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Great Southern Memoir
Although Yankee-born, I have lived in Alabama for nearly half my life and I feel a kinship and loyalty to this State - with all of its beauty and flaws. So that is why I'm quite ashamed that it took me 17 years to read Rick Bragg's memoir of growing up in Calhoun County, Alabama, and his amazing journalism career. We all have books that stick with us, invade our thoughts for many days or months after you've read the last page. This is one of those books for me. I spoke recently with a Journalism graduate from the University of Alabama where Rick Bragg now serves as a Professor of Writing and we debated the tone of Mr. Bragg's memoir. He thought Mr. Bragg was overplaying the "country bumpkin" card. I feel I can pick out a poser and Rick Bragg is not one of them. He feels quite genuine to me. In fact, he talks quite extensively in this book about the struggles he's had throughout his life with that perception of being "less" because he was born and raised as a poor white kid on someone else's land in rural Alabama county. It is actually just that tone that endeared his story to me, and reminded me of just why I love this State and its people so very much (with a few exceptions - of course). Great Southern memoir!
My favorite author of all time
I know every person Rick writes about from my life being born in Appalachia and growing up as the "white trash" knowing that " everything might turn to ____ at any second." His words on paper lets me know that someone understands. Now finishing "All Over But The Shoutin'"for the 2nd time, will reread "Ava's Man" and looking forward to "The Prince Of Frogtown". Superb!
All over but the shoutin'
In reading this book, it took me back to when I was a child traveling in the backseat of our old car over to grandma's homemade house on White river in Arkansas. My daddy was from Hamilton, Alabama and his daddy was run out of there to Ark for moonshining, living under a different name for years.
Work of Art
The language, the storytelling, the unintentional comedy at true situations, and the accent, God love the accent, make me laugh and cry.
He tells it so well, I wish I could sit him in my living room and listen for hours.
Rick Bragg does an admirable job in narrating his life. The book is very vivid. It made me laugh and almost cry. The characters and scenes were very life. It is my far one of my favorite books. I shake Mr. Bragg's hand for telling his life and the life many can associate with. At the beginning, I wasn't really into it, and towards the end I started to loose a bit of interest. Yet, the narration and the story told makes up for the negative aspects of the book. I absolutely love and would recommend.
Having lived in the South 8 years as a Midwesterner, I think Mr. Bragg's depiction of southern people is vivacious, creative, and respectful. His sheer honesty, clear descriptions, and use of the English language is incredible. I am listening while driving to the book on CD and laughing and crying in the same chapters. Get a copy right away.
Thank you Rick Bragg
Simply put, this book is delicious... almost as wonderful as the homemade lemonaid squeezed into the white enamel pitcher, and drank off the blue-grey painted porch at my grandmother's home place. Yes, the cotton was there also - piled high and wide, just begging to be jumped into. No mint juleps there either, although they have come since.. Wonderfully written story. A true treasure.
Good book to read for fun
I read this book for a school book project, and quite honestly it was very hard to pull quotes from and apply to life. Sure, it is a very touching story about a poor boy growing up in the South and following his journalistic dreams, but I would rather have read it for fun than have struggled trying to pull substance from it. I would definitely recommend it for book clubs, though.
Enjoyable, Easy Read
I LOVED this book. In some parts of this book I could smell the dirt, and feel the heat of the hot Summer day. Growing up in North Alabama myself, I new what it was like to run the dogs out from under the porch so you could play there yourself. It brought back memories, sweet and sad. I will highly recommend this book to everyone I encounter. My family and friends are glad I'm finished with it, since I felt urges to read them a paragraph or two from time to time. I loved it. Oh I've already said that.