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Brambleman [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Grant
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $9.96 (62%)

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Book Description

Winner of the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Award for popular fiction

Down-and-out Atlanta writer Charlie Sherman has no idea what madness awaits him when a mysterious stranger convinces him to finish a dead man’s book about a horrific crime that's gone unpunished for decades.

What Charlie inherits is an unwieldy manuscript about the mob-driven expulsion of more than 1,000 blacks from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. During the course of his work, Charlie uncovers a terrible secret involving a Forsyth County land grab. Due to its proximity to Atlanta, the stolen farm is now worth $20 million—and a sale is pending.

When he finds the land’s rightful owner, Charlie becomes convinced he's been chosen by a Higher Power to wreak justice and vengeance on those who profit from evil.

And then things go horribly wrong.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Forsyth County, famous as the birthplace of Hee-Haw’s Junior Samples, has for most of the past century, existed as an intentionally all-white community bordering the black Mecca of Atlanta since 1912, following one of the 20th century’s most violent racist outrages—including lynching, nightriding, and arson.

In 1987, the sleepy community gained notoriety when a small march led by civil rights firebrand Hosea Williams was broken up by rock- and bottle-throwing Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and their sympathizers. Bloody but unbowed, Williams returned the next week with 25,000 followers in one of largest civil rights marches in history. There was talk of reparations. Oprah came. Protests and counter-protests yielded a landmark Supreme Court case on free speech. But most importantly, white people flocked to Forsyth. It became the fastest- growing county in the nation, the richest one in Georgia, and one of the twenty wealthiest in the U.S.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Extremely well-written." -- Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

"... (Grant) keeps the suspense building throughout the entire book. There's no way to guess how it will end since you never know what each turn of the page will bring." -- Maria Miaoulis, Reading for Pleasure

"Grant perfectly caught the complexity of the people of Georgia." -- Katy Sozaeva, Now is Gone

"This book was a wild ride through history as well as a wild ride through the present ... I recommend this book to people who love historical fiction, as well as people who love action/adventure, mystery, books about books, about African American History, books about conspiracies, good human interest stories and a simply a thumping good read." -- Melinda's Bookstore

From the Author


BRAMBLEMAN'S HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Forsyth County, famous as the birthplace of Hee-Haw's Junior Samples, has for most of the past century, existed as an intentionally all-white community bordering the black Mecca of Atlanta since 1912, following one of the 20th century's most violent racist outrages--including lynching, nightriding, and arson.

In 1987, the sleepy community gained notoriety when a small march led by civil rights firebrand Hosea Williams was broken up by rock- and bottle-throwing Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and their sympathizers. Bloody but unbowed, Williams returned the next week with 25,000 followers in one of largest civil rights marches in history. There was talk of reparations. Oprah came. Protests and counter-protests yielded a landmark Supreme Court case on free speech. But most importantly, white people flocked to Forsyth. It became the fastest- growing county in the nation, the richest one in Georgia, and one of the twenty wealthiest in the U.S.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1346 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983492123
  • Publisher: Thornbriar Press (March 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ILGHTC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,191 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorn of Crowns January 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Imagine Neil Gaiman and Flannery O'Connor collaborating on a story about the legacy of a true-life ethnic cleansing in rural Georgia. Better yet, imagine that story being told by someone with both of those authors' greatest skills--Gaiman's deft and believable blending of the supernatural and the realistic, O'Connor's sharp eye for the South's gritty underbelly--and a wicked sense of humor that easily surpasses either of those authors. Imagine that, and you'll have a chance of picturing "Brambleman." (Of course, you probably still won't come close, because Grant's skills are such that this story unfolds unpredictably, with a number of delightful turns of fate that keep the reader guessing, and enthralled.)

The story begins with a struggling author, Charlie Sherman, getting kicked out of his house after his wife caught him behaving like (as he later puts it) "Onan the Barbarian." He ends up living in the basement of a dementia-addled woman, reworking the unpublished manuscript of her late husband, a scholar who'd been exploring the expulsion of African-Americans from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. Shades of "Sunset Boulevard" and "Misery," perhaps, but what might have been a self-contained and derivative story arc for a less ambitious author ends up as just the opening of a full, rich and epic work, part history lesson, part satire about race and class in 21st century America, part exploration of the nature of faith and God and good and evil.

I usually hate, hate, HATE books whose protagonist is an author.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brambleman will both entertain and inform April 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
"I'm not from around here, and I've been places you'll never want to go. Unless you're even stupider than you look." - Trouble

Charlie Sherman's been accused of worse things than being stupid. His wife, in fact, kicked him out of the house for being a failure as both a writer and father, though that porn he inadvertently set as the desktop on his computer certainly didn't help matters.

While at a diner trying to figure out exactly what his next step is Charlie meets a mysterious stranger known only as `Trouble.' Despite that ominous moniker, Trouble actually hooks Charlie up with a job finishing the massive, jumbled manuscript a recently deceased local professor never quite completed. As a bonus, Charlie can also live in the basement of the professor's widow's house while working on the project. Life may have handed Charlie lemons, but he's found a way to make lemonade. Yeah, if only it was that easy.

First there's the matter of the manuscript's topic, the horrific events of 1912 in which the whites of Forsyth County, Georgia engaged in intimidation, arson, and lynching to drive the black population from their homes. Much of the resulting "vacant" property was subsequently seized by white families, one parcel of which is now worth nearly $20 million dollars in the highly upscale - and lily white - Forsyth. When in the course of working on the book Charlie discovers the rightful heir to that property things get seriously complicated, with Charlie put in the position of either walking away or opening an enormous can of worms.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a Ride April 21, 2012
By ATLjjf
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jonathan Grant's Brambleman grabbed my attention before I opened the book. I live in Georgia, so when I discovered that the novel included some not-so-pretty history of Forsyth County, I knew I had to read it. Brambleman took me on a journey that surprised me. Maybe a better description would be a roller coaster adventure - just when I thought the ride was calming down, it would start taking another loop-de-loop.

Charlie Sherman, a struggling writer and stay-at-home dad, gets kicked out of his house. As the newly homeless Charlie, unsure of what lies ahead, waits for coffee in a diner, along comes Trouble. And yes, that's with a capital "T". Trouble, a character both unpleasant to look at and smell, enters Charlie's life with a BOOM, and everything changes. The changes seem to fall in the "positive" column at first. Charlie is offered a job editing a dead professor's manuscript, Flight from Forsyth, about whites driving blacks from Forsyth County. He's also given lodging in the professor's widow's home. Sounds great for a down on his luck, unemployed, homeless guy. However, just when things seem to be going well, things start going not-so-well.

Charlie goes on the ride of a lifetime, and I, the reader, held on and rode along. With Charlie, I learned much about crimes against black citizens in Forsyth County - not only back in 1912, but up to 1987 (a year which saw Oprah Winfrey flying down and doing a show about the racial tensions at the time). As Charlie gets closer to the truth, his life is endangered and the lives of countless others (the innocent and not-so-innocent) are turned upside down. When the past that Charlie digs up starts hitting closer to home via his wife's family, his life gets really interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in the South.
A crazy bus ride to the prejudices of the South. Never a dull moment. Better than a reality show .Enjoyable read!
Published 2 months ago by Renee E. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! What a book.
Great story of terrible times when some bad white people took advantage of some black people in the old south and a writer was chosen to tell the story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Harold Pulliam
1.0 out of 5 stars ???
I thought it was weird in a boring and bad way.
Published 5 months ago by Vanesa
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book Filled With Surprising Twists
Wow! This book took me by complete surprise. I live in Lilburn, GA, about 25 miles north of Atlanta. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jenettha Baines
4.0 out of 5 stars Brambleman
Definitely different and very interesting. it give give the reader a lot to think about. I recommend it and Il be looking for more books from Jonathan Grant .Thank you
Published 6 months ago by yolandab
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The story held my interest, would not have normally thought this would be my type of book, but it was really well done.
Published 6 months ago by Laynie
5.0 out of 5 stars Some stories werent meant for daylight
This book seems to have run out of gas. Too bad, it's pretty good.

We have a struggling writer who gets kicked out of his house, and winds up editing a long dormant book... Read more
Published 7 months ago by DCM
4.0 out of 5 stars Combined historical fiction and mystery in an original mix
Brambleman was definitely original, combining historical fiction and mystery. The main character, Charlie, gets put through so many ordeals I thought he was going to collapse any... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Majanka
4.0 out of 5 stars Brambleman
A little long, but a great romp through Atlanta and environs. Jolly fun.
Published 8 months ago by Dolores M. Gelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected treasure...
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book with its humor but also serious subject matter. The twist and turns kept my interest. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rachel Benson
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More About the Author

Jonathan Grant is the author of two novels, CHAIN GANG ELEMENTARY and BRAMBLEMAN, which won the IBPA's 2013 Benjamin Franklin Award for popular fiction. He is also the co-author/editor of his late father's monumental history, THE WAY IT WAS IN THE SOUTH: THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN GEORGIA (UGA Press, 2001). This work was named Georgia's nonfiction "Book of the Year" and Editor's Choice at American Heritage magazine. His third novel, PARTY TO A CRIME, is scheduled for publication by Thornbriar Press in 2014.

Grant grew up on a Missouri farm. came down South, and graduated from the University of Georgia. The former journalist, state government spokesman, PTA president, and soccer coach lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children.

He is currently at work on THE UNHAPPY HISTORY OF HIGGSTON, MISSOURI, the unfortunate tale of a drone strike on a small Midwestern town. He calls it "The Honey Badger of zombie novels."

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