[Lee Smith] Þ Oral History [chivalry PDF] Ebook Epub Download Ø Popular books, Oral History Author Lee Smith This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Oral History, Essay By Lee Smith Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please read And Make A Refission For You This 1983 meandering series of stories about 4 generations or so of an Appalachian family certainly reads easily Perhaps I have read too many Lee Smiths in too short a time I am getting a little weary of the endless shifting to a different character.
OK, in real life we never know any person really very well, we only see one side of them, but somehow in fiction I yearn for a deeper look at just a few characters.
I m not sure what I will retain, if anything, of these stories.
Smith does have ways to make scenes and people come alive you feel the cold wind, hear the thunder, sense the fearAn undercurrent in this book is how mistaken others are about what a person or family is really like Time and again we have a character misjudged by those around him her And Smith sometimes shows us how a rumor can start, and then spread and spread until it becomes accepted as Truth.
I wanted so much to love this book since it was a recommendation from a friend whose literary taste seems to be in synch with mine I like the beginning stories I liked Almarine and Pricey Jane The book did feel like an Oral History But along the way I lost the need to finish When that happens, I know the rest will be difficult to stay with, and it was.
So this book was somewhere between four and five stars for me closer to five because it kept me very interested and I finished it within a week I m slower to the game than many of my colleagues and friends because this is the first Lee Smith book I ve read and if you are literate and live in Southwest Virginia, you had better have read Lee Smith While I grew up in Appalachia, I don t know that I ever really identified myself as such I grew up in the hills about a mile away from the nearest hard top road but I was educated and I didn t have a dialect like that which was depicted in this book However, this story the stories of these people are like everyone around me who grew up here We ve all got them these crazy stories about relatives and friends and if we don t think we do, then likely it s just that they ve never been told to us So Smith hits it heads on She has to since she is from Grundy right smack dab in the middle of the setting in this book.
She is masterful in her prose and she sets the scenery just as it truthfully is and her writing makes you experience what her characters do I highly recommend this book to anyone, not just those who understand the Appalachian mindset.
Lovely book Think Smith s Fair and Tender Ladies, mixed with Catherine Marshall s Christie The changing voices were jarring at first, but I have to admire her ability to actually speak in different characters voices I could really believe all these characters were telling their own stories She does the same thing so well in The Christmas Letters It is a sad story, but beautifully told full of if onlies So much in Histories is reminiscent of my early days 1970s in the north Georgia mountains language, stories, cadence, customs Things had not changed much in the intervening years Oral History takes place in western Virginia and spans nearly one hundred years It follows the Cantrell family and covers among others a man returning from the Civil War without a leg, a witch, a bootlegger, a coal miner, and an Amway distributor.
I thought there were some aspects to the book that I wished Smith had done differently The tale of the family is bracketed by a story of Jennifer, a young woman who is looking into the history of her own family for a college project That story was originally a short story and Smith did not do a good job with the transition into and out of that work There are some coincidences in the book that bothered me One that was particularly annoying was the timing of Ora Mae catching Richard in bed with Justine Poole I was also bothered by Smith s tendency to step away from some of the most critical parts of the book For example, the readers don t get to see the murder of Almarine Cantrell They just get to hear about it from another character.
However, what was wonderful about this novel greatly outweighs the few complaints I had The world of these mountain people was magnificently rendered I understood and accepted their belief in witches I laughed but acknowledged the way their humor was always about sex or excrement I marveled in the primitive methods of healing they used with apparent success.
One of Lee Smith s goals was to capture the lives of a culture that is disappearing I believe she accomplished that goal Steve Lindahl author of Motherless Soul I got the sense that I was watching a television series, only every time Lee switches characters, it s like missing a few episodes You still know what is going on, but it s like you missed something It was very easy to get into this book, I read it in two days, but it was still not one of my favorites There are a lot of explicit sexual encounters that for me, drew away from, rather than supported the believability of the novel Jennifer is a high school student who is gathering the oral histories of her family tree My own family is not conservative, but I know nothing about my mother s sex life, not to mention my grandmother s or great grandmother s.
originally read than 20 years ago as a BYU student and I can tell its staying power because it s one of the rare, rare, rare books I ve actually held on to ask my book club friends I m so cheap, I NEVER buy the book of the month I stumbled on it in my basement last week, plopped right down and read it start to finish Wacky, upsetting, and a totally different America than one I could ever imagine, something in this book woke up the latent family historian in me Don t worry, I m sure it ll go back to sleep again soon.
The Cantrell family has lived in Hoot Owl Holler in the mountains of Virginia for as long as anyone can remember They love hard, play hard, and suffer deeply There doesn t seem to be any in between for them Oral History followslet s call it threegenerations of Cantrells, starting with handsome Almarine and his run in with a witch and going on down to his grandchildren I loved this I was thinking that it was my second favorite book by Lee Smith Fair and Tender Ladies is far and away my very favorite , but then I remembered On Agate Hill We ll call it a tie.
I say this every time, but I love the rhythm of Smith s writing She writes in a way that is as familiar to me as an old worn quilt The words, the syntax, the pronunciation, I just hear every word as if a family member were telling me a story.
I loved the way the family events passed into legends in the hollers where they lived From Almarine and his witch was she really to a family curse to mysterious deaths Smith never tells than she should and leaves it up to the reader to decide what is fact and what is myth in this fictional family.
The story passes from person to person as the years roll by, but the events are never told by those living them That helps to keep the reality or legend question going The narrators aren t always sure themselves I followed along with it just fine but readers who dislike multiple points of view might want to steer clear There is a streak of something dark in some families in these mountains and I think Smith caught that feeling perfectly I can t explain it any better that Maybe it s just that we ve all lived here so long, we expect to see family traits and find what we re looking for But I can tell you exactly which road the Cantrells would have lived on in my little community where that dark streak is found.
I liked seeing how the mountain people change as the years go by They go from almost complete isolation to watching tv and selling Amway I can t find it now, but one character comments on how the younger generations will eventually sound like Dan Rather than their own people It s true The book feels a bit like a love offering to a changing way of life.
The framework of the novel is built around a great granddaughter who grew up in town coming back in search of her mother s family s Oral History I didn t like it and, after reading an interview with the author at the end, I don t think it worked exactly the way she intended it to I think it was supposed to give an outsider s look at the quaint mountaineers and show how the Appalachian culture is slowly dying out as young people move away It just irritated me There were other sections where Smith showed the same thing much better Jennifer, the estranged great granddaughter, just comes across as vapid after the richness of the other characters.
Those few pages aside, I loved this book I highly recommend it.
Once again I love characterization Lee Smith tells the story of generations of an Appalachian Mountain family in first person, but as many people You have the old Granny at first with her traditional way of speaking, a young school teacher from Richmond with his pretentious language, all the way up to a modern day hill billy country diction It s incredible how the author changed her voice throughout the novel to match her characters I loved the book