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Local Souls Hardcover – September 23, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
And what stories they are. From the first story about a sleek family of four who have moved to the town and set the locals to talking to the middle one about a hurting family who has lost a daughter in Africa to the final one about the town's doctor and his influence on his friends and patients both during his 40 year practice and subsequent retirement, Gurganus just blows away the reader with his powerful writing. A bit like "Our Town", the residents of Falls, NC give up their secrets and their dreams in a wealth of terse writing that brings both the characters and the place to life. I guess if I have to have a "favorite" story, I'd reluctantly point to the final story - the longest - about the doctor and the town he served faithfully.
The story has two main characters - the narrator, Bill Mabry - and his doctor, "Doc" Roper. Roper, the blessed son of a socially prominent-but-poor town family, has returned to Falls in the 1950's after graduating from Yale Medical School He sets up a practice - becoming legendary in his treatment of townsfolk, both rich and poor. He diagnoses young Billy Mabry's heart condition, inherited from his father and grandfather.Read more ›
"Fearnot" Susan, who was not afraid about being herself when a small child, but after witnessing the horrible decapitation of her father in a boating incident she becomes fearful of abnormality and death. Her former unselfconscious personality is cemented into stillness when a scandal follows her father's death. The 14-year-old Susan becomes pregnant with 40-year-old Doc Dennis's child, who is also the man who was driving the boat which killed her father. The baby is quickly released for adoption while Fearnot returns to her ordinary life, having moved to another school. Her life settles into the usual conforming patterns: she marries a doctor; has two more children; she gets an MA in Russian literature (which is famous for its most volcanic family dramas). She becomes respectable, without passion, settling for a normal, dry-eyed and dull existence.
She feels her husband is "all-too-decent".Read more ›
Nina Broyles Fleshman
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Drunk on Allan Gurganus and his Local Souls. The second novella is about Jean Mulray and the loss of her daughter Cait, likely based on some news item, but masterfully crafted and... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Pat Jobe
I picked this up based on how much I enjoyed The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. This is not the same book. It may be set in the same town, but it's not the same book. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Shirley S
Alan Gurganus is probably one of the finest Southern writers of our time.Published 5 months ago by lorraine miller
I truly enjoyed 'Local Souls'. His books are witty, wise, and beautifully written. Some may find them wordy ... Read morePublished 5 months ago by KatieAnn
Beautiful use and composition of language. Great characters and storyline.Published 15 months ago by Brenda Reynolds
There is nothing gay about any of the three novellas which should be edited down to short stories - too much repetition and rehashing of the same thoughts and events.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Two of the three novellas have moments of magic, but they never come together as a story, and have little cohesion as a collection. Read morePublished 16 months ago by E. M. Rice
I liked the first story very much. the characters were interesting,the situation unusual. The second one was just okay. The third one was long and boring. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ricky
As much as I love Alan Gurganus for the most part (White People and Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All tops the list), I forced myself to slog through this one, hoping it... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Charles Green