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A writing teacher and ashtray-collecting, flea-market hound himself, Singleton builds most of his stories around first-person narrators, evoking such writers as Flannery O'Connor, Barry Hannah, and Raymond Carver, but infusing each tale with his own brand of sly humor and outsider skepticism. Singleton is particularly good at capturing the rhythms and peculiarities of southern speech, as in this passage from "When Children Count": "You sound exactly like my dead sister," this woman said, pushing her full cart into Tammy's backside. "I ain't never heard nothing like that. Say this: 'I will never, ever order a club sandwich here, what with the ptomaine.' Say it. Say."
While most of the stories are funny--"Richard Petty Accepts National Book Award" is an absolute marvel of conception and execution--a few of the tales that hit hardest are much darker. Especially haunting is "Bank of America," which centers around four childhood friends who still gather annually as adults in a swamp-land tree house, from which they fish for turtles and are forced, one fateful year, to confront the consequences of past misdeeds. Despite the story's title, which refers to a character who works at a national chain of banks, Singleton tells the story in a voice that's as unique as the flawed, but mostly likable, characters who populate his hometown. --Keith Moerer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
An entertaining, if unusual collection of stories by one of my favorite Southern authors. While I agree with some of the other reviewers that some of the stories are exceptionally... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Greg A. Marshall
The stories are kooky and unusual but somehow believable. They vary from very funny to just plain odd. This is fiction that has a strong regional or small-town appeal. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Lee Wheatley
The Half-Mammals of Dixie is now one of my favorite short story collections. I read 2 or 3 stories from it a few years ago, but I just got around to reading the whole book last... Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by Mark J
Not a bad book, but if you're really wanting a good collection of stories from the South, read Tim Gautreaux's Welding with Children.Published on August 2, 2012 by Jamie Filpi
The Half-Mammals of Dixie by George Singleton is a collection of short stories centered around the fictitious town of Forty-Five, South Carolina. Read morePublished on July 3, 2010 by BermudaOnion
This book makes me wonder what the author was smoking when he wrote it. It is frustrating, confusing at times, and sometimes totally unrealistic. Read morePublished on February 16, 2004 by Chrissy
Singleton has done a great job of portraying Southern characters accurately and honestly. He has deep and engaging characters that are so rare in short stories. Read morePublished on December 17, 2002 by Michael W. Graham
No one does it better - George's second collection of stories are absolutely great. It's almost like he sneaks up on you, makes you laugh, and then darts away to the next bit of... Read morePublished on October 7, 2002 by Ed Williams