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Moonshine: A Life in Pursuit of White Liquor (A Ruminator Find) Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: A Ruminator Find
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Ruminator Books; Paperback edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886913242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886913240
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,947,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1996
Format: Hardcover
I grew up not far from Ahoskie, NC, one of the towns
author Alec Wilkinson visits in his book. I was
astonished at the accuracy of his portrayal of the
people and way of life in rural eastern North Carolina.
Wilkinson makes no judgments and draws no conclusions.
He simply writes a wonderfully detailed and honest
portrait of these people and the politics & life of
the moonshiners and revenuers of the swamplands.

In the past few years this rural way of life has
quickly vanished - pressed from the east by the growth
of the tourist industry and overdevelopment of the
Outer Banks, and from the west by the rapid growth
of the Research Triangle. Moonshine has been replaced
by homegrown marijuana. Most small farmers have been
bought out by corporate farms and the small towns have
become bedroom communities for larger metro areas, with
people in Gates and Northampton counties working as far
away as Quantico and Williamsburg, VA.

I've loaned out my copy of "Moonshine" so many times it
is falling apart, but I've never found another book that
so accurately describes the world I grew up in. For my
transplanted Yankee friends here in the Triangle it has been
a great introduction to the rural South.

The first Wilkinson book I read was "Midnights", his
description of a summer spent as the night patrolman
in a small coastal town in Massachusetts. I was struck
by his powers of description, and the honest effort
of researching his subject by spending many long hours
on the job. It is also a fine book.

For anyone interested in a slice of life, or just great
writing, I'd recommend this book without hesitation.

Ken Strayhorn
Chapel Hill NC
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I grew up in Tidewater, VA, and I've travelled many of the roads and known the sorts of boys Wilkinson writes about. He really nailed that regional culture, and his ear for dialogue and dialect is finely tuned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bogaty on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
MOONSHINE is the fourth book I have read by Alec Wilkinson, a writer whose skill and use of the language approaches elegant. This short book is a profile of "revenuer" Garland Bunting, a liquor control officer in northeastern North Carolina and covers a period of time stretching from the 1950s through the 80s.
But while Bunting, the agent and the man, is the foundation of the book, he is hardly the be all and end all. Wilkinson garnered his material by spending time with Bunting and while doing so gathered information on the mores and social climate in the small towns of rural North Carolina. He rode along on a still bust, he gives the reader a brief tutorial on the various types of moonshine making as well as various techniques that are used, and he depicts the physical appearance and the feeling of the area so expertly that the reader feels as if he's there.

The material is presented by combining Wilkinson's keen observations with the running conversation of Bunting and his friends. And, as Bunting is an appealing, jocular, funny, and loquacious man, Wilkinson has more than enough to work with.
This material could be made shallow, inconsequential, or uninteresting in the hands of even an average writer, but Wilkinson is so good that his talent takes an interesting story and turns it into a terrific read.
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