This fictional trip to Piper, Alabama is also a journey into the realms of magic and mystery, love and hate, and spilled blood and reconciliation.
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Cobb revisits his signature milieu of a backwater Alabama community (Harry Reunited) with a vengeance as, once again, he calls down a scourge of biblical proportions upon the stereotypical denizens of the postmodern, racially integrated South in this macabre, very black comedy. Former high school beauty queen, 40-ish Brenda Boykin, has mixed memories of her native Piper, Ala. Born into a trailer trash family, she transcended her low social status to pursue a career that now brings her back home as headmistress of the Piper Christian Academy, an elite private school. Her arrival fulfills the lustful fantasies of Roger Coles, the aging but omnipotent town probate judge, a self-made land baron and commander of the local white supremacy militia. Under pressure to win the state high school football championship for Piper Christian, local hero Wayne McClainAreformed ex-alcoholic coach and former Auburn All-AmericanAwho dumped Brenda after she aborted his baby when she was a 15-year-old cheerleader, talks Coles into letting him recruit a black superstar running back to the all-white academy. Meanwhile, Hollywood stud muffin Cody Klinger is in town to make a documentary film about the militia. These characters represent only a sampling of the population of the phantasmagoric community. Ghosts, bigotry, social elitism, abortion, football, skinheads, miscegenation, Holy Roller religion, paranormal phenomena, witchcraft, kinky sex, voyeurism, necrophobia, and a proximity to Mississippi are merely a few of the timeworn motifs that seem designed to qualify this novel as the quintessential burlesque of the Faulknerian school of Southern lit. As the scarred and in some cases permanently disabled protagonists limp toward the finish line, an apocalyptic finale blows Piper sky high. Fans of the gifted author will hope he can tame his baroque impulses and mold his material into a novel worthy of his talents. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cobb tells a dark, cryptic story of self-discovery in this introspective thriller that seamlessly joins miracles and madness. When Brenda Boykin returns to her small southern hometown and becomes headmistress of the local private school, she places herself in the center of a web of paranoiac intrigue and political violence. Her lover, Roger Coles, turns out to be head of the local militia, extremist Christian rightwingers who favor secession from the U.S. Her high-school sweetheart, Wayne McClain, is about to be canned as the school's football coach because he recruited a talented black youth to the all-white private school's team. Her childhood friend Mabel Perkins runs the county's only abortion clinic and endures constant harrassment from local fundamentalists. And her only niece, Darlene, participates in a satanic coven whenever the virgin Mary isn't counseling her about her affair with a married man. So her homecoming affords Brenda, now with the perspective of an outsider, ample opportunity to perceive the forces that shaped her and remember why she left town in the first place. Bonnie Johnston
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Book Description Crane Hill Publishers, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1575871378