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I Will Open My Mouth in Parables: Taradiddles and Tales of My West Virginia Home Paperback – July 24, 2013


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About the Author

Richard Smith, a native of Quick, West Virginia, currently lives in North Potomac, MD, near Washington, DC. He is owner of ScriptSmith, a media production company that primarily produces video-based training for Federal government agencies. Mr. Smith maintains ties to his roots by spending time in a lovely mountain hideaway in Hardy County, WV.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490422978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490422978
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Moose Eliot on August 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Smith's collection of stories based on his 1940's-50's upbringing in Kanawha County, deep in the heart of West Virginia, is a real surprise. There is, lurking within the heart of these tales from what at fist blush looks like a Walton Mountain-esque, traditional American community (where everyone seems to attend church three times a week, and the biggest event of the year is the annual Easter pageant) a truly subversive thread. In some ways, the Walton Mountain-esque settting is, in itself, subversive--at least to today's prevailing lifestyles. Extended family is everywhere--aunts, uncles, great uncles, grandparents--and the friends one makes in childhood are still close by when one reaches adulthood. The land is ever-present, the gulches and hollows, the mountains and meadows, the foottrails by which young Richie Smith, the autobiographical narrator of these stories, moves among his close-knit community. And history is everywhere handy. Both family and community history, carried by the ever-present elders, and the history of this nation, in the farms, and in the coalfields and smelting plants.

But within this ancient-seeming world, strange enough by today's standards, Smith brings in yet another layer of subversion. For his characters, and their stories, more often than not represent those whose lives cannot be contained within the narrow confines of Quick, West Virginia's rigid, traditionally Christian morality, and its small-town suspicion of the "different." There's the "Disgrace," the fourteen-year-old expectant mother who arrives at Smith's junior high school one year, and whose fall from grace uncovers the buried shame of Smith's moralistic Aunt Hariette.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rose on September 12, 2013
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Author Richard Smith describes his book I Will Open My Mouth in Parables in the subtitle as "Taradiddles and Tales of My West Virginia Home." They really are parables though, short stories that illuminate both the Bible passages to which they are linked and the vagaries of small-town life in Quick, West Virginia.

Characterized by Smith's deadpan description of events and peopled with quirky characters, the stories are funny and surprisingly moving as well. Smith notes that they are best read aloud, and he's had great success as a storyteller sharing them with groups.

Although the residents of Quick have a Christian worldview, these stories are humanist in the best sense. Smith looks at the conflicts that inevitably result when fallible people all try to do the right thing in their own different ways.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The stories in this book carried me back to a kinder, gentler time. They recall childhood memories of time spent under the sun, out in the clearings, down the dirt roads and hollers, on the farms...when summer lasted forever. For someone with a short attention span and not an avid reader, each chapter was just long enough to hold my interest and then release me to ponder some deep thinking. I liked the way the author, Richard Smith, tells a story that seems uncomplex on the surface but then unveils a secret or an irony for the reader to contemplate. For example, did Aunt Harriett rectify herself after condemning young Mary Anne for the same unwed pregnancy that Aunt Harriett herself experienced at age 15? What was it that broke the Moonshine Man's heart about the plain wooden box being lowered into the grave? This walk through small town rural American life in West Virginia in the 1940s and 50s is one that I could relate to and thoroughly enjoyed. I'm going to share my love for this book with my friends and family.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Better be ready to read awhile, because you will find it hard to lay down. I met the author and was interested because we are both West Virginia natives. But I learned right off that Smith is a GREAT writer.
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By john young on September 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
loved the short stories. i was a high school classmate or Richard liked the spiritual aspects of the stories and knowing some of the actual places and names in the stories
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