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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not essential Styron but a good intro to his work
Styron revisits old themes in this collection subtitled "Three Tales from Youth" and set, two thirds of the way, in Tidewater Virginia in the earlier part of the twentieth century. In it we see three episodes from the life of Styron's autobiographical protagonist Paul Whitehurst at ages twenty, ten, and thirteen.
In "Love Day" Paul, a young...
Published on June 12, 2000 by Randall Ivey

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When Did You First Meet William Styron?
I first met William Styron when a mutual acquaintance - Sophie's Choice - introduced us at The Modern Library's list of Top 100 Novels. I bumped into him later with his friend Darkness Visible at The Modern Library's list of Top 100 Non-Fiction Books. I thought I knew him by the time he told me all about The Confessions of Nat Turner.

And so it was that I chose...
Published on April 24, 2010 by Sean J. Giorgianni


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not essential Styron but a good intro to his work, June 12, 2000
This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
Styron revisits old themes in this collection subtitled "Three Tales from Youth" and set, two thirds of the way, in Tidewater Virginia in the earlier part of the twentieth century. In it we see three episodes from the life of Styron's autobiographical protagonist Paul Whitehurst at ages twenty, ten, and thirteen.
In "Love Day" Paul, a young Marine lieutenant, experiences intense homesickness in the Pacific Ocean during the waning months of WWII. This is well-written but perhaps the least impressive of the three tales. Next is best. "Shadrach" is a wonderfully affecting, funny, and touching story of a 99-year old former slave who walks all the way from Clay County, Alabama, to Virginia to die and be buried in his homeplace. The title story shows Paul's struggle to accept his mother's approaching death from cancer and pays especial attention to the complex relationship between his parents.
Despite Styron's wonderfully indulgent and rococo style, these stories make for fairly quick reads, as we are carried along on a stream of telling detail and crystalline reminiscence. Not that the work lacks complication. As with his larger-canvased works, Styron deals with issues of race, Southern identity, heterosexual love, courage, cowardice, religion, and art. Here and there the stories are marred by facile liberal pieties and stilted dialogue, but for the most part it is a pleasure to watch this old master cast perhaps one last look at the familiar but still-fertile landscape of his heart and imagination.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Picturesque and memorable, March 13, 2000
By 
Steve (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
Styron raises enough intriguing issues and questions that A Tidewater Morning could have been a full-bodied novel. Instead, we are treated to three short stories that, while somewhat disjointed, do manage to flow with relative ease. There's little new material addressed here: Styron returns to his favorite themes of slavery, war, and death, but he does manage some fresh twists that allow Tidewater to stand memorably on its own merits.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter the world of Styron HERE!, January 16, 2000
By 
jenna (Central New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
This book is a beautiful intermingling of past memeories and present strife. The war time world of Paul Whitehurst is made apparent; his childhood battles were fought just as passionately as any battle in WWII. Paul is a fictional character full of wit and wisdom. He comes alive in the three separate stories of his life. Your only thought at the end of this (way to short) novel is that you wish there was some kind of continuation or sequel to Paul Whitehurst's story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Youth revisited through the sanctuary of memory, January 19, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
William Styron has penned a remarkable trilogy of tales which are an "imaginative reshaping of real events." His word-craft is both highly engaging though over-wrought at times. Nevertheless, his recreations of scenes are palpable. The last tale, "A Tidewater Morning", is a tour-de-force of the short story medium. His command of the movement of the events, punctuated by inserts of past dialogue between key characters, sensitively sets up the reader for an emotional cascade of grief as shared between father and son. Styron approaches the veil of the mystery and vividness of childhood events with a delft mind and hand conceived of respect and midwived with love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful book, January 15, 2014
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This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
I have read most of Styron's books and after reading Darkness Visible, I was very curious about the early years of his life. His obituary mentioned the book as a key to understanding his depression, so I quickly ordered it and couldn't put it down. What a story! Since then I have begun reading his daughter's book called Reading My Father and wonder if she mentions his childhood experiences. I'd recommend all three books to anyone interested in understanding depression. Styron was able to describe it so well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tidewater Morning, January 10, 2012
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This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
I purchased this book for a short holiday read, and it was excellent. The book is composed of three short stories which take the reader back to 1930s Virginia. The stories are absorbing and Styron's writing style is beautifully evocative.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When Did You First Meet William Styron?, April 24, 2010
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This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
I first met William Styron when a mutual acquaintance - Sophie's Choice - introduced us at The Modern Library's list of Top 100 Novels. I bumped into him later with his friend Darkness Visible at The Modern Library's list of Top 100 Non-Fiction Books. I thought I knew him by the time he told me all about The Confessions of Nat Turner.

And so it was that I chose to meet him again on A Tidewater Morning at my local Salvation Army bookstore. My cost of admission was $0.25 and I decided to meet him again because his alma mater, Duke University, won the 2010 NCAA Basketball Championship.

Styron's an interesting dude. Both he and his father suffered from depression and his mother died from breast cancer when he was 14. He was a Marine, an editor at McGraw-Hill, and once provoked an employer to fire him so he could write his first novel. He died from pneumonia in Martha's Vineyard at the age of 81.

Above the door to his studio he posted a quote from Gustave Flaubert: "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work."

As I read the three stories that make up A Tidewater Morning I was struck by how unreal his descriptions, characterizations, and dialog were to my senses. Yet, it all works beautifully in the end. The greatest triumph of this book is the way these three stories create an arc of experience that rips your perceived ideas of meaning from the fabric of your life and then sews them back together with even stronger stitching because you made the effort to reach, and read, the title story.

I didn't think A Tidewater Morning compared very well to his other writings until I sat down to write this. But it does. I can tell you this because, although I've never literally met him, I feel now I've not only met him, but know him in a way that was impossible before reading this little book.

I'll tell you what. Let me know if you don't like this book. I'll gladly repay you the quarter I spent on it.

Here are the three most telling quotes from William Styron's A Tidewater Morning:

* "... whenever I was overtaken by a spasm of metaphysical creepiness, and the sheer unreality of this endless war enfolded me like a damp, mildewed shroud, I thought of my father ... How did he ever imagine that his son would grow up to be a killer, not only willing but eager to kill - to anticipate killing with crude, erotic excitement? - Love Day

* "`Death ain't nothin' to be afraid about,' he blurted in a quick, choked voice. `It's life that's fearsome! Life! ... When you're dead nobody knows the difference. Death ain't much.`" - Shadrach

* "Repeat these words after me. Are you listening? Although earth's foundations crumble and the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas, yet alone shall I prevail." - A Tidewater Morning
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was and still am captivated by this novel, it's been 2 yrs, July 20, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
"A tidewater morning" was truly the most inspirational and exhillerating short story of the decade. The closing two pages when the boys father breaks down and goes to his knees and asks his son to repeat a certain song or quote. This will bring any person with somewhat of a sensitive side to their knees. Possibly, one might never recovering from the titilating experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Short Story, January 8, 2014
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This review is from: A Tidewater Morning (Paperback)
i bought this for a friend for Christmas. I bought it for the story "Shadrach," one of the best short stories I've ever read. I read it years ago in Esquire magazine and saved it and have made copies for people over the years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, December 13, 2013
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well written; excellent narrative interesting character portrayals of local interest short and easy read good escription of area, etc etc
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A Tidewater Morning
A Tidewater Morning by William Styron (Paperback - August 30, 1994)
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