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Local Souls Hardcover – September 23, 2013
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
As for the final story, it exists on many levels of family, friendship, community, pseudo-community (the artifice we build up around ourselves and call our life). It runs from childhood to old age and deals with all manner of life events in many ways as Bill Mabrey (Jr) contemplates the life he has been (lucky) to have due to the rather odd luck of his father.
Gurganus shows a very fertile imagination and writing style, much of which I appreciated but some of which was a little beyond my interest. I am interested in trying him again as I found his voice in "Decoy"to be so compelling.
And what stories they are. From the first story about a sleek family of four who have moved to the town and set the locals to talking to the middle one about a hurting family who has lost a daughter in Africa to the final one about the town's doctor and his influence on his friends and patients both during his 40 year practice and subsequent retirement, Gurganus just blows away the reader with his powerful writing. A bit like "Our Town", the residents of Falls, NC give up their secrets and their dreams in a wealth of terse writing that brings both the characters and the place to life. I guess if I have to have a "favorite" story, I'd reluctantly point to the final story - the longest - about the doctor and the town he served faithfully.
The story has two main characters - the narrator, Bill Mabry - and his doctor, "Doc" Roper. Roper, the blessed son of a socially prominent-but-poor town family, has returned to Falls in the 1950's after graduating from Yale Medical School He sets up a practice - becoming legendary in his treatment of townsfolk, both rich and poor. He diagnoses young Billy Mabry's heart condition, inherited from his father and grandfather.Read more ›
The three stories "Fear Not," "Saints Have Mothers" and "Decoy" are so totally different but also have much in common. (See the following paragraph.) The first hits you in the stomach with the surprise twist in the plot that sets you back on your heels. It is more the descendant of Poe's fiction than Flannery O'Connor's. "Saints Have Mothers" looks at the complex competitive relationship between a mother and a daughter with a plot that never slows down. In "Decoy," the longest narrative stretching to around 150 pages, Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hmmm, first book from him in quite some time. While it's not quite a return to the form of say "White People", it is an interesting enough read for fans of his past work,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by B.A.W.
I purchased this book in North Carolina the week that Bruce Springsteen cancelled his concert. I wanted to visit a book store there called Quail Ridge Books, and they recommended... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stasha
Drunk on Allan Gurganus and his Local Souls. The second novella is about Jean Mulray and the loss of her daughter Cait, likely based on some news item, but masterfully crafted and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Pat Jobe
I picked this up based on how much I enjoyed The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. This is not the same book. It may be set in the same town, but it's not the same book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Shirley S
Alan Gurganus is probably one of the finest Southern writers of our time.Published 11 months ago by lorraine miller
I truly enjoyed 'Local Souls'. His books are witty, wise, and beautifully written. Some may find them wordy ... Read morePublished 11 months ago by KatieAnn
Beautiful use and composition of language. Great characters and storyline.Published 21 months ago by Brenda Reynolds
There is nothing gay about any of the three novellas which should be edited down to short stories - too much repetition and rehashing of the same thoughts and events.Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
Two of the three novellas have moments of magic, but they never come together as a story, and have little cohesion as a collection. Read morePublished 22 months ago by E. M. Rice