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The Fighter
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Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Final Impressions: The Fighter: July 2018

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message 1: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 2749 comments Mod
Comments on this board are made with the assumption that readers have finished the book and may include spoilers.


message 2: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura | 2284 comments Mod
I am starting a reread today of this book. Attaching original review with an interview included.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


LA Cantrell | 1324 comments Okay, y’all can go dig up various reviews but to get the discussion rolling, let me ask if anybody else about fainted in glee when a dern CARNIVAL rolled into the story early on? Were there little flourishes in the story - maybe the opener at Goodwill - that put this over the top for you? Realistic little scenes like the ones at the gas pump or at that coffee shop just felt real.

I love the guy’s previous two novels, sure, and had high hopes for this. But carnys? Awesome. Some of you southerners might know “the train song” by David Allen Coe. Its got your typical whiney lyrics but in fun adds a voice-over stating that it was not in fact the perfect country song because it said nothing about trucks or trains or mama or prison or getting drunk.

Had Smith tossed in snakes AND a carnival? Then it would in fact be THE perfect southern novel.


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

Laura | 2284 comments Mod
My experience with MFS books they all have some type of redemption theme mixed into all the chaos of the plot and characters. I don’t know if I could handle his main characters going down in blazes. I just finished his novella The Hands of strangers and thank God he ended it like he did bc I cried all the way through the book. I don’t know if I could have left my house for days if it didn’t have redemption for the couple. Same for Jack Boo-shay, I needed a good ending.

I’ll be honest, I read the ending wrong the first time. I thought about it for a couple of days(kind of torn up and of course cried), asked Moderator Diane her thoughts and reread the ending. It was a better ending than when I had read it the first time. I’m an emotional reader. My daughter sees me cry over books more than she sees me cry in real life.


message 6: by LA Cantrell (last edited Jul 06, 2018 07:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

LA Cantrell | 1324 comments Laura wrote: "My experience with MFS books they all have some type of redemption theme mixed into all the chaos of the plot and characters. I don’t know if I could handle his main characters going down in blazes..."

The redemption in his stories doesn't always come in the way we might like, but they always are hopeful.

When the character of Big Momma Sweet was introduced, I confess to being worried that she had been written a little cartoonishly - the name alone could give people not from the South an eyebrow-raise. Thankfully, Smith stuck to his solid reputation with his villains and had her show compassion. The young guy that Boucher picks up in the beginning of the story reminded me a little bit of the fellow who helped out the cult leader Aggie in Rivers - a guy doing wrong but not evil at the core.

I realize others haven't read all his novels, but one thing that reverberates with me is finding in these stories the love a parent has for a child or an adult's feelings about his or her parent.. the sense of what 'home' means. It doesn't matter whether you had horrific or absent or wonderful mom/dad figures in your own childhood - wanting to be cherished or nostalgia over that kind of love hits everybody. His works may be southern USA in their setting, but the themes are global.

At least, that is what grabs me. I gave it five stars.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Cathrine ☯️  | 759 comments I am hoping to do a reread but so many books are calling.

LeAnne I felt the same way when encountering BMS. I did come away with a bit of an eyebrow raise but agree that his writing kept them almost plumb. I think that was most responsible for keeping my stars to 4 instead of 5.
It's interesting to me that in a movie I don't question it but in a novel I do. I wonder why that is.


LA Cantrell | 1324 comments Cathrine ☯️ wrote: "I am hoping to do a reread but so mFrany books are calling.

LeAnne I felt the same way when encountering BMS. I did come away with a bit of an eyebrow raise but agree that his writing kept them alm..."


In Louisiana, we've got musicians like Trombone Shorty, Frogman Henry, Doctor John, Deacon John, Professor Longhair, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and more - so Big Momma Sweet didn't seem odd to me, but I DID think about other readers from various geographic areas. Initially, I wondered whether it might be too far fetched for them to not be distracted by it or if it was like accidentally naming a redneck Jethro. In the end, since it fit okay with me, I stopped thinking about others' reaction. But yeah - it did pop up.


Wyndy | 241 comments One of my favorite Trail reads so far. Pretty darn perfect.


Connie G (connie_g) | 515 comments Great read! Here's my review:

https://www.goodreads.com/rating/vote...


Candi (candih) | 208 comments I finished this one at the end of July and thought it was fantastic! I've been focused on college visits so haven't been able to join in as many GR discussions lately. But I just wanted to drop in and say that my introduction to Michael Farris Smith has me eagerly anticipating his other novels that have been waiting on my list!

I wasn't sure if this one would be too 'raw' for me, but then I have found that when done right, grit and I sometimes get along. It certainly worked here! Smith writes beautifully. Everything was so vivid - the Delta, the carnival scenes, the fighting. The characters were colorful and realistically drawn. I loved the relationship between Jack and Maryann. Annette was an unexpected heroine! And the ending... so moving :)


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