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Comment: Good clean book. Ex-library copy with some library tags or marks.
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The Hinterlands: A Mountain Tale in Three Parts Paperback – April 25, 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Morgan ( Green River ), a gifted poet as well as a fiction writer, aims for the tone of an Appalachian oral history in this ambitious novel whose origins are the stories told, over the years, by members of the writer's family, hailing from North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. The first of his three narrators here is Petal Jarvis, who in 1772 elopes over the ridge from her Carolina settlement with a homesteader. This tale, the strongest part of the book, marshals the keeping-house-against-the-elements charm of many an American backwoods saga. The second story, that of Petal's elderly grandson Solomon Richards narrating events of a day in 1816, unfolds rather more slowly; and the third, set another generation later, is briefer. Morgan achieves a fable-like quality in his imaginings, though readers may find occasional vignettes slow-moving and some of the up-country local color--and down-home dialogue--familiar. But there is comfort and humor in Morgan's evocation of country people trying to survive: "You know, son, how we all grandify things, imagine that on any given day we will do some little thing that will become history, that we are acting out a grand role even going to the outhouse or draining a puddle."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In a lively first-person narrative, Morgan, a poet and the author of two short story collections, tells of four generations of pioneers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1772, Pearl flees west with a young stranger; while her husband is away, she must fend off a hungry panther that tries to climb down the chimney while she is giving birth to her first child. In 1816, grandson Solomon grasps an axe in one hand and a hungry sow's tail in the other and careens off down the mountain, blazing a trail for a tollroad. In 1845, his son David sets off to build a turnpike west, fighting both the elements and his co-workers. David muses, "A good road is so tender, it seems to hurt." The narratives of this first novel are infused with a simple lyricism. By turns hair-raising and hilarious, these tales make for absorbing reading.
- David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; First Printing edition (April 25, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565120213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565120211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was an extremely well written book, and I should know, having grown up in the area these stories originated from. Mr. Morgan writes in the language of the Carolina Mountain people. A language that soothes the soul, and calls us home. As we would say here in NC to this author,"You done your Mama proud."
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Format: Paperback
Imagine as a small child you sat down in the cozy little living room of your grandmother's home with your brothers and sisters and perhaps a few cousins and your grandma starting sharing stories about her early life. It's in the first person and she's telling about how she came to meet your grandpa and how they made a life together and what it was like opening the West. Now I don't meet the Far West but simply extending life beyond the coastal area of North Carolina inland toward the Mountains and into Tennessee in the 1700s. That's the delightful manner in which Robert Morgan shares information in three parts of the life and times of early settlers, and specific families, around the mountain communities of Asheville, NC (that's `ASH vul' for those not familiar with the area). There's several surprises so don't think you'll know what's coming. And the language is true to form using such words as painter when talking about a panther. An animal that has mostly been hunted into oblivion in most parts of the US. Each part is told by someone different, several generations apart but through little hooks within each story the reader is provided an opportunity to share in the joys and sorrows of each family. The book is easy reading and keeps your attention throughout and what I especially liked was the sharing of tidbits of information of what was like in those times. This is a book you won't put down once you start it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a marvelously warm and engaging story that is told in three parts about a family deep in the Southern mountains and how they made their lives and dreams unfold. The stories are said to be based on Robert Morgan's own family tales and they carry on the feel of the elders of the family telling the youngsters about life and living and it's true meaning. The dialogue is deceptively simple, creating a warm undercurrent to the intensity of the memories being shared. I adore Robert Morgan and his ability to create such wondrous everyday characters that reach beyond themselves to find love, faith and strength.
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Format: Paperback
The first part is riveting, about a woman misled, then abandoned. The second is mediocre- interesting but monotonuos and long, the third part is throwaway and even though it is short, it is monotonous as well. There is not enough humor: a story about a man who chases a pig for 150 pages should be hilarious but it didn't even bring a smile to this reader's lips. Don't waste your time.
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Format: Paperback
I laughed so much during the second part of this book. A young man runs 20 some miles through the forest holding onto a pig's tail with one hand and a hatchet in the other hand to chop a trail for the first road in the area. His adventures during that memorable day make great reading and a good laugh. Anyone who loves the south and mountain folks will appreciate this book from Robert Morgan.
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By A Customer on February 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This was an extremely well written book, and I should know, having grown up in the area these stories originated from. Mr. Morgan writes in the language of the Carolina Mountain people. A language that soothes the soul, and calls us home. As we would say here in NC to this author,"You done your Mama proud."
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By dbc on August 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great story. I loved it. It's so fun to read about how the folks lived, loved, and struggled just a few generations ago. This story shows how we literally stand on the shoulders of the their work, sweat and tears.
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