On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

The Bible Salesman
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Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Initial Impressions: The Bible Salesman: May 2018

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message 1: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new)

Tom Mathews | 2748 comments Mod
Comments on this board should be written with the assumption that not all readers have finished the book. Please avoid revealing any spoilers.


message 2: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Clyde Edgerton has been a favorite of mine since I discovered Walking Across Egypt around 1988. Meet Henry Dampier, 19, a naive would be Bible Salesman. Henry's a little behind the curve, not having read past Genesis. But Henry's about to learn some hard knocks life lessons. Henry is duped by con man Preston Clearwater into being an unwitting accomplice stealing cars. Edgerton explores the foibles of human nature with an exceptional understanding of it. His ear for dialog is pitch perfect. His depiction of small town settings will draw you into another humorous Edgerton romp. I hope you'll join me in our read and discussion.

Happy reading,

Lawyer :)


message 3: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane Barnes | 4408 comments Mod
I have not read this one, and Clyde Egerton is always entertaining. Looking forward to it.


message 4: by Wyndy (new)

Wyndy | 241 comments Raney slightly "edged" 😆 out Walking Across Egypt for me. It's been years since I read a Clyde Edgerton, so I'm looking forward to The Bible Salesman. Good choice of authors, Mike.


message 5: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Following is the NY Times review of The eBible Salesman. For those who want a preview of the novel, see The Idiot by John T. Leland, 08/31/2008. Don't worry. No major spoilers.

This novel may put you in mind of The Ballad Of The Flim Flam Man byGuy Owen (1965). Want a treat? Catch the film starring George C. Scott and Michael Sarazan.


message 6: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
About Clyde Edgerton

Edgerton was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1944. He was raised just outside Durham in a little place called Bethesda. He came from a long, long line of cotton and tobacco farmers. Fortunately, his parents were the first of their family to leave the farm.

He doesn't look like it, but Edgerton was a fighter pilot for five years from 1966 to 1971. You can read about Edgerton's love of flight and his combat flights over Vietnam in Solo: My Adventures in the Air.

Edgerton flew combat reconnaissance over the Ho Chi Minh trail for over a year. Sticking with a downed pilot until his comrade was pulled out earned him the Distinguished Service Flying
Cross.

Flip through any biographical article about the man and you'll find out most folks figured he would end up being a baseball player or a rock musician. His parents and his twenty three aunts and uncles never took him to have a literary bent. But it was listening to all those storytellers in his family that turned him into the writer with an extraordinary ear for dialog and an eye for the natural humor of human foibles.

Characters flow out of Clyde Edgerton as easily as water falls off the sides of mountains in Western North Carolina. By the time you've become familiar with Edgerton's books, you realize this is a man who knows and loves people, warts and all.

Lawyer


message 7: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane Barnes | 4408 comments Mod
My family lived in Bethesda when my brother and I were in high school. Clyde Egerton was his high school English teacher, and Clyde was considered "the cool teacher" because he would invite the guys to his house after school and let them have a few beers. This would have been mid-70's, so way before adults went to jail for that type of thing. I think he was fired after Raney came out, for inappropriate content. Alas, I graduated in 71, so missed it all. Carson remembers him though, but Clyde failed to make him a lover of books.


message 8: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane Barnes | 4408 comments Mod
More than halfway through, and while there is a great deal of humor, and Egerton's NC dialogue is as real as it gets, this is not one of his best. I am enjoying the gentle poking of church folks and Sunday School teachers.


Sara (phantomswife) | 1393 comments I'm about halfway now, Diane, and I'm having much the same reaction. It's OK, but I think the humor might not be fitted to my personality. I think it is supposed to be funnier than I am finding it.


message 10: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane Barnes | 4408 comments Mod
I don't know that it's you, Sara. I have loved some of his other books, (Raney, Walking Across Egypt), but he seems to have lost his edge in this one. I thought at first this might be an early effort, but checked and saw it was published in 2008. Not sure what happened, but the humor seemed forced and stale.


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