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Comment: This book is in very good condition. The cover has retained its luster and has no bumped corners or dents. The spine is uncreased and the interior pages are tight, clean and unmarred by highlighting, margin notes or folds of any kind. Buy this book you will be glad you did.
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Slender Is The Thread: Tales from a Country Law Office Paperback – May 26, 1992

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Caudill first came to widespread public notice in 1962, with the publication of his passionate and moving treatise on Appalachia, Night Comes to the Cumberlands. In his new book, he returns yet again to his native Eastern Kentucky, but his tone is altogether different now: mellow, sometimes gently elegiac, frequently funny, nearly always charming. Caudill's previous rage at the appalling conditions, past and present, of life in the Southern mountains appears to have evaporated. There's hardly a vestige of the ferocious attack on the coal bosses and failing social institutions that he sustained in the earlier book. The courthouse types and country doctors, who appeared in a far harsher light in Night Comes, now seem sympathetic. Even the incredible massacres engineered by the Kentucky feudists seem somehow less terrible here; more like tall tales from a mythic past. Caudill's gallery of country lawyers, their clients and memorable cases will charm and intrigue his readers.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Mellow, frequently funny, sometimes elegiac. . . . The gallery of country lawyers, their clients and memorable cases will charm and intrigue Caudill's readers."―Publishers Weekly

"The descriptions of the dangers and hardships which form part of a Kentucky coal miner's life are moving and make an eloquent appeal for social justice."―Kirkus Reviews

"Reading the tales spun out of Harry Caudill's Letcher County law office, I can close my eyes and see the man, even hear his rich mountain voice―measured, distinctly accented, engaging, etched with wit and anger and compassion. He had all the tools: a partisan's commitment, a historian's detachment, a storyteller's fine sense of pace and timing. The highest compliment I can pay him is this: He wrote like he talked, and when you read him, you're listening to him. Harry may be gone, but his words and his wisdom hover like mist on the mountains. They are his lasting gift to Kentucky and the nation"―John Egerton

"Storytellers are born, not made―although the stories they weave may not be at least partially "made" from their knowledge of the human character, their fertile imaginations, and their reach for hearty, unstinting healthy laughter. Harry Caudill was a storyteller. One of the best. He had a keen eye for the unexpected detail, and ear for the unique turn of phrase, and a flowing oratorical delivery. He denounced scoundrels of high and low station, praised courage and justice wherever he found it, and celebrated the ridiculous frailty of the human condition. The next best thing to hearing Harry tell these tales from his 'country law office' is to have them collected here for our perpetual enjoyment in Slender Is The Thread."―Wilma Dykeman

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; Reprint edition (May 26, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081310811X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813108117
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,818,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Slender is the Thread is an account of the attorney/author Harry M. Caudill's law practice in the Appalachian community of Letcher County, KY. In his book, Caudill relives various cases and political events in his life in this country county. Much of his writing is witty and satirical in dealing with some very serious issues. He writes of corruption in the legal and political system as well as "mountain" ways of dealing with daily problems in the lives of mountain folk. The book provides vivid and colorful accounts allowing the reader to become absorbed in Caudill's words to the point of feeling like you are there. The names of various real persons and politicians in Letcher county are mentioned in the book. The book also provides some very interesting history of Letcher county and Appalachian region of Kentucky. Caudill has written other books like "Night Comes to the Cumberlands" and "Theirs Be the Powers." Caudill is presently dead and his books on Appalachia are very scarce but well worth the extra effort to obtain for reading. I rate "Slender is the Thread" with four stars.
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Format: Paperback
A string of books by Harry M. Caudill beginning in the early 60's with Night Comes to The Cumberlands kicked down the door for the region. Caudill's biography of a land where economic prosperity for a few had left others with very little ushered the Great Society into Central Appalachia, created the Appalachian Regional Commission, led to the rise of prominent Appalachian politicians like Robert Byrd and Carl D. Perkins, and as some critics would come to say, caused the region to become wholly dependant on Federal money. Slender is the Thread: Tales from a Country Law Office, finds an older Caudill looking fondly on the world he swung the wrecking ball to help destroy, a world of corrupt corporations, corrupt (but often likeable) political bosses and local power players, and a diverse crowd of Appalachian Stereotypes, as he reminisces in a what would most accurately be described as a series of short stories relaying the cases and dealings of himself and other local attorneys, his peers as well as his mentors, in which Caudill peppers with humorous anecdotes.

Caudill takes the title from a phrase used by his friend and colleague John Y. Brown I, a prominent Lexington criminal attorney. Caudill relates how Brown, who had planned on using the title for a book he never got around to writing, reflected on the uncertainty of the legal process, the blind goddess of justice, holding the scales in her hand by a thread, and how perfect justice could be easily corrupted and unbalanced by that slender thread. This theme is what Caudill uses to weave together a series of otherwise unrelated narratives of his experiences in Eastern Kentucky courtrooms and politics.
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Format: Paperback
This book almost tells the reader more than he wants to know. How could crooked politicians, coal and lumber companies take such advantage of a poverty stricken and illiterate people to hold them down like animals (or worse) generation after generation? The stories are fascinating but there is always the underlying sadness of knowing this actually happened and much of it still thrives. Little has changed in 200 years.
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