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All over but the Shoutin' Paperback – September 8, 1998
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A deep understanding of the South is woven throughout the book, along with an appreciation of this region's poorest people. Rick Bragg was raised in a family led by his mother after she finally broke away from his alcoholic and violent father. Vivid memories crowd the book's pages as Bragg writes of his upbringing: surrounded by an extended family, food, hard work, and racism. There were several different cultures in the South of Bragg's youth. Whites belonged to classes, with corresponding differences in education and expectations. Bragg got only a few glimpses into the lives of the wealthy South. His upbringing was among the poorest of the poor. In his culture, men were expected to fight hard and dirty when insulted. Drinking and getting drunk was part of male gatherings. Salvation was found in religion, which surrounded people on the radio, in church, and when family got together. Women cooked huge meals that took hours to prepare. They were responsible for doing what needed to be done to hold a family together and raise the children.
What Bragg carries from his childhood are a fierce and protective love of the South, an affiliation with those who live in poverty wherever he finds them, and a hatred of those who grew up privileged and feel superior because of it. He also carries into adulthood a fear of fatherhood: a concern that he will become as his father was. This causes the breakup of his marriage and leaves Bragg in mid-life looking for something that he feels is missing.Read more ›
"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."
It is very difficult to say something unique or clever about the way he writes. He would dismiss any suggestion that he "brings" something to a story. Even the professional reviewers have resorted to linking his name with some of the greatest writers who have taken the time to share their craft with us; Melville, Faulkner, and those who brought us "Huck Finn" and "Holden Caulfield", and Mr. Bragg is still a young writer who has scores of books to come.
The only thing this man lacks is pretense, or if you prefer, false pride. Someone said he had "lent dignity" to the people in one of his stories, he felt that comment was wrong and said "All I did was write what was there", and another time, "It wasn't that I had gotten it right-God knows I mess up a lot-but that I had gotten it true".
I believe he writes for the individuals and groups he writes about. We are just the lucky witnesses, the beneficiaries of one man's amazing talent.
Reading cannot get better than this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulously and comfortably written in the style I love - that similar to Pat Conroy. Great story and personal insight from the author who lived through it. Read morePublished 8 days ago by grey darrah
Rick Bragg is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorite books of all time. I've read it at least 4 times and am certain I'll read it again. Read morePublished 13 days ago by dw1946
A rare opportunity to learn as well as share. Very well done, and timely, although set in a different periodPublished 14 days ago by Richard T. Callahan
a fabulous storyteller. Reflective about the South. I could read some of my own story in his story.Published 22 days ago by Bill
Anyone who grew up poor or in a rural area will relate to the stories. All others who did not grow up that way should read this and then they can relate to those who did. Superb.Published 26 days ago by Monica Collins
It kept my interest and I could relate, growing up in Alabama and having a grandmother that worked on a farm her whole life, who married my grandfather at 14 years old. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Becky Partington
This book was such a great read. It moved me to laughter and tears. I've always read the short stories by Rick Bragg in the back of southern living magazine and knew I would enjoy... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Beth Brown