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Excellent writing, but the bitterness hasn't healed.
on May 6, 2013
I thought I would like this book since I grew us in "border South" (KY) and I thought we were poor. But probably more like the bottom of the "middle class". Never poor by Bragg's standards. But I had felt the sting of thinking I was not quite as good. I had seen it compared to Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, which I had enjoyed. But somehow,McCourts book was far removed for me. New York, Ireland, and a decade before I was born.
Bragg's book I wanted to identify with, but just couldn't. I resented his unforgiving bitterness. I give him a big credit for honesty. He admits his flaw (chip on the shoulder). But he definitely carries a "reverse discrimination" with him. That's when the have-nots resent the haves because they think the haves denied them something. His time growing up was just about a decade ahead of my time growing up there, and perhaps I wanted to believe things had improved by then.
I also resented his cynical attitude toward Christian faith. But again, I give him credit that he did see the good in those with real faith. He did not criticize the church or how the people there treated him. Yet he seemed to have an arrogant attitude that he was just to intelligent to believe. At the same time, I sensed a certain sadness that he couldn't believe.
In the end, My comment would be the same one someone made to me about Frank McCourt: "He is a wonderful writer. A talented man. But I don't think I like him."