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Goliath Hardcover – April 24, 2012
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
I received a copy of this book from First Reads, I am giving an honest opinion of the book.(
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of fresh description of a particular area of the South and very good insight into people's behaviors. Enjoyed it tremendously. Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by Allie Brown
This book makes Angela's Ashes look like party city. I can't remember when I've read a story this depressing. I kept plodding on, hoping it would get better, but it never did.Published on August 8, 2013 by Valentine
Had to plod through this book as I didn't feel as though the reviews that I read before ordering fairly described the narrative. Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by Daniel B. Hall
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. Read morePublished on July 17, 2012 by Clifford Garstang
I LOVED this book. Perhaps it was because I grew up in another Goliath and it so completely captured the feel of living in a small town. Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by Laurie Lanning
I purchased Goliath because it was written by an author from my home state and I've generally found North Carolina writers to be quite entertaining. Read morePublished on May 27, 2012 by Linda Kirkpatrick