On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

46 views
General Bookishness > Recommendations

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments Hey everybody! I'm fairly new to Goodreads and Southern Gothic literature in general. I was hoping I could get a few suggestions. I recently finished The Devil All The Time By Donald Ray Pollock. Absolutely terrifying and amazing. It might just be my favorite book. I have also started O'Connor's short story collection. I've found quite a lot of similar writers, but none are quite scratching that itch of the grotesque, macabre, and violent. All beautifully written of course.


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

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
William Gay Twilight is a must.

Cormac McCarthy Child of God

The Line That Held Us by David Joy (but don't read before reading 2 above mentioned . Will make sense after reading these)


message 3: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
And you might as well read DRP The Heavenly Table and Tom Franklin Hell at the Breech or at least put on your TBR list.


message 4: by Tim (new)

Tim (tim_taylor) | 11 comments I love Donald Ray Pollock too.
To go along with your request for grotesque, macabre and violent southern gothic suggestions, try A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli.
Another of his southern gothic books is November Mourns.


message 5: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (last edited Aug 31, 2018 08:41AM) (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
Tim, can I handle these? They look scary! And you're reading the David Joy book. Let me know what you think.


message 6: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new)

Diane Barnes | 4396 comments Mod
Anything by Larry Brown.


message 7: by Tim (last edited Aug 31, 2018 09:55AM) (new)

Tim (tim_taylor) | 11 comments Laura,
Tom Piccirilli is really good (or was, RIP) who's work spanned many genres that include some southern gothic. A Choir of Ill Children is very strange and, really, kind of disturbing. Which is why I thought it may match Palmer's request for grotesque, macabre and violent. But it's very well written.
November Mourns is a more straight forward southern gothic mystery. I would start there if you want to check out Tom's work.
I was lucky enough to be first in line for David Joy's new book from the library when they decided to obtain it. I'm enjoying it so far.


message 8: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments Keep em coming! I really enjoy the themes, which a lot exists of, but some I stumbled across weren't as well written - which is a necessity.

I'll check out all of those listed.


message 9: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Palmer, if you're looking for the macabre leaning toward the horrific, I recommend A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews and Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy. Two can't miss titles!


message 10: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
Yes Harry Crews! Excellent! Outer Dark, yup, it’s good too!


message 11: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments Thank you everyone for the suggestions. Lawyer and Laura, I see your reviews on almost every book I'm interested in reading on here, so I assume we have very similar taste. I might jump into CM, as I haven't actually read any of his works. Closest I have come is the adaptation of No Country For Old Men.


message 12: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments One question that has put me off the rest of his stuff through reviews. A part of me is very interested in plot-centric novels. I like a good reflection or journey into a characters mind and motivations but sometimes feel more is desired to necessitate a 300 page read (exceptions exist). In particular, Blood Meridian and Child Of God. All reviews point to the acts of horror and the terrible nature of the characters, but is something more going on here?


message 13: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
I just finished Blood Meridian, personally I wouldn’t start there. I started with The Road and it’s a favorite but I always say it’s his fairy tale novel in comparison to his others. I’m a plot junky and I’ve always thought McCarthy balances plot and characters nicely.

If I had to choose where to start I might even go first with the William Gay Twilight. Everybody that has responded has a great resume based on their readings. I don’t think you can go wrong.


message 14: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments Thank you for clarifying! William Gay has my interest as well. I read a few of his short stories from the collection, and Paperhanger is not something I will easily forget.

Honestly, I am going to add all of these to my interested list, but torn between Outer Dark and Twilight at the moment. Ahhhh, indecisiveness doesn't pay.
Coin flip time?


message 15: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
The paper Hanger is my favorite short story ever!!


message 16: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments It doesn't leave you easily, not even a little bit


message 17: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
Just to let you know The Paper Hanger and Outer Dark are both on Donald Ray Pollock’s list of influential works of literature.


message 18: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "Just to let you know The Paper Hanger and Outer Dark are both on Donald Ray Pollock’s list of influential works of literature."

I'm thoroughly enjoying following this discussion. Good stuff going on here. :)


message 19: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments Laura, you keep mentioning this list. Link me! I am so glad I stumbled upon Pollock. What a refreshing read. I really need to get my hands on a copy of Knockemstiff. I'm hesitant on The Heavenly Table but only because I'm being shallow from a personal stance on westerns.


message 20: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2276 comments Mod
I’ve read all of these. Some I would recommend but others were not a good fit for me

https://www.shortlist.com/entertainme...


message 21: by Palmer (new)

Palmer | 11 comments Thank you!


back to top