- Hardcover: 329 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (August 26, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679442588
- ISBN-13: 978-0679442585
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (734 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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All Over but the Shoutin' 1st Edition
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One reason Rick Bragg won a Pulitzer Prize for his feature articles at the New York Times is that he never forgets his roots. When he writes about death and violence in urban slums, Bragg draws on firsthand knowledge of how poverty deforms lives and on his personal belief in the dignity of poor people. His memoir of a hardscrabble Southern youth pays moving tribute to his indomitable mother and struggles to forgive his drunken father. All Over but the Shoutin' is beautifully achieved on both these counts--and many more.
From School Library Journal
YA?On Palm Sunday, 1994, a tornado ripped through a church in Piedmont, AL, killing 20 people. This is Bragg's hometown, and he began his story on the tragedy for the New York Times as follows: "This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven. This is a place where the song 'Jesus Loves Me' has rocked generations to sleep, and heaven is not a concept, but a destination." It is writing of this quality that won the author his job as a national correspondent and the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. He grew up in poverty, the second of three sons of an alcoholic, abusive father and a loving mother. The early chapters give a beautiful description of warm and happy moments he enjoyed with her and his family even as she struggled to provide for them after they'd been abandoned. Teens will enjoy reading about the resourceful, talented, and lucky young man's career as he moved from local reporter to working for regional and national papers. A book for students with an interest in writing, journalism, or the South and of use for autobiography assignments.?Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the first book of Bragg's I have read. I came to it on the recommendation of a friend inclined to enjoy it because as a journalist I am predisposed to savor the work of fellow journalists who have won a Pulitzer Prize. The free sample on Amazon hooked me.
Only my most favorite books reduce me to tears. This one did.
I suspect he is a true redneck, as we traditionally understand it. But the cornpone dissolves into singing prose when he settles in to inscribe his magic words. “All Over but the Shoutin’” is his runaway best selling memoir, published in 1997, and winner of innumerable awards and high praise from both readers and literary critics. It will both exhilarate you and leave you in a sobbing heap, sometimes at the same time.
It’s the story of his childhood in Alabama and his meandering journey to becoming a legendary journalist. It’s filled with stories about things and people that influenced his life. Mostly it’s a love song about his mother who raised Bragg and his two brothers without a father. The book started him on the road to fame and is his best seller. His mother, still living, is the lifeline he unapologetically clings to. Best not chide him for it unless you want your butt kicked.
Bragg has been a lot of places and seen a lot of things in his career. Most of his recollections wear heavily on him. He recounts them with clarity and neither turns away from the horrific nor fails to express the misery that hurts his heart. He is a man with a compassionate soul who’s unafraid to share his feelings.
But it is the poetic beauty of his love and determination to honor his mother that propels this book. Her entire life has been filled with heartache, grinding poverty, three boys who constantly bedevil her, crippling insecurity, and constant sorrow. Bragg recognizes his contribution to her misery, but has always wanted to set it straight, and expresses his frustration with his inability to make her life warmer as she ages.
His words rings like a bell. There were times when I laughed and others when a stray tear wet my cheek. Many times I simply caught myself staring at the wall absorbing some moving passage, my finger stuck in the book so I wouldn’t lose my place.
Don’t miss this book. It’s a classic memoir with all the elements that are sure to soften even the most callous mind-set. It’s not a tearjerker. It’s a bright light that illuminates glorious writing, a light so bright it makes your eyes water.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES