- Series: Stay More series
- Hardcover: 491 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing; 2nd edition (March 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592640508
- ISBN-13: 978-1592640508
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,508,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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With (Stay More series) Hardcover – March 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Transforming a kidnapping plot into an epic rural fable and then a touchingly poignant love story, Harington crafts a wildly imaginative tour de force about a young Arkansas girl who survives a harrowing abduction and undergoes a remarkable series of epiphanies. Robin Kerr is the prepubescent protagonist who is snatched from her single mother by Sog Alan, a former state trooper who takes her to his ramshackle house on the remote pinnacle of Mt. Madewell just outside Harington's beloved mythical village of Stay More. Her kidnapper's illness and impotence keep Robin from being ravaged, and she capitalizes on Sog Alan's twisted love for her to carve out a bizarre existence with her abductor, aided by Sog's dog, Hreapha, who is given a singular voice of her own. Sog Alan's failing health eventually weakens him, and Robin is able to shoot him during a final rape attempt. Her efforts to escape the mountain prove futile, though, and she slowly adapts to a hardscrabble backwoods existence, aided by a growing menagerie of pets that eventually includes a bobcat and a bear cub. Robin also receives advice from the spirit of 12-year-old Adam Madewell, the son of a cooper whose family owned the land before moving to California. Wary of civilization, Robin chooses to stay on the mountain even when she has the opportunity to leave, and her pristine rural existence remains uninterrupted until love comes in the form of the middle-aged Adam Madewell, who returns to Arkansas after a successful but unfulfilling stint as a California cooper and winemaker. Harington's taut storytelling lends edgy suspense to the kidnapping story, and the combination of wise, comic animal voices and Adam's disembodied incarnation adds life to the pastoral narrative. Harington has invented a unique post-Faulknerian piece of fictional terrain in his Stay More novels, and this powerful effort should further enhance his reputation as one of the great undiscovered novelists of our time.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From The New Yorker
For four decades, Donald Harington has been writing novels about his native Arkansas, particularly the Ozarks, which are the setting for his made-up town, Stay More. In this imaginative but uneven installment (Harington's prose recalls, at once, Faulkner and Tom Robbins), a golden-haired seven-year-old girl is abducted and taken to a deserted house in the mountains by a retired cop. When he dies, she is left alone to fend for herself. Or almost alone: parts of the book dwell in the thoughts of a wise old dog who befriends her; others are narrated by the spirit of a young boy who had to leave Stay More when his parents moved to California, but who loved the place so much that part of him stuck around. It is strange that, given such a fanciful premise, the novel is almost too believable: Harington works so hard at establishing his fantasy (beautiful girl growing up naked in the wild, with beasts) that he erases any sense of mystery and makes his world seem almost mundane.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Top customer reviews
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The in-habit was an inspiring idea. The survival aspect was very interesting. How do you eat, drink, or stay warm? Nevertheless, I have some smaller problems with the book, also. If a cow could make it up, how could the path be unusable? Why didn't Robin have more of an interest in the outside world once she had met Latha?
Please don't misunderstand, I am glad I read this book, because it made me think about life, growing up, and even literature. It made me very curious about this author. This is the first Donald Harington book I have read, and I may read another to see if others show the same bend in his view of sexuality. I don't often read books about old men lusting after children and young girls curious about sex. The author explored Robin's burgeoning sexuality in the same way he handled the whole book - told with a mix of reality and myth. She explored masturbation, and yet thought she was experiencing real sex with an `in-habit'. Throughout the last half of the book the fantastical elements overwhelmed any reality.
Does this review bother your sensibilities? If so, don't read the book. If you are intrigued, then by all means pick up a copy. A very elderly woman recommended this book to me by claiming it to be the best book she had ever read. It is interesting, compelling, thought-provoking, and creative. But it is a very odd book, indeed.
If you're a Kindle reader looking for an update on the formatting of this edition, you'll recall that I had emailed Toby Press, publishers of Mr. Harington's work, to inform them of the erratic formatting to be found in the previous Kindle edition of _With_. A representative responded within minutes, apologized, and assured me that Toby Press would upload a revised version.
After I informed Amazon, they "pushed" an updated copy into my Kindle, and I'm glad to report that the formatting is excellent.
Thank you Toby Press, for publishing the "obscure" Donald Harington; thank you Amazon, for updating my edition; and thank you, Mr. Harington--wherever you are--for writing a book that enriches everyone who reads it.
Most recent customer reviews
Kept me riveted throughout, and I didn't want it to end.