Summary and book reviews of All Over But The Shoutin' by Rick Bragg

All Over But The Shoutin'

by Rick Bragg

All Over But The Shoutin' by Rick Bragg X
All Over But The Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 1997, 329 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 1998, 255 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The story of a violent, war-haunted, alcoholic father and a strong-willed, loving mother who struggled to protect her three sons from the effects of poverty and ignorance that had tainted her own life.

The extraordinary gifts for evocation and insight and the stunning talent for storytelling that earned Rick Bragg a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1996 are here brought to bear on the wrenching story of his own family's life. It is the story of a violent, war-haunted, alcoholic father and a strong-willed, loving mother who struggled to protect her three sons from the effects of poverty and ignorance that had tainted her own life. It is the story of the life Bragg was able to carve out for himself on the strength of his mother's encouragement and belief.

Chapter 1
A man who buys books because they're pretty

My mother and father were born in the most beautiful place on earth, in the foothills of the Appalachians along the Alabama-Georgia line. It was a place where gray mists hid the tops of low, deep-green mountains, where redbone and bluetick hounds flashed through the pines as they chased possums into the sacks of old men in frayed overalls, where old women in bonnets dipped Bruton snuff and hummed "Faded Love and Winter Roses" as they shelled purple hulls, canned peaches and made biscuits too good for this world. It was a place where playing the church piano loud was near as important as playing it right, where fearless young men steered long, black Buicks loaded with yellow whiskey down roads the color of dried blood, where the first frost meant hog killin' time and the mouthwatering smell of cracklin's would drift for acres from giant, bubbling pots. It was a place where the screams of panthers, like a woman's ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Rick Bragg's All Over but the Shoutin', a haunting memoir about growing up dirt-poor in the deep South, and about struggling to leave the past behind while still deeply tied to it through bonds of love and responsibility.

Rick Bragg was born in the pinewoods of Alabama to a mean-tempered, hard-drinking father and a strong-willed, loving mother, who struggled to protect her sons from the effects of poverty and ignorance that had constricted her own life. After years of abusing his wife and children, Charles Bragg abandoned the family when Rick was six. Margaret Bragg moved her three sons into her parents' ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Chicago Tribune
Deeply affecting.

Constitution Atlanta Journal
[T]ells about the South with such power and bone-naked love. . .that he will make you cry.

Author Blurb Pat Conroy
Rick Bragg writes like a man on fire. And All Over But The Shoutin' is a work of art. While reading this book, I fell in love with Rick Bragg's mother, Margaret Bragg, a hundred times. I felt like I was reading one of the prophets in the Old Testament when reading parts of this book. I thought of Melville, I thought of Faulkner. Because I love the English language, I knew I was reading one of the best books I've ever read. By explaining his life to the world, Rick Bragg explained part of my life to me. You feel things in every line this man writes. His sentences bleed on you. I wept when the book ended. I never met Rick Bragg in my life, but I called him up and told him he'd written a masterpiece, and I sent flowers to his mother.

Reader Reviews

Angela m Hunter

ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN
EXCELLENT

Kelli Robinson

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 ...   Read More

Nellie Gray

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...   Read More

Liz Meyers

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 ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Rick Bragg

If you liked All Over But The Shoutin', try these:

  • We Were Brothers jacket

    We Were Brothers

    by Barry Moser

    Published 2015

    About this book

    "We Were Brothers, Barry Moser's beautiful - and beautifully illustrated - new book, tells the wrenching and redeeming story of brothers who take different paths and yet ultimately find their ways back to each other...Their careful reconciliation after decades of strife and avoidance is sad, moving, and joyful all at the same time." - Andrew ...

  • Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living jacket

    Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living

    by Carrie Tiffany

    Published 2007

    About this book

    The government "Better Farming Train" brings advice to the small towns of Australia. The train is staffed by irresistibly eccentric agricultural and domestic experts; and when two of the train's experts fall in love, in an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism they settle in the impoverished Mallee farmland with the ambition of ...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.