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Goliath Hardcover – April 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312675011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312675011
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,933,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Like a contemporary Winesburg, Ohio, Susan Woodring's Goliath brings small town life beautifully, achingly alive. Sprinkled with marching bands, baseball, and parades, and a cast of southern characters who will charm the pants off you, Goliath is a memorable novel, written in a new memorable voice."—Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

"Goliath is a careful, contemplative study of the rhythms of collective grief.  Woodring's sense of the constraints and hard-earned pleasures of home rings as true and pure as a train whistle in the night."—Michael Parker, author of The Watery Part of the World

"Woodring's writing is so clear and moving that the reader often feels, as she says of about one of her characters, as if 'the world had been sucked clear of true sound.'  This beautiful portrait of a place and its people, rendered so quietly and intimately, shuts out the world outside its pages as you read.  Only the best novels can make you forget yourself as reader.  Goliath is the kind of book you don't want to put down or to end."--Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury

"Goliath is a beautiful and quietly moving story of love, grief, forgiveness and redemption — heady themes handled here with a big heart and a deft hand. In prose exquisitely clear and with details that will make your heart ache, Susan Woodring has written a meaningful portrait of small town life, and what it means to move through grief toward love."--Bret Lott, author of Ancient Highway

Ultimately a novel about a town that takes on a life of its own, Woodring’s latest is melodious, deliberate, surprising, and full of those essential little moments that make up entire lifetimes. Readers who enjoy sinking into the layered details of small-town life should enjoy this rich portrait." -- Julie Trevelyan of Booklist

 

 

About the Author

SUSAN WOODRING grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her previous publications are a first novel, The Traveling Disease, and Springtime On Mars: Stories. She has been published in Passages North and a variety of other literary publications. She won the 2006 Isotope Editor's Prize, has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, and was a notable mention in Best American Short Stories 2010.


More About the Author

Susan Woodring is the author of two novels, Goliath (St. Martin's Press, 2012) and The Traveling Disease (Main Street Rag, 2007) and a short story collection, Springtime on Mars (Press 53, 2008). Her short fiction has appeared in Isotope, Passages North, turnrow, and Surreal South, among other anthologies and literary magazines. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short fiction was shortlisted for Best American Non-Required Reading 2008 and Best American Short Stories 2010. Susan currently lives in western North Carolina with her children and her husband. To learn more about Susan and to read her blog, please visit www.susanwoodring.com.

Customer Reviews

Lots of fresh description of a particular area of the South and very good insight into people's behaviors.
Allie Brown
Rosamond, the main character, is what all good characters should be: believable, identifiable and mysterious enough to keep you turning the pages.
Tamra Wilson
These are rarely happy individuals but they do their best each day to deal with the hands that life has dealt them.
PretzelBoy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cathy K. on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that I found myself savoring, instead of my usual fast read. Often, I paused in my reading to enjoy a string of sentences. (About the wandering boy husband: "He always wore his denim jacket and faded blue jeans and sneakers so old they appeared to be held together with little more than crusted mud and habit. The habit of holding on.") I was blown away by the layered complexity of characters and the deceptively simple story. The pace is slow: it matches the town's demise. Gradually, then suddenly, Goliath ends. A real joy to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tamra Wilson on April 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Susan Woodring's prose sings through this new novel as a gift to readers who love literary fiction. The story goes to the heart of North Carolina's economic woes as told through Goliath, the small town that's losing its furniture factory. The all-too-familiar setting reads like today's newspaper, but Woodring's well-sculpted characters and meticulous attention to details make this read top-drawer, no pun intended.

Woodring offers up a small-town Southern story without the usual condescension. Rosamond, the main character, is what all good characters should be: believable, identifiable and mysterious enough to keep you turning the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PretzelBoy on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Did you ever wonder what happened to the little town of Mayberry after Sheriff Andy and Deputy Barney went on to retirement? In the 19th and 20th centuries, especially after the return of World War II veterans looking for work, hundreds of small towns grew up in rural areas throughout the United States. A large number were referred to as "factory towns" having been built around one or two large manufacturing operations. Not surprisingly, a symbiotic relationship came to exist between those businesses and the local citizens. The factory needed workers and provided economic security in return, often becoming more important than churches as a center for the life of the community.

Over the last few decades, many of these rural factories have shut down as American manufacturing has moved to urban areas or, more and more, to other countries. What happens to a town like a Mayberry when its one factory ceases to operate? That is the central question that Susan Woodring explores in her novel Goliath. The furniture factory that has been the anchor for the town of Goliath for as long as anyone can remember goes bankrupt. Deprived of its economic engine, the town simply rolls over and dies while its inhabitants are left to face a very precarious future.

I give the author high marks for creating a realistic picture of a changing culture that has been destroying smaller towns in the U.S. for 20-30 years without much notice. The death of rural America has been a sad outcome of the country's recent economic history.

Certainly, on one level, Goliath is about the demise of a small southern village. On another level, though, the book is about human relationships.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clifford Garstang on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Susan Woodring's Goliath is a remarkable book, filled with fully realized characters, perfect dialogue, and a plot that is always entertaining and never quite predictable. Add to that the omniscient point of view--something you don't see in many contemporary novels--and you've got a truly enjoyable read. The discovery of a body in the book's opening pages is the story's catalyst, but this is no ordinary mystery. Instead, it's something of a love story--or several love stories--not just about romance, but about people's capacity to love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl L. Monks on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Susan Woodring is a wonderful talent whose latest novel is lyrical and, in a word, magical.

The death of Percy Harding -- the president of a small town's most important employer, a furniture manufacturing company -- is the impetus upon which everything else in this beautifully written novel hinges: Why did this important and beloved member of the community jump in front of a train? Soon enough the story shifts to Rosamond, Percy's secretary who has harbored a long, secret love for her married boss, and the town of Goliath itself: What will become of them now that Percy is dead?

The omniscient point-of-view is extraoridnarily well-done. It moves gracefully from one character to another, beginning with Vincent, the boy who discovers Percy's body. Slowly, we are guided around the town of Goliath until we are introduced and caught spellbound by all the quirky residents who live there. Our curiosity is piqued in so many places simultaneously that it feels as if we are discovering something all the time and yet still the ultimate mysteries are ever in front of us.

A beautiful book that will pull you in and hold you long after that last page has been read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lots of fresh description of a particular area of the South and very good insight into people's behaviors. Enjoyed it tremendously. It could have benefitted from a little tightening in places, I thought, but I'd recommend it to readers who can keep up with lots of characters and savor a slow-paced story.
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