. I can see this made into a movie perhaps. I hope to read more of William Gay's work.


message 17: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Judi wrote: "I listened to the audio version of Twilight and the "reader" enhanced the experience. Another five star gem. Dark. I can see this made into a movie perhaps. I hope to read more of William Gay's work."

Great! My feelings about William Gay, too.


message 18: by Judi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judi | 397 comments I would definitely cast Billy Bob Thornton as Sutter. Perfect. Loved this book.


Cathrine ☯️  | 545 comments I'm still trying to decide if I should read this. I usually avoid books that will mess with my head with disturbing human behavior (Jeffrey Dahmer-like characters, or characters that prey on women/animals and do weird stuff to them).
How dark and disturbing is this? Should I pass?


message 20: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 3872 comments Mod
Hard to say, Catherine. I am not a reader of dark literature as a rule either, but I have learned to appreciate it. The human heart has some very dark compartments, and writers with enough courage to explore them are to be commended. I have recently learned to love Cormac McCarthy, after years of thinking him over the top with violence and language. William Gay is in this category as well. Twilight may not be the place to start. But you could always try it and put it aside if it doesn't work for you.


message 21: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Cathrine ☯️ wrote: "I'm still trying to decide if I should read this. I usually avoid books that will mess with my head with disturbing human behavior (Jeffrey Dahmer-like characters, or characters that prey on women/..."

Catherine, I certainly couldn't put it better than Diane has. I definitely agree with her. Give it a try. If it's not your cup of tea, close the book and try for a read by another author. Sadly, this world is populated by real human beings that exemplify the nature of Evil. You'll find much in the realm of Southern Literature that deals with the darkest side of life. And much that deals with the struggle between good and evil. Diane's reference to both McCarthy and Gay couldn't be more correct. Some of Gay's short stories in I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down: Collected Stories even cross the threshold for me into an area of darkness I would prefer to forget, yet I cannot fail to recognize that such things happen. As a career prosecutor, presenting unspeakable acts committed against both children and women, one of the most difficult things to accomplish was to overcome jurors' defense mechanisms to reject the truth of such cases, saying they were incapable of accepting such horrible things could occur. We do not live in a world of cotton candy and marshmallow cream puffs. Flannery O'Connor, whom Gay greatly admired and considered a major influence wrote:

“Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one. To be able to recognize a freak, you have to have some conception of the whole man, and in the South the general conception of man is still, in the main, theological. That is a large statement, and it is dangerous to make it, for almost anything you say about Southern belief can be denied in the next breath with equal propriety. But approaching the subject from the standpoint of the writer, I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted. The Southerner, who isn't convinced of it, is very much afraid that he may have been formed in the image and likeness of God. Ghosts can be very fierce and instructive. They cast strange shadows, particularly in our literature. In any case, it is when the freak can be sensed as a figure for our essential displacement that he attains some depth in literature.”
--Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose


message 22: by ``Laurie (last edited Jul 03, 2017 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

``Laurie (laurielynette) | 58 comments Cathrine ☯️ wrote: "I'm still trying to decide if I should read this. I usually avoid books that will mess with my head with disturbing human behavior (Jeffrey Dahmer-like characters, or characters that prey on women/..."

POSSIBLE SPOILER BELOW !!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well Catherine, would you find a male character that preys on dead women disturbing?


message 23: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
``Laurie wrote: "Cathrine ☯️ wrote: "I'm still trying to decide if I should read this. I usually avoid books that will mess with my head with disturbing human behavior (Jeffrey Dahmer-like characters, or characters..."

I'm sure your comment was well intended Laurie. However, I think we should refrain from blatant spoilers in our discussions. A read of the jacket tells a reader enough to trigger an uh-oh response. As an example, in my review recommendation I specifically said "Not for the Squeamish."


``Laurie (laurielynette) | 58 comments Problem solved and thanks for the reminder. I just didn't want anyone besides me to be having nightmares for the next month or two. :D


message 25: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
``Laurie wrote: "Problem solved and thanks for the reminder. I just didn't want anyone besides me to be having nightmares for the next month or two. :D"

Nuff said! GRIN


message 26: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
Gay doesn't waste the reader's time by jumping right in with the macabre opening scene nor pointing to our villain. "He ain't just right in the head" is an understatement.
He already warns the reader by page 12, "he hadn't known there were perversions this dark, souls this twisted." He is definitely giving the reader every opportunity to back out of this, nice and slowly without too much disturbance.


message 27: by Cathrine ☯️ (last edited Jul 03, 2017 05:55PM) (new)

Cathrine ☯️  | 545 comments Diane, Lawyer, Laurie, and Laura, I thank you for your input. I'm thinking I'll pass. I know they're out there but I guess I don't want to invite them in. I used to. But my little light in the darkness is struggling to stay lit these days.


``Laurie (laurielynette) | 58 comments Laura wrote: "Gay doesn't waste the reader's time by jumping right in with the macabre opening scene nor pointing to our villain. "He ain't just right in the head" is an understatement.
He already warns the rea..."


Absolutely Laura, it's the reader's fault if they weren't aware of such perversions in the world and therefore found them shocking.

I was first introduced to the Southern Gothic genre by reading Larry Brown and was eager to read this much praised novel by Gay.

I didn't care for it and didn't realize my personal opinion would upset anyone and I certainly don't blame you or any other moderator or hold them responsible for my not liking the novel.

I even gave the book a 3 star rating which I felt was generous since I didn't care for the book.

From now on I won't offer an opinion different from the Moderators. If anyone has a problem with my differing opinion feel free to address me personally.


message 29: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
``Laurie wrote: "Laura wrote: "Gay doesn't waste the reader's time by jumping right in with the macabre opening scene nor pointing to our villain. "He ain't just right in the head" is an understatement.
He already..."


Laurie, by all means, I hope every member of the group will always express their opinion about a work, no matter the opinion of any of the Moderators. I certainly have no problem with folks having different opinions on books read here. So, don't hang back, please.


message 30: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
Oh Laurie, my comments were not at all directed at you. I completely understand why someone would NOT like this book. It's rash, twisted, and nasty. I am sorry if you felt that was directed towards you. It was just a general comment.

Back to discussion, anyone else get some satisfaction from Tyler burning Sutter's place down?


``Laurie (laurielynette) | 58 comments Thank you and I hope I didn't upset anyone for speaking my mind.

It's too bad that books don't come with ratings like movies do I sometimes think. :D

Happy 4th of July to you and everyone else at this wonderful group.


message 32: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
Someone with a better memory, can you remember the importance of the title Little Sister Death from Gay's novel with that title. It has been 3 years since I have read this one and just saw the title pop up in this text.


message 33: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "Someone with a better memory, can you remember the importance of the title Little Sister Death from Gay's novel with that title. It has been 3 years since I have read this one and just saw the titl..."

Yes Laura. It was based on the Tennessee legend of the Bell Witch. Followed the well known folk legend quite closely. It concerned a writer and his family who took up residence near the old property. The writer was working on a novel about the Bell Witch as I recall. This is the first posthumously published novel of William Gay.


message 34: by Josh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Josh | 185 comments I think I remember that Gay claimed to have "experienced" the Bell Witch.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 178 comments This is the only Gay I have read and I still remember where I was when I read it, that's how much it stuck with me. I also discussed it on my podcast once, with Jason who is of this group and is the reason I knew about William Gay at all! Kinda cool. Not sure I would read it again... shiver.


message 36: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
Jenny, I too have that experience. It's been a few years so it's like reading for first time bc I had forgotten the details. It seems easier reading at my home vs my first read at the pool in Disney, haha!

I do find it interesting that I am drawn to this read but I would be horrified if I came face to face with some of these ruthless characters in real life.

Gay knows how to portray some disturbing folks. The kind of characters that creep you out but you can't stop reading to see what happens next.


Dustincecil | 175 comments I can't believe she just walked right up to him and confronted/blackmailed him! There's no way I'd be brave enough to do that without serious backup.


message 38: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
It felt like doomsday when she did it. She needed to work a better plan. What about the warning Corrie had with the birds... eerie. I'm not sure where everybody is in the book and don't want to give too much away.


message 39: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 3872 comments Mod
For those of you from Tennessee, or near there, is there really such a place as the Harrikin, or just out of Gay's imagination? He describes it as being formed from the devastation of a hurricane in 1933. Then he says within 25 years it has been developed out of existence. It is such an isolated and dangerous area, and this book wouldn't be nearly as good without Sutter's journey through there.


message 40: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 3872 comments Mod
Tyler and Sutter, I should have said.


message 41: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 1930 comments Mod
According to Wiki there was a tornado outbreak in 1933 in Nashville and middle Tennessee area. Remember Gay said it was a tornado but they called it hurricane, the people didn't distinguish between the two. I'm probably 1 1/2 hours from where Gay lived but I'm not familiar with area because it's almost borderline West Tennessee Tina.... our member is from around this area, she might have a better grasp. I'll ask Josh, my hubby, as well.


message 42: by Tina (last edited Jul 05, 2017 08:30PM) (new) - added it

Tina  | 486 comments Harrikin is not a place I know, but it could have existed at one time. However, the area from which Gay wrote and lived, Hohenwald, Tennessee, was and still is known to have had many tornados. I've seen a path cut through Lewis, Wayne and Lawrence counties repeatedly in the same somewhat general direction many times and either coming from or continuing down into Alabama. The area between Hohenwald and Waynesboro in Wayne County is like something out of Deliverance. Beautiful, but isolated. West TN, as most Middle TN folks see it, officially is divided by the TN River with Savannah,TN being the West TN "line". "Hole In The Wall", as my dad called it, is officially in Middle, TN.


message 43: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Here's the Wiki entry on the Tennessee Tornado of March14, 1933. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/March... .

The outbreak consisted of 5 tornadoes resulting in over 450 fatalities. The storms struck Nashville and tracked through middle Tennessee. One in particular was called the Beatty Swamp Tornado. What an appropriate setting for the Harrikin. The outbreak moved through Tennessee to Arkansas.


message 44: by Josh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Josh | 185 comments I believe I remember reading/hearing Gay explain this once. I think "Harrikin" is in fact short for Hurricane, but it describes a super isolated area between Howenwald and Linden. The creek obviously might have been named from the event we are debating here.

It would have been right close geographically to his haunts in real life. Google Hurricane Creek Road near Linden Tennessee As with many such roads in Tennessee it does in fact follow a creek of that same name (coincidentally that one hits the Buffalo River which also is about as rustic a riverway you'll find in our state). You'd have to hunt pretty hard to find a more sparsely populated part of Tennessee........all manner of crap could happen down in them parts.


message 45: by Tina (last edited Jul 05, 2017 09:18PM) (new) - added it

Tina  | 486 comments Josh, ain't it the truth. I forgot about Hurricane Creek and that would totally make sense as Hurricane Creek runs through Wayne County.


Dustincecil | 175 comments halfway through... and a Davis Grubb quote from "Night of the hunter" and "Suttree" it's like William Gay was reading my mind!


message 47: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 3872 comments Mod
That quote from Davis Grubb also reminded me of a scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when the guy in the white hat chased them in horseback all over the west. At one point Sundance watched them coming from a mountaintop and said the same thing. "Doesn't that guy ever sleep"? Maybe the screenwriters read The Night of the Hunter.


message 48: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2504 comments Mod
I'm just getting started. Fenton Breece sure is one grade A prime individual. I can't wait to find out what the town has to say when they find out what he's been up to.

I love Gay's style. "These trading cards from beyond the River Styx, picture postcards from Hell.


message 49: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 3872 comments Mod
Fenton Breece is an original for sure. At least I hope there are no more like him.


Dustincecil | 175 comments Hurry up Tyler... get through the Harrikin! For someone on the run he sure seems to have plenty of time to chitchat. All of which is adding to the suspense of course.


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