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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Pearson Goodreads Author. Marvelously funny, bittersweet, and beautifully evocative, the original publication of A Short History of a Small Place announced the arrival of one of our great Southern voices. Although T. Pearson's Neely, North Carolina, doesn't appear on any map of the state, it has already earned a secure place on the literary landscape of the South.
In this introduction to Neely, Marvelously funny, bittersweet, and beautifully evocative, the original publication of A Short History of a Small Place announced the arrival of one of our great Southern voices. In this introduction to Neely, the young narrator, Louis Benfield, recounts the tragic last days of Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew, a local spinster and former town belle who, after years of total seclusion, returns flamboyantly to public view-with her pet monkey, Mr. Here is a teeming human comedy inhabited by some of the most eccentric and endearing characters ever encountered in literature.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 30th by Penguin Books first published More Details Original Title. North Carolina United States. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
A Short History of a Small Place [Bargain Price] by Pearson, T. R. – Bokonon Books
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 06, Mommalibrarian rated it liked it Shelves: southern-literature. This is a 'story' like your uncle would tell at some family occasion. It is repetitive, convoluted and told in a straight forward deadpan manner. You are supposed to laugh. It is not so much Southern as rural and contains all the stereotypes that urban people imagine are characteristic of rural situations. This is the funniest passage in the entire book. King said, like maybe sh This is a 'story' like your uncle would tell at some family occasion.
King said, like maybe she'd been chatting with the governor and a burst of wind had blown her dress over her head. Phillip J. King said was day two of the duck imbroglio which was actually day three if you counted the afternoon of the Gottlieb invasion as day one which Mrs. King neglected to do and so arrived at day two instead of day three.
And on the morning of day two which was actually day three. Apr 07, Judi rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Southern writers are among my favorites. I adore the prose style in this book in particular. The sentence construction and imagry is amazing. This book has a great cast of eccentric characters and oozes with Southern small town ambiance.
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Jul 01, Laurie rated it it was ok. I started out loving this book -- bits of humor, colloquilisms -- but like a "death-by-chocolate" cake, too much of a good thing became hard to swallow. About half-way through the third chapter, the narration just sounded like rambling jibberish and the clever turns-of-phrase got missed in the tedium. I skimmed the middle section, and I then read the last fifteen pages hoping to end with something positive to say I prefered Cold Sassy Tree and Jayber Crow for glimpses into small-town life and I started out loving this book -- bits of humor, colloquilisms -- but like a "death-by-chocolate" cake, too much of a good thing became hard to swallow.
I prefered Cold Sassy Tree and Jayber Crow for glimpses into small-town life and clever colloquilisms. UPDATE, December Sitting in my living room with the tree lights glowing and a sink full of dirty dishes in the kitchen, this made for an excellent re-read. One of the best scenes is when the narrator, Louis, and his Daddy have "the talk. And once they're married they can become what we call intimate without other people looking sideways at them.
But Daddy rolled on ahead of me and recommenced with, 'But there are some men, and some women too I suppose, who want to go direct to intimate without ever dancing much. Do you see what I mean? Daddy was talking about plugging, or anyway that's what Everet Little calls it even though his sister, Angela Kirstan, insists the scientific term for it is getting intercoursed which Bill Ed Myrick says his brother tells him is most probably undoubtedly correct since word around town is that Angela Kirstan is taking a degree in it. If long sentences bother you then you should skip this one.
Actually it's dialect, if you've spent any time in the small town rural Cracker Barrel south, you'd know that already. So there you go. You're welcome. View 2 comments. Apr 03, LaShawna Powers rated it it was amazing. Lyrical, smart, and crazy hilarious. The sense of place is so profound, I could see the Pettigrew house, picture the Benfield's kitchen and the view from the window, and I'd know Pinky Throckmorton if I saw him in the street.
Pearson does use racial slurs on at least two occasions, however. They tend to be said by assholes, so I suspect that Pearson is making a commentary on the kind of person that would say them. It's st Lyrical, smart, and crazy hilarious. It's still a little jarring. Laugh-out-loud turns of a phrase on nearly every page. Pearson's story of an imaginary small place called Neely, North Carolina took me back to my own childhood with its small-town vernacular. Louis Benfield, the youthful narrator, turns observations of the mundane into sublime comedy and bittersweet moments.
As you read this prose, be patient. Sip it like your favorite coffee or tea. The build up is worth the turn of the next page with capstones such as: "Mrs. King is what Daddy Laugh-out-loud turns of a phrase on nearly every page. King is what Daddy calls a legwagger so it is near impossible to watch her talk without getting yourself hypnotized or half agitated or maybe a little dizzy and nauseous, and of course I got hit with the dizzy and nauseous part of it once the legwagging and eau de garden salad aroma took up together and came at me.
What few bites of pecan twirl I had managed to get down were organizing to come back out for an airing, so I excused myself to Mrs. King and Momma and went off to the bathroom to hang my head over the toilet. We'd all grown somewhat accustomed to the aggravation of it, so nobody paid any attention to Itty Bit except for Mr. Bobby Ligon, who was sitting on his heels just to her backside, and he spent a full minute and a half in devoted contemplation of Itty Bit's rearend, tilting his head first towards one shoulder and then towards the other.
You know, he said at last, I wish you'd just look how that little dog's shithole opens up every time he barks. Anyone who has grown up in a yard with work to be done or perhaps, like me, with a mock orange bush on the homestead can place themselves into Louis's shoes when his Daddy sends him to the backyard with a rake: "Confronting the mock orange bush had simply become what Daddy called a point of honor, a sort of obligation he had seen through until I could inherit it.
So once a year in November I wake up on a Saturday with the sort of feeling that must come over birds just before they migrate, and I get straight out of bed into my playclothes and put on my carcoat and my workgloves and my green corduroy hat with the earflaps and I fetch the rake out of our cellar and set out for the bottom of the back lot, where I am condemned to thrash at the mock orange bushes for the balance of the day.
And that is when it usually happens, not while I'm still trying to extract from the mock oranges everything that has blown or fallen into them in the course of the year, but after I have left off from the struggle for a spell and have sat down on the grass where I pluck at the rakehead to make the tines sing, and I listen to the sound of the sprung metal dying away sometimes mixed with the cry of a hound or the low, indecipherable noise of a voice on the air, and suddenly I am aware of the sort of chill I haven't known in a year and I notice that the sky is very high and tufted and the color of ash in a grate, which is the color of my breath, which is the color of the afternoon, which is the color of the season; and I know it isn't autumn anymore.
Apr 01, Audrey rated it did not like it. But now i don't see any reviews by any of you so i guess i was hallucinating? The characters are extremely well drawn but the writing style is so pains-taking that it is awkward to read. They are not. Mystery solved.
The sight of a public service officer reminded me of a sentence in this book. It had been years since I read it, but the sentence came roaring back into my head and I had to go get a copy of the book to see it again. He couldn't take half a step without the leather creaking and the metal jangling, and w The sight of a public service officer reminded me of a sentence in this book.
He couldn't take half a step without the leather creaking and the metal jangling, and when he tried to run, Daddy said he was extremely musical and put himself in some peril what with all of his free-swinging attachments threatening to beat him senseless. Dec 06, Doug Nagel rated it really liked it. One of the funniest books I have read lately. The story, set in the fictional town of Neely, North Carolina, provides the reader with a plethora of really interesting characters in a variety of unusual situations.
I would read this book before going to bed and would begin chuckling out loud. This would prompt my wife to read aloud what I was enjoying alone. Soon we were both laughing so hard the tears would come to our eyes. Pearson has a wonderful way with words. He is often wry and sarcasti One of the funniest books I have read lately. He is often wry and sarcastic, but able to turn a phrase in such a way that the reader is left with a smile.
- The Structure of Surfaces II: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces (ICSOS II), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 22–25, 1987.
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Enjoy this book! Feb 17, R. With long and rambling sentences, a non-linear narrative style, and a lack of anything apparent that the book is "about", "A Short History" isn't a book that everyone will enjoy. If you decide to read it, give yourself time to get used to the cadence. You can't be in a hurry.
If you stick with it, you'll be rewarded by laugh-out-loud funny and a reminder of the bittersweet and existential side of life. I enjoyed the book so much that I slowed down reading at the end because I didn't want it to end With long and rambling sentences, a non-linear narrative style, and a lack of anything apparent that the book is "about", "A Short History" isn't a book that everyone will enjoy. I enjoyed the book so much that I slowed down reading at the end because I didn't want it to end. That's my highest praise for a book.
Mar 12, Nora rated it did not like it. I really wanted to like this book. In the beginning, there were some laugh out lines but as the book progressed, I found the constant repetition of extremely long phrases in very long sentences to be very tedious. Although the characters could be amusing, I never really related to them or cared about them very much.
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I spent 2 months slogging my way through it, waiting for it to get better. Normally I'm a fan of southern literature, but this was truly a chore to get through.
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Sorry, Kayla. I know I really wanted to like this book. Near Good. About the people of the American " genteel " South, where they don't die, they succomb And they hold " silent " counsel, when a less-complicated soul would just sit and think a spell " Author who writes like a Huckleberrry Finn, weaned on TV's " Saturday Night Live " while author Pearson is more consistently successful at portraying human dignity.
Transforms the humblest of daily activities into the zaniest and significant of events. A vivid, engrossing tale of the people of a speck of a town called Neely in North Carolina and what happens to the town's only aristocratic woman, Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew Tanning on front inside end page outer margin. Name on inside of front cover. Pearson's first novel and the first book of his comic trilogy set in the fictional town of Neely, North Carolina; boards and text are clean, tight; dustjacket is price-clipped, somewhat worn; still rates as a collectable copy..
First Edition, First Printing. Seller: H. Very Good. Used book in very good condition. Some cover wear, may contain a few marks. A touch of sunning to cover edges, else a fine copy of the author's first book in near fine dust jacket, lightly rubbed at tips and spine ends.. First Edition; First Printing. Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. Small open tear to jacket at rear panel. All domestic orders shipped protected in a Box. New York: Linden Press, First Edition First Printing. A Good copy gift inscription in a Very Good dust jacket with light wear at the tips of the spine and flap folds.
Tanning at the top edge of the text block, sound binding, clean within. Signed by the author. Very Good Good. Edge and shelf wear to dust jacket. Faint foxing to top edge, otherwise clean, tight copy. Record Very Good Minus. Tight but used copy in a nicked up jacket. Ballantine Books, Mass Market Paperback. Ballantine Books. Very good. Used book minor creasing, books carefully packed and shipped promptly.
click here Used book. Some creasing. First USA Edition, 3rd issue. Number line begins with "3". Fine book in a Fine price clipped DJ. Author's first book, and 1st book of the trilogy set in the town of Neely, North Carolina.. Used book in good condition. Has wear to the cover and pages. Contains some markings such as highlighting and writing. Pages: Ex-library with the usual stamps. Penguin Books. Show all copies. Advanced Book Search Browse by Subject. Make an Offer. Find Rare Books Book Value.