9780802132079

The Neon Bible

Toole, John Kennedy

ISBN 10: 0802132073 / 0-8021-3207-3
ISBN 13: 9780802132079
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 1994
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
John Kennedy Toole—who won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling comic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces—wrote The Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of sixteen. The manuscript languished in a drawer and became the subject of a legal battle among Toole’s heirs. It was only in 1989, thirty-five years after it was written and twenty years after Toole’s suicide at thirty-one, that this amazingly accomplished and evocative novel was freed for publication.

Review:
John Kennedy Toole--who won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling comic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces--wrote The Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of sixteen. The manuscript languished in a drawer and became the subject of a legal battle among Toole's heirs. It was only in 1989, thirty-five years after it was written and twenty years after Toole's suicide at thirty-one, that this amazingly accomplished and evocative novel was freed for publication.

The Neon Bible tells the story of David, a young boy growing up in a small Southern town in the 1940s. David's voice is perfectly calibrated, disarmingly funny, sad, shrewd, gathering force from page to page with an emotional directness that never lapses into sentimentality. Through it we share his awkward, painful, universally recognizable encounter with first love, we participate in boy evangelist Bobbie Lee Taylor's revival, we meet the pious, bigoted townspeople. From the opening lines of The Neon Bible, David is fully alive, naive yet sharply observant, drawing us into his world through the sure artistry of John Kennedy Toole.

"Heartfelt emotion, communicated in clean direct prose...a remarkable achievement."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A powerful novel that belongs on the shelf with the works of Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty. It is a moving evocation of the small-town South in the mid-twentieth century, and it is an expertly crafted tale of an adolescent boy finding the courage to make the decisions to change his life."--William McKeen, Orlando Sentinel

"John Kennedy Toole's tender, nostalgic side is as brilliantly effective as his corrosive satire. If you liked To Kill A Mockingbird you will love The Neon Bible."--Florence King

"Shockingly mature.... Even at sixteen, Toole knew that the way to write about complex emotions is to express them simply."--Kerry Luft, Chicago Tribune

John Kennedy Toole was born in New Orleans in 1937. He received a master's degree in English from Columbia University and taught at Hunter and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. In 1969, frustrated at his failure to interest a publisher in A Confederacy of Dunces, he committed suicide. Toole's book was eventually published, after his mother brought the work to the attention of Walker Percy and insisted that he read her son's manuscript. Percy became one of the novel's many admirers and The Confederacy of Dunces was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Following that posthumous success, The Neon Bible, which Toole had written when he was sixteen, was first published in 1989.

From the Inside Flap

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Book Description: Grove Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0802132073 David's father goes off to war, leaving David and his mother to fight poverty and shame on their own in a small Southern town. Bookseller Inventory # 4915318

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Book Description: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 209 x 139 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The first novel by the Pulizer Prize-winning author of A Confederacy Of Dunces. David is a young boy growing up in a small Southern town in the 1940s. From his porch, David can see the whole valley, including the neon Bible that lights up the sky, emblem of the God-fearing folk who snub his family because Poppa can t afford the church dues. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780802132079

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