This book was awesome. It totally captured my attention and I could hardly put it down. If you're from the South or have relatives down South, you will get a kick going down memory lane with the author.
This is actually the author's story of his grandfather but it reads like a novel, full of some wonderfully interesting and "real" characters. It's more than just the story of this one man, though. It's the story of all of the working class poor in the south during the depression and beyond. Tt's the story of my dad who worked the cotton fields in rural Texas growing up before the war, and of all families everywhere who struggled to make it through hard times. It'll make you laugh, and cry, and wish our families today had more of that elusive "something" that is so lacking in modern society. Thank you, Rick Bragg, for this incredible book!
I liked this book a lot - you don't need to be from the south to enjoy the stories and get a real picture of what life was like for these folks. I found the dialect a bit much at times (the dropped "g's" were rather annoying - "gettin' and grinnin' and pickin' and peelin'") and towards the end the story got a bit long, but it was definitely a labor of love about someone who was larger than life that the author sadly never got to know, and that really transcended the story.
Rick Bragg not only writes Americana - he IS Americana. In this book of collected memories, family stories and Southern essays he tells us the story of his Father and Mother. Coming from a hardscrabble life was not cause of worry for Mr. Bragg - just something that ripened him to what is real in his world. By all means READ THIS BOOK!
Wish I could have given this book four and three-quarters stars. I liked this one only slightly less than "all Over But The Shoutin'." Maybe this is because the subject is one generation removed from the author, because it is certainly not the writing.
I loved this book. It completely sucked me in, and I read it in one sitting. It was amazing that it was about Bragg's own grandfather. I can't imagine all of the research it must have taken to write, but it reads so easily. I would definitely recommend!
Beautifully written true story about Rick Bragg's grandfather. You feel as if you are right there. You can smell it, you can taste it and you can hear the voices so well, you could actually imitate them yourself. Bragg writes that way.
I loved this book, but possibly just a tad less than I enjoyed "It's All Over But The Shoutin'". I understand why Bragg won the Pulitzer Prize. Do yourself a favor; read them both.
I love Rick Bragg's articles in Southern Living magazine. His humor and wit are also evident in the telling of this story about his maternal grandfather. I did feel, though, some gaps in the storytelling and wanted to know more about the man. This may have been due to the fact that he never knew the man personally.
What he did include in the story was a window into the life of his relatives living a difficult life in the south during the depression. And through all of these difficulties there was still a strong since of family and taking care of each other.
A great lyrical writer, Bragg is at his best telling the stories of his family.
These are people we come to know and care about. Bragg says in interviews that to this day readers will ask how his Mama is doing.
I finished the last sentence of the last page of this book and started the first page all over again.
Bragg is one of 2 authors I read twice: once for the story, once for the prose.
( The other is Tom Franklin )
Wish I had read "all over but the shouting" before I read this one. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a little different read then I usually get. amazing story of Charlie Bundrum. Give it a chance and you will ehjoy it also.
New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning writer Rick Bragg's latest book about his family. This one chronicles the life of his grandfather Charlie. Drawing on the memories of family, he reconstructs the life of an unlettered roofer who kept food on his family's table through the worst of the Depression. A moonshiner who drank exactly one pint for every gallon he sold and an unregenerate brawler who could sit for hours with a baby in the crook of his arm. Bragg's story conjures up the backwoods of Georgia and Alabama in the years when the roads were still dirt and real men never cussed in front of ladies. A family chronicle so vivid, you can smell the cornbread and the whiskey.
I loved "All over but the shoutin" so I requested this book, and I was not disappointed. If you have read anything by Rick Bragg and you love and appreciate his writing style, like me, this is a must have for your book collection.
Just finished reading some reviews on amazon and am surprised by some of the reasons folks didn't like this book. I loved it. For me Rick Bragg is one of the best writers alive today, and better than a lot of dead ones, too. His words about people, place, time, sometimes make me catch my breath with their beauty, or their harshness. I find he pulls no punches in describing his peoples' foibles, yet others accuse him of just that.
This book is a tribute to the grandfather he never knew, Ava's Man, Charlie Bundrum. A man who loved his "likker" and his family, worked hard as a carptenter to keep his family fed. But it was the depression, and while they could eat (mostly), they lacked almost everything but love. They moved back and forth across the Georgia/Alabama line, sometimes for work, others to dodge the revenuers. Charlie's family loved him desperately, and Bragg shows us why.
By the author of All Over But the Shoutin', Ava's Man continues the story of Bragg's personal history in the deep South. Writing about his grandfather, a man who died before Bragg was born, he reconstructs the life of an unlettered roofer who kept food on his family's table through the worst of the Depression, while drinking most of the moonshine he was selling.