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Down Town af Ferrol Sams
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Down Town (udgave 2007)

af Ferrol Sams

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
793323,521 (3.57)4
The literacy landscape of the rural South is peppered with great storytellers, but few are as endearing as James Aloysius ?Buster? Holcombe, Jr., observant narrator of the new novel by best-selling author Ferrol Sams. Buster Holcombe begins his tale immediately after the Civil War, as the patriarchs of his small Georgia town sow seeds that will sprout for more than a century. Generation after generation, we are introduced to the men and women of ?our town.' As he has demonstrated in previous books, including the highly acclaimed Run With the Horsemen, Ferrol Sams is a master at developing rich characters. Calculating politicians, ruthless businessmen, nosey spinsters, manipulating wives, Southern belles, morticians, - they're all part of the fabric of ?our town.' And Buster Holcombe, the piano playing, poetry loving lawyer who never had time for a wife, loves them all in spite of their shortcomings. Ferrol Sams' eye for what is real among the myths and what's human is unerring.… (mere)
Medlem:gmartin6174
Titel:Down Town
Forfattere:Ferrol Sams
Info:Mercer University Press (2007), Hardcover, 309 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Down Town af Ferrol Sams

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a short history of a small place in georgia: Sams' novel is reminiscent of T.R. Pearson's masterpiece "A Short History of a Small Place". Both novels feature narrators who describe events in their towns: Pearson's narrator is a young boy, Sams' is an elderly lawyer. Neely, North Carolina, Pearson's town in A Short History, remains a backwater, Sams' town (I cannot remember seeing the name mentioned) is not far from Atlanta, and grows into a commuter suburb. So part of the pleasure in Sams' novel is seeing the growing pains, the Wal-Marts, the influx of outsiders. For a long time the town's roads were dirt--and one of the reasons for this was to make it more inconvenient for any strangers who might come by.

You need to be patient with this book (you need to be VERY patient with Pearson's novel). If you've ever lived in small towns you'll quickly see why. Both novels ramble--a subject gets mentioned, and this leads to another subject, and a third and fourth subject, eventually getting back to the first. Imagine sitting on a bench in a small-town general store and listening to the locals talk. It'll start with Bob's cousin Ella Mae, the one who married the UPS driver Joe Allen, from over on the Wartburg Road, one of the east side Allens. This will lead to discussion about the Allen clan and how Old Man Allen caught Billy Smith stealing eggs last week.After some opinions about the Smith family morals, especially the eldest girl Mary Jo, maybe we get back to the original Ella Mae story again, before diverting once more. As I said, you have to be patient. You do not interrupt the local who is describing Mary Jo's less wholesome habits and say "Enough. Please get back to the Ella Mae story!". So the book does a very nice job capturing small-town mannerisms.

In both novels, much of the enjoyment centers of the eccentricities of the locals. You need a good writer (and an interesting narrator) to make this work successfully. For Sams, the writing style is something of a change from his great trilogy, but the change works well. A most enjoyable book, and if you are not familiar with T.R. Pearson's trilogy- especially Short History--you should read that also!
  lonepalm | Dec 8, 2011 |
Usually, I enjoy the books chosen for this book club, Southern Voices, but I disliked this book. The writing style is similar to Mark Twain's fireside chat with the good old boys that weighed down the story. Ferrol Sams presents a picture of Atlanta from the end of the Civil War to present times. The span is too great and the characters are too many for the reader to enjoy the book. Sams tries to tie all the events and characters together, and instead presents a confusing hodgepodge. The story might have been better presented like Masters' Spoon River Anthology with each chapter dealing with one individual. Instead, Sams gives the readers an ancestry on the Cofields, and all their family branches. The characters are interesting, but I lost all sense of fun with all the multi relationship issues. ( )
  delphimo | Dec 23, 2010 |
Entertaining, but not up to his previous books of another era. ( )
  edwin.gleaves | Sep 6, 2010 |
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The literacy landscape of the rural South is peppered with great storytellers, but few are as endearing as James Aloysius ?Buster? Holcombe, Jr., observant narrator of the new novel by best-selling author Ferrol Sams. Buster Holcombe begins his tale immediately after the Civil War, as the patriarchs of his small Georgia town sow seeds that will sprout for more than a century. Generation after generation, we are introduced to the men and women of ?our town.' As he has demonstrated in previous books, including the highly acclaimed Run With the Horsemen, Ferrol Sams is a master at developing rich characters. Calculating politicians, ruthless businessmen, nosey spinsters, manipulating wives, Southern belles, morticians, - they're all part of the fabric of ?our town.' And Buster Holcombe, the piano playing, poetry loving lawyer who never had time for a wife, loves them all in spite of their shortcomings. Ferrol Sams' eye for what is real among the myths and what's human is unerring.

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