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Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories Hardcover – December 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Years ago I was hooked by "Airships." Philip Roth's blurb convinced me to buy the book, and the many notable tributes that followed suggest that Hannah is a writer's writer: the more you value originality and inventiveness, the more you'll be impressed. I read everything he published thereafter.
So I bought this compilation only for the three stories previously unpublished. They were worth it: late Hannah was the best ever. Some writers were obviously influenced by him but he was, and always will be, sui generis. He can slow your reading speed, but every sentence is remarkable, and there is no filler at all. My favorites are here, "High Water Railers" and "Get Some Young," to name two. I would recommend "Long, Last, Happy" to readers who want a great introduction to this richly American original.
How did he come by that "true and pure" voice? "I write out of a need for lives and language . . . . I write to share" he wrote in an early piece for O. A. (#20). Coming of age in Clinton, Mississippi, "the little old tiny-headed women . . . established the tone of my world . . . . I picked up the rhythms of Scripture for my tales, but it was mystery and sin that had me."
True enough. The stories in "Long, Last, Happy" are soaked in sin and mystery, pure and true. "Uncle High Lonesome" tells the story of the young narrator's admiration for his Uncle Peter (for whom he was named). Badgered constantly by his wife, "a fastidious and abrasive country woman . . . a hag of unnecessary truths at family gatherings," the Uncle takes refuge in his hunting and fishing trips with his nephew (and with a woman in town).The young boy needs and admires his uncle's manly traits, skills his own father lacked.. "He could make money and drive (too slowly) but the processes of life eluded him." Not that he didn't love his dad. "I've never met such a humble pilgrim of his own country as my father."
If Hannah had no other story to his credit, "Uncle High Lonesome would guarantee his place in American letters.Read more ›
His writing style is good, but his characters are without any value, they are the dregs.
So much of Southern fiction is about freaks, and this book is among the freakiest. Many Southern writers pride themselves on writing about deviates, and Barry Hannah is one of the most disgusting. His writing style is interesting, too bad he had nothing but trash to write. So many southern writers have written such trash that it makes me wonder if people in the South have more than their share of deviate freaks and failures.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best Southern writer since Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Conner and William Faulkner. Do not miss this artist!Published 18 months ago by markmase
Hannah is recognized as a major contributor in the Southern writing racket. He's not my favorite, but what do I know? Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by A. Levine
Barry Hannah had a soul as deep as they come. His nimbleness and mastery with language is really special. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Kerry Dwyer
I read this book because it was required for an advanced modern literature class. I didn't think I would like it but really enjoyed the content. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by GOCSouthernConsumer
The late Barry Hannah was one of contemporary America's more unique writers. Witty and profound, his stories have a wild
quality, as if the mind and body have been let loose... Read more
Received in good order. The late Barry Hannah wrote well, and these stories are a generous sampling of his career work. He will be missed.Published on January 20, 2012 by R. Weiss