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The Devil's Dream Paperback – Bargain Price, March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reissue edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425239713
  • ASIN: B0058M6SCO
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Smith's rollicking hillbilly saga about the family of a country music star, strong characters, their matter-of-fact voices and their affection for their rustic mountain home make for a rich multigenerational tale.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this loving tribute to country music and its artists, Smith ( Me and My Baby View the Eclipse , LJ 2/15/90; Fair and Tender Ladies , LJ 9/15/88) traces the history of this uniquely American tradition through several generations of the Bailey family of Grassy Springs, Virginia. Starting in 1833 with the marriage of Moses Bailey, a preacher's son who thinks fiddle music is the voice of the Devil laughing, to Kate Malone, who comes from a fiddle-playing family, the Baileys are torn between their love of God and their love of music. Plain Baptist hymns and haunting Appalachian ballads shape the lives of the early generations. Grandsons R.C. and Durwood marry Lucie and Tampa, who, as the Grassy Branch Girls, take part in the early "hillbilly recordings" of the 1920s. Rose Annie and Blackjack Johnny Raines are the "King and Queen of Country Music" in the Rockabilly 1950s until Rose Annie shoots Johnny after he's cheated on her once too often. Cousin Katie Crocker abandons the bland Nashville sound of the 1960s when she cuts a traditional record with her family at the Opryland Hotel. Warm, amusing, moving, this novel represents Smith at her best. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/92.
- Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Really, really top-notch stuff.
Alex Bledsoe
Quite often, a book is real good until the ending, and then I'm let down, But this has a really good ending too.
Philinda Stern Gruen
A good read, although if you don't have to read it and you're not a music lover, I'd pass.
Dan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Philinda Stern Gruen on April 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book. Quite often, a book is real good until the ending, and then I'm let down, But this has a really good ending too. This tale is really excellent: a verbal piece of art. I liked all the lineage and interconnections in this large musical family. I learned what it's like to have mucic within you -- to write as well as perform. I liked the character developments -- no one all good or all bad, but all very interesting. I recommend this book highly. One learns about US history, country music, human nature, and it's entertaining to boot!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alex Bledsoe on December 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is, along with P. F. Kluge's novel "Eddie and the Cruisers," possibly the best novel about what music means and where it comes from that I've read. The sense of time and place is unerringly evoked, the characters are simultaneously archetypal and idiosynchratic, and the overlap of both generations and musical styles makes a rich, rewarding experience. Really, really top-notch stuff.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Michael Harlow (BHarlow863@aol.com) on January 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is another of Lee Smith's novels that progresses chronologically through generations, each successive generation represented through a group of narrators (like Oral History) and again her ability to delineate character through that character's voice is amazing. I really respect her as a writer and will keep reading her books until I have exhausted their availability. This time there are five generations of the country music industry, going from backwoods denizens of Grassy Creek who are downright suspicious of fiddle music, trusting no music but the "old hard high" hymns and progressing on down past the Grand Ole Opry to today. I have often made fun of the maudlin excesses of Nashville: when my adult son was a toddler, friends, my wife and I used to give the kid quarters to put in the jukebox in the St. Johnsbury diner to play "I'm Hiring a Wino to Decorate Our Home." (Evidently folks from the Academy where one friend worked did not come to the diner, and the regulars there seemed to think it was cute). Anyway, I was surprised by how affecting I found this book to be. Smith finds the real people behind "genuine country," or at least she creates an illusion that she has captured the actual personalities in their reactions to the hard-won petty triumphs and the terrible sudden tragedies and all the rest behind the sappy songs. I liked the book a lot and Smith obviously loved her subject, judging by the pages of acknowledgements at the end and her comments in them.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Devils Dream describes beautifully the strength a dream of fame can have on a person. Katie Cocker is the main character once she is introduced you can clearly see that she struggles with life. Like many of our lives today, she deals with her obsessive parents and lost dreams. She wants to renew what her family has already started. Music is the way to do this. Each chapter in the book starts in a mew period of time from a different characters point of view. The book flows like this untill Katie is weaved into the story. The characters discussed before her are still around and are all a part of her family. Katie ties-up a legacy of music that has been brought down from generation to generation. Lee Smith keeps music flowing throughout the whole book. She almost uses it to much. She fits each paragraph with a lot of unwanted attention drawn toward the names and lyrics of songs. This all draws away from the story. The whole book is based on a dream of one day being famous and rich. Music is the step this enlarrged family thakes toward that dream. This book will cause a realization that dreams aren't something that can be fufilled with the click of a button but they must be worked at. This book can inspire people to strive toward their goals and dreams. If you don't enjoy music and the creation of it then don't read this book. If you need to be inspired then do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 1997
Format: Paperback
Lee Smith once again writes about mountain people and their ways of life. She chronologically takes the reader from the early musical interests of a family who become sensations in Music City. The story is heart-warming, real, and quirky rolled into one. A definite must-read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By panzi on June 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Devil's Dream have many characters, that Lee Smith never has trouble coming up with a name to fit each personality to a T, as well as the small towns, areas each live.

The musical family all started with Moses Bailey and his young wife Kate Malone when the two married in 1833, and goes through the 1960's rebellion period in our country. Kate was the musician who started it all; going down from generation to generation for over a century. In each new generation of the Bailey family, there was at least one member who carried on the musical talent inherited to them through Kate. In some generations, there were more than one that had this talent..and they would sit outside; in their mountain home of Virginia, listen to the crickets and all would sing their hearts out while strumming their homemade instruments..

One note I might add is that Smith made it very convenient for everyone, as she drew the family tree with each character listed...a handy tool,which I referred to often.

RC Bailey was the genius in the family, son of Moses and Kate. It was his idea of the Grassy Branch Girls to sing in the town square to make enough money to have their car fixed...and it blossomed from there..
the story tells of the hardships and the good times of many of the characters....which was always fascinating and in some cases, comical. If you love Southern writing, which Lee Smith does so well, you will definitely like The Devil's Dream..
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