Southern Gothic discussions discussion


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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben (feralfox) | 5 comments Is anyone else reading this? I'm enjoying, but can't quite decide if it's all just a bit over-the-top ..

message 2: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (sdealfitzgerald) | 5 comments LOL, is there such a thing as over the top? Just looked at the info on Amazon. I've ordered it through my library. It looks like it would be good.

message 3: by Ben (new)

Ben (feralfox) | 5 comments the author has an excellent bio.

let me know what you think of it - I should finish at the weekend when I have a bit of time to myself.

message 4: by LouLou (last edited Aug 20, 2010 02:44PM) (new)

LouLou | 3 comments just ordred this too, without having a copy to hand yet, the brief reviews /bio i've read calls to mind the woirk of Harry Crews ..... looking forward to reading this.

message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben (feralfox) | 5 comments I haven't read Harry Crews - what would you recommend I start with?

message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (sdealfitzgerald) | 5 comments A Childhood, a Biography of a Place,

I think the best Southern Writers write of what they know. And He knows.

message 7: by LouLou (new)

LouLou | 3 comments Agreed Suzanne its a wonderful book, if you enjoyed that i hope you have seen 'The Rough South of Harry Crews' an excellent documentary of Crews' life it is on youtuibe in 11 parts

Ben I would recommend The Gospel Singer, Crews' first novel published in 1968, the story centres around a gifted, deified singer returning to his poor hometown and a life and family he is so far removed from he now holds in contempt.

The novel is as relevant today as when it was published, The Gospel Singer reveals the absurd blind faith of those who follow religion and idol worship, and the hypocrisy that results when sex and money are offered, its a vicious chain of flesh eating off flesh. The main protagonist is the aforementioned Gospel Singer, other characters include his manager, a dead girl awaiting his melodic eulogy, his dysfunctional family of swamp dwelling pig loving simpletons, a murderer, the fevered townsfolk and the ever present shadow of a travelling freak show. It's a highly enjoyable book that covers the two day visit of the Gospel Singer, stepping back in places to divulge the secrets of each character, and as such confusing judgements of empathy and disdain.

If you like Southern Gothic loaded with sex, death, religion and freaks then i cant recommend this highly enough .....

message 8: by LouLou (new)

LouLou | 3 comments That is an essay in itself trying to work our the attraction to the southern gothic genre and a minefield of psychoanalysis no doubt!. For me its the combination of many things and the foreign is always more exotic. An English equivalent set in crumbling mining towns, with asbo kids and disillusioned wino pensioners wouldn't captivate me enough to want to read it, i know it to well already, it wouldn't be an escape, so the geography is definitely an attraction, authenticity is important too, i like to know that Harry Crews and Larry Brown have experienced the themes and situations they are exploring, so reading becomes metaphysical.

i haven't read John McGahern so i will do a little research there, thanks

message 9: by JWK (new)

JWK (jawk) Interesting, the connection of Southern Gothic with John McGahern, an Irish writer. I haven't read him, but I'll be looking him up :) Thanks!

message 10: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Campbell | 6 comments I was a long-time student of Harry's beginning his first year at UF. My novel came out on Kindle yesterday - Luke's Run by Ken Mackennick.

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