- Title: A Short History of a Small Place
- Author: T.R. Pearson
- ISBN: 9780345332639
- Page: 217
- Format: Mass Market Paperback
Young Louis Benfield tells the story of his tiny little North Carolina town There is the looniness of his family, the town of characters, the charm and naviete that gives us a world unknown, and stories that deserve to be told about how it is to grow up a certain kind of way, and to suddenly discover there s a world beyond your own that calls to you.
Recent Comments "A Short History of a Small Place"
I started out loving this book -- bits of humor, colloquilisms -- but like a "death-by-chocolate" cake, too much of a good thing became hard to swallow. About half-way through the third chapter, the narration just sounded like rambling jibberish and the clever turns-of-phrase got missed in the tedium. I skimmed the middle section, and I then read the last fifteen pages hoping to end with something positive to sayI prefered Cold Sassy Tree and Jayber Crow for glimpses into small-town life and cle [...]
Southern writers are among my favorites. I adore the prose style in this book in particular. The sentence construction and imagry is amazing. This book has a great cast of eccentric characters and oozes with Southern small town ambiance. I have read this one several times.
What a great look at a small town & its quirks and oddities.UPDATE, December 2011: Sitting in my living room with the tree lights glowing and a sink full of dirty dishes in the kitchen, this made for an excellent re-read. One of the best scenes is when the narrator, Louis, and his Daddy have "the talk."(page 288)"And once they're married they can become what we call intimate without other people looking sideways at them.''Intimate?' I said.But Daddy rolled on ahead of me and recommenced with [...]
This is a 'story' like your uncle would tell at some family occasion. It is repetitive, convoluted and told in a straight forward deadpan manner. You are supposed to laugh. It is not so much Southern as rural and contains all the stereotypes that urban people imagine are characteristic of rural situations. This is the funniest passage in the entire book."Miss Dupont fanned her face with an old church bulletin and appeared noticeably flustered and agitated, Mrs Phillip J. King said, like maybe sh [...]
sighi had to give this one up halfway through which i just do not like to doghantime i was sure all along that one of you guys had LOVED this book and so i stuck with it. But now i don't see any reviews by any of you so i guess i was hallucinating?back to the book - it is a story of a small town, and the small town gossip and politics that go along with small town living. The characters are extremely well drawn but the writing style is so pains-taking that it is awkward to read. after spending a [...]
One of the funniest books I have read lately. The story, set in the fictional town of Neely, North Carolina, provides the reader with a plethora of really interesting characters in a variety of unusual situations.I would read this book before going to bed and would begin chuckling out loud. This would prompt my wife to read aloud what I was enjoying alone. Soon we were both laughing so hard the tears would come to our eyes.T.R. Pearson has a wonderful way with words. He is often wry and sarcasti [...]
With long and rambling sentences, a non-linear narrative style, and a lack of anything apparent that the book is "about", "A Short History" isn't a book that everyone will enjoy.If you decide to read it, give yourself time to get used to the cadence. You can't be in a hurry. If you stick with it, you'll be rewarded by laugh-out-loud funny and a reminder of the bittersweet and existential side of life.I enjoyed the book so much that I slowed down reading at the end because I didn't want it to end [...]
I really wanted to like this book. In the beginning, there were some laugh out lines but as the book progressed, I found the constant repetition of extremely long phrases in very long sentences to be very tedious. Although the characters could be amusing, I never really related to them or cared about them very much. I spent 2 months slogging my way through it, waiting for it to get better. Normally I'm a fan of southern literature, but this was truly a chore to get through. Sorry, Kayla. I know [...]
Laugh-out-loud turns of a phrase on nearly every page. T. R. Pearson's story of an imaginary small place called Neely, North Carolina took me back to my own childhood with its small-town vernacular. Louis Benfield, the youthful narrator, turns observations of the mundane into sublime comedy and bittersweet moments. As you read this prose, be patient. Sip it like your favorite coffee or tea. The build up is worth the turn of the next page with capstones such as:"Mrs. Phillip J. King is what Daddy [...]
This story is written with an amazing sense of lyrical style and some of the most colorful and descriptive narratives that I have ever read. Told through the eyes of Louis Benfield, jr a young boy who has been handed down the different parts of the story through various townspeople, it all weaves back and forth around one central person, Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew. Along with a host of characters - a set of crazy sisters, a dishonest plumber, a power-hungry politician, a postal employee with [...]
A Short History of a Small Place is undoubtedly one of the most hilarious books I have ever read. Not many books make me laugh out loud -- and this one did -- repeatedly. I tried to read some parts aloud to my family and I was laughing so hard I could not see the next line of print through my tears. That funny! if you are from a small town in the South -- do not miss out on this gem published in 1985. The characters are priceless, the small town is true to life (eccentric personalities, everyone [...]
The sight of a public service officer reminded me of a sentence in this book. It had been years since I read it, but the sentence came roaring back into my head and I had to go get a copy of the book to see it again. page 12: "Aside from being naturally soft and mealy, Daddy said Sheriff Burton was probably a little too much encumbered with the implements of law enforcement to have the chance of being nimble. He couldn't take half a step without the leather creaking and the metal jangling, and w [...]
I have to wonder what on earth the outline for this book must have looked like prior to Pearson beginning his first draft. My guess is that it would be as odd and eclectic as the book itself. With his laugh-out-loud funny characters and stories Pearson delights his readers with colorful, and at times, meaningful trips through this "small place". His witty descriptions, slow-moving pace and overall style, very much mimic the part of the country in which this book is set. An enjoyable, amusing, an [...]
Lyrical, smart, and crazy hilarious. Child protagonist Louis Benfield notices everything & remembers it all. The sense of place is so profound, I could see the Pettigrew house, picture the Benfield's kitchen and the view from the window, and I'd know Pinky Throckmorton if I saw him in the street.Pearson does use racial slurs on at least two occasions, however. They tend to be said by assholes, so I suspect that Pearson is making a commentary on the kind of person that would say them. It's st [...]
I can't really rate this because I just never finished it. I really tried, though. Made it to about page 175 but I just wasn't feeling it. I enjoyed the Southern/rural flavor and the eccentric characters, but the writing was just too annoying for me. It was so much "Dad said this happened" and "Dad said it was because of this that happened", etc. I know it was supposed to be funny (and some of it was) but I found myself dreading it, so I decided just to stop reading. Maybe I just wasn't in the r [...]
Not short. One of the funniest books I've ever read. Tonight is my night to add books "of place" which means Ferrol Sams and Robertson Davies. TR Pearson's trilogy is brilliant, and this is the first of three books. Faulkneresque and yet also completely independent. Full of literary allusions that you don't need to get to enjoy Pearson's exploration of southern life (I'm sure I missed half of them). Sometimes, simple, clear prose is overrated and instead, only stream of consciousness with delici [...]
I love this book! A friend gave it to me when I graduated college. I smirked. she said, "I know the last thing you want right now is to read yet another book. Trust me, you have to read this." It was my companion for weeks, as I read it on my daily commute and sacred New Yorkers every time I let out a cackle. Funniest thing I have ever read. And years later, I'm still referencing characters and scenes in daily conversation. It's joyful and funny and fresh.
What a waste of four days of reading!!! The author had no idea whether he was writing in the '70s or the '50s, had a Faulkner complex, without the genius to back it up, and frankly, the writing wasn't nearly compelling enough to invest the time that was needed to keep up with the rambling, blathering plot. UGH!!!
Couldn't even finish it. The book was so long and wordy it lost my attention every other paragraph. It took weeks to get through 100 pages. I hate not finishing books, but had to in this case. Sorry.
The most entertaining book I have ever read, hands down. You can 'hear' the southern accent as you read, and absolutely visualize every character. A wonderful book that will have you not only laughing out loud, but forcing people to listen as you read sections to them.
Oh good grief.Recommended by a friend who said this is about the area where I live, southwest Virginia, northern North Carolina. I have NEVER read a book with more boring repetition. Only my friend's recommendation kept me going. A few enjoyable parts, but NO I do not recommend it.
Unfortunately for me, I did not like any of the subsequent books by Pearson. It's unfortunate because "A Short History of a Small Place" is one of the best books I have ever read. It's full of wild imagination and great prose. I loved it!!!
I made myself read the first chapterd I could not get into itI gave it a fair shot I think. The word choice was too obtuse and sentence structure too complex for an enjoyable read.
Will put you to sleepI couldn't finish it, and I hate to do that! It got so damn old to keep reading "Daddy says," "Daddy says," about 15 times on every page.
I really enjoyed this book (through the first 150 pages or so), even though the writing style became tedious, to say the least. I managed to finish 296 pages of the 381 pages, but found myself skipping the long, drudging paragraphs because that style had just worn too thin on me. I didn't care for any of the characters, and somewhere in the middle started wondering how "Daddy" knew so much gossip, as he was quite the purveyor. Since it is a book whose sole purpose was to create an ambience throu [...]
If one can stand the intentionally repetitious, deadpan, long-winded writing style, there are a number of rewards to be found in this book. It certainly has its amusing, tall-tale aspects typical of Southern writing; for me, it was like listening to one of my partner's relatives in rural North Carolina monopolize a conversation for hours on end without really saying much of anything. It is quite a feat to write this way so consistently; but it is quite another thing to read almost 400 pages of t [...]
Could not finish. I valiantly tried to continue, but when I got to the chapter "Mayor" about 1/2 way through, and told in the voice of a talkative neighbor going on and on and on and onI had to put it aside. Life's too short for boring books.
Delightful little book. Enjoyed each and every moment. I found myself smiling the whole time I was reading it.
Very good storytelling, albeit greatly discursive.
Very seldom do I feel the need to read a section of a book out loud to my husband. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
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