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CRUM Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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From Publishers Weekly
With its preoccupation with adolescent sex, and a plethora of obscene and scatological language, silly pranks and fisticuffs, this inaugural novel in the Washington Square Press original fiction line will only appeal to readers with sophomoric tastes. Maynard, 51, sets his first effort, a 1950s coming-of-age story, in his native Crum, W. Va., "located deep in the bowels of the Appalachians, on the bank of the Tug River, the urinary tract of the mountains." The nameless narrator repetitiously cites his desire to leave this mining town, which was "a zero. A blank. Nothing"rife with poverty and ignorance and bereft of indoor toilets. "We would try anything to relieve the monotony of living in Crum," he says, and the novel details his antics during his final year in the dump, which he flees after completing high school. He and his buddies dynamite outhouses, rob delivery trucks, expose themselves, witness pig butcherings and pick fights with Kentucky teens. There is much potential material here in the plight of the narrator, a lonely orphan who lives in a shed tacked onto the back of a cousin's shack. But Maynard's characters are inscrutable to themselves ("Don't ask me why I did it, I just did," says the hero when he insults a friend) and, ultimately, to the reader.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"The first couple of pages, I'm cringing. I'm tempted to put it down. I imagine a schoolteacher somewhere in the Midwest having all of these awful stereotypes about us confirmed. Yet, despite myself, I continue to read, and I am moved. It is literaure. Its voice is true. It's a wonderful portrait of rural America. The book wins me over." John O'Brien, author of At Home in the Heart of Appalachia
"Maynard is a Gonzo Mountaineer..." Pops Walker, musician and writer
"Crum is great. Lee Maynard is a genius. No writing has captured rural America this well since Mark Twain. A masterpiece." Stephen Coonts, author Flight of the Intruder
"It's a tale of growing up in and moving away from Crum, a jumble of shacks on the Tug River in the state's God-forsaken southern coal fields. As tales about coming of age in rural America go, Crum isn't that much out of place on a shelf next to Mark Twain and Harper Lee." David Bean, The Charleston Gazette
"Maynard presents a portrait of a young man's psyche which ranks just a small notch below great American portrayals of adolescence - Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye." Michael Shannon Friedman, The Charleston Gazette
"Whatever you do, don't read Crum." Jack Cawthon, Hur Herald
"For all its faults, Crum creates a hilarious, poignant, recognizable picture of a place and time, and of people I've known." Rodger Cunningham, Journal of Appalachian Studies
"Each time I read Lee Maynard’s Crum, I ask myself why this foul-mouthed, sexist, scatological, hillbilly-stereotyping novel is one of my all-time favorites." Meredith Sue Willis, author Oradell at Sea
"[Maynard] writes like Jean Shepherd on acid...Crum is one twisted little novel." Robert Beveridge, Critic
Top customer reviews
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To focus on the stories themselves as simple series of events is to miss what is really occurring. All the stories simply reinforce conflict with the place or the people (and sometimes, the people are the place). It may not be outright conflict as we think about it, but conflict always exists. Yet, I do not want to overstate it. The events themselves are beautifully written and entertaining on their own. One does not have to look deeper for a wonderful read, but you can.
Most recent customer reviews
Loved Lee Maynard's story of growing up in rural WV. No matter where you're from, you’ll relate to Crum’s boys coming of age and having some...Read more