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Follow Me Down: A Novel Paperback – July 27, 1993
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
This was Shelby Foote's second novel about this town, and the first he considered mature. He was young and fierce, but with a very controlled fire and a precocious knack for narrative suspense and smoothness; it moves right along and you overlook the really radical method of story-telling. The technique is a considered extension and development of Faulkner's multi-voice method in As I Lay Dying, and the reader is required to overlook the fact that illiterate, retarded, and in one instance even a dead person are "writing." Thinking of the voices on stage as in classic Greek drama may help you get over the logical gulf, and that is doubtless a context Foote would have liked you to see him in. This was his break-out book to a mass audience, prior to his famous Civil War series. He was out to duel with Goliath, and if the book does not entirely succeed it is amazing how much is achieved; in any event I give it 4 instead of 5 stars, as he was shortly to set his own 5 star standard in fiction.
Persons who know Foote's mellow grandfather personna from the Ken Burns Civil War series on TV will be forced to sit bolt upright, shortly into this saga. It is gritty realism on the level of Erskine Caldwell or Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. Ugly details, while not wallowed in, are not withheld. The South is not romanticized, but neither is it subjected to political correctness.Read more ›
And one more thing. Perhaps this isn't a valid criticism, but if you've read Faulkner, a lot of this seems a bit like an overt homage rather than simply "expanding on a style". Many of the techniques and themes (even the setting) are so similar as to be off-putting. As I said, perhaps this isn't even a criticism. After all, Foote was from the same state and doubtlessly affected by many of the same experiences. So. Just a thought.
Overall, a great and fascinating read. I finished it in three days.
Foote writes in the voice and dialect appropriate to each character; readers will recognize a style once made popular by William Faulkner. Foote also captures the gritty life and times of a rural Mississippi Delta town well prior to the arrival of desegration. Old-time religion has a major claim on people's lives, but so does poverty, desire, and disappointment.
The accused murderer, a farmer by the name of Luther Eustis, has at the beginning of the book already confessed to the murder of the young girl Beulah, but Foote's multi-layered recounting of the murder and trial add considerable complexity to the case while exploring the motivation of the killer. The end result is unexpected but somehow more satisfying.
This book is highly recommended to fans of Shelby Foote looking for a different reading experience than his justly famous history of the Civil War, the basis for Ken Burns' popular TV series on the same subject.
This is what makes the book interesting : you want to know how this took place, how these 2 totally different people ever got together in the beginning ,and what the circumstances were . The author even keeps you guessing that the wrong man MAY be on trial. I kept thinking it was another character all along .
I liked getting to hear from the victim's viewpoint , and what she had to say about the situation, then also from the killer's perspective and why he felt the need to do what he did .
A very well told story , made all the better by the narrator, as I listened to this on audio . Grover Gardner is at the top of his game in this one (as he is in all of his books I've listened to ). He is spot-on with all the different voices and characters. Excellent work !
* If you happen to look this up or decide to listen to the audio, it will list Tom Parker as the narrator. That was one of Grover's earlier "aliases " , I guess you'd call them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have only know Shelby Foote from the TV series about the Civil War. I did not realize what a wonderful writer he was. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rosie
Wow. What a great story. You can smell the South and feel the sticky heat. Amazing characters with astounding life stories.Published 23 months ago by lucidbooks
i have read all of Shelby Foote's novels, and this is my least favorite. This book was depressing and made me feel a bit "dirty. Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by Kindle Customer