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A story that starts with the main character's death-by hanging in North Carolina-and works backward to create his life.
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Packed with apocryphal tongue-in-cheek myths and tall tales, this tangled, tasteless debut involves a grotesque menagerie of Southern backwoods denizens who apprehend a young boy because of his "unnatural" way of seeing. The novel opens just before 17-year-old Zeb Caina is to be hanged as the main event of a Fourth of July merrymaking in a small town in the North Carolina Piedmont and then flashes back over what brought about his predicament. The fey son of a brutish alcoholic mill worker, Zeb has been besieged since childhood with surreal visions and voices. Abused at home and rejected at school, in youth he is befriended by a boozy blind black man who offers him spiritual escape by regaling him with phantasmagoric local lore. Later, Zeb stumbles across his father having sex with a local strumpet, and the ensuing confrontation results in his banishment from home. Wandering alone, he is joined by an alcoholic itinerant hangman and con man named Norton A. Haindrother, the disinherited scion of an old Charleston family who uses his pet turtle to seduce women. Literally awash in a miasma of alcohol, vomit and other body fluids, the narrative oozes along via clumsy dialogue and disjointed internal monologues. What Bolick intends as an amusing depiction of provincial mythomania soon self-destructs into messy, irredeemable pointlessness.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Creative Arts Book Company, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0887391796