Book Reviews of Oral History

Oral History
Oral History
Author: Lee Smith
ISBN-13: 9780345410283
ISBN-10: 0345410289
Publication Date: 8/27/1996
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 41 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

14 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Oral History on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Interwoven with the moving and deeply human recital of loves and losses are the folklore, the music, the scenery of the region-one can almost hear the twang of banjos and the high nasal voices; one almost breathes in the air of Hoot Owl Holler - Cleveland Plain Dealer review
reviewed Oral History on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is an in depth, yet interesting look at the rich history of the Appalachian family life throughout the ages. From wichcraft to trailer-trash this book covers it all.
reviewed Oral History on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A fascinating glimpse of a remote and rural part of the country. You won't put this one down!
reviewed Oral History on + 328 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An absorbing story of a young college student, who learns about herself as she chronicles the lives of her ancestors. The authors wonderful portrayal of folk beliefs of the Virginia region, makes this a must read for anyone interested in folklore!
reviewed Oral History on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Like nothing Ive read before. The families draw you in- its hard to put down.
reviewed Oral History on + 144 more book reviews
This is a very good book about mountain people. It takes a few chapters to get involved, but after that all you want to do is read. I love the Smokies and the mountains-this is a book that takes you away from past to the future generations. All is good.
reviewed Oral History on + 59 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. Want to read more from this author
reviewed Oral History on + 157 more book reviews
I loved Lee Smith's book Saving Grace. Based on that, I thought I would love this one as well. I didn't. For me this story was plodding, and really difficult to read. In October of '08 I started reading this book and made it about 20 or so pages and just moved on to something else. I picked it up again about three weeks ago (thinking I didn't give it a fair chance) and it has taken me this long to finish a 286 page book. The pace picked up toward the end of the book, but for me, the ending make it worth reading the beginning and middle.
reviewed Oral History on + 75 more book reviews
I heard an interview with author on NPR and decided to try reading one of her books. I just couldn't get into this one for some reason. I will try another one though.
reviewed Oral History on
Loved this was a great read - could not put it down. This is actually quite an incredible view of the history of rural America; if you like historical novels, this is a good one. Told in first-person narratives by the residents of these mountains over a span of a century, you see life through their eyes and come to understand why people made some very strange life choices. These poor people teach us so much about acceptance and is inspirational without meaning to be - it is what it is - well written and beautiful.
Definitely a classic.
reviewed Oral History on + 7 more book reviews
This book ended very abruptly, almost as if the author were tired of writing and decided to sum it all up in condensed form. It ended on a very depressing note and left behind an aftertaste of hopelessness. The most endearing characters did not have a large part in the story, but the unlikable ones persisted on. The visualization was excellent and I could clearly imagine the scenes the author described. It is worth reading once, but I doubt I will ever read it again.
reviewed Oral History on + 38 more book reviews
What an adventure. Lee Smith has written a novel which will help keep a dying era alive. The ways of mountain folk, their language and dialect. Rich are the stories within the pages. It has 4 letter words I personally could do without....but I guess they do go with the times and people. There are sentences and phrases that remind me so much of those I heard when growing up in rural East Texas. Brought back memories of my own. I really enjoyed reading this one. :)
reviewed Oral History on + 27 more book reviews
A book I couldn't put down. Lee Smith is one of my favorite authors and this book scores again. It's so interesting to follow the family line of people she chooses to tell the story, each with their own voice, their own section of the book.

Sometimes, I find myself wondering who inhabited the land I live on. Lee Smith tells this story of her enchanted and often dark Hoot Owl Hollar and surrounding places like Hurricane Mountain, and Black Rock with characters named Almarine, Red Emmy, Dory, Pricey Jane and Ora Mae and offers us a glimpse into the oral history of this community.

Lee Smith is a good storyteller! Now, to see if I've missed any of her other books.

reviewed Oral History on + 37 more book reviews
Reading this book is like listening to a storyteller weave the generations and events of her family history. Fascinating, mysterious and informative life as lived from late 1800's through modern times and conveniences in the mountains of Virginia.