Stock Image

Noodling for Flatheads Moonshine, Monster Catfish and other Southern Comforts

Burkhard Bilger

222 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0684850109 / ISBN 13: 9780684850108
Published by Scribner, New York, 2000
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From The Bookcase, Inc. (Durango, CO, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since November 27, 2006

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 35.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 6.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Rare signed first edition. Book is fine, no marks other than author signature. Dustjacket fine also. Bookseller Inventory # 000198

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Noodling for Flatheads Moonshine, Monster ...

Publisher: Scribner, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: Book Club (BCE/BOMC)

About this title


The Old South is slow to give up its secrets. Though satellite dishes outnumber banjo players a thousand to one, most traditions haven't died; they've just gone into hiding. Cockfighting is illegal in forty-eight states, yet there are three national cockfighting magazines and cockpits in even the most tranquil communities. Homemade liquor has been outlawed for more than a century, yet moonshiners in Virginia still ship nearly one million gallons a year. Some of these pastimes are ancient, others ultramodern; some are illegal, others merely obscure. But the people who practice them share an undeniable kinship. Instead of wealth, promotion, or a few seconds of prime time, they follow dreams that lead them ever deeper underground. They are reminders, ultimately, that American culture isn't as predictable as it seems-that the weeds growing between its cracks are its most vital signs of life. In these masterfully crafted essays, Burkhard Bilger explores the history and practice of eight such clandestine worlds. Like John McPhee and Ian Frazier, he introduces us to people whose spirit of individualism keeps traditions alive, from a fifty-something female coon hunter who spends 340 nights a year in the woods to a visionary frog farmer and a man whose arms are scarred by the eighty-pound catfish he catches by hand. A fluid combination of adventure, history, and humor, Noodling for Flatheads is evocative, intelligent, and wonder-fully weird-a splendid antidote to the sameness of today's popular culture.


There are some preconceptions about southern traditions that need to be clarified. Moonshining is no longer the pastime of grizzled Deliverance yahoos, but a multimillion-dollar business laced with SWAT-style raids; squirrel brains probably aren't responsible for neurological disorders; and in Louisiana, a good cockfight is fun for the whole family. These are some of the enlightened reports delivered by Burkhard Bilger as he explores the stereotypical, eclectic habits of southerners from West Virginia to Oklahoma. Despite Bilger's journalistic pedigree (he is an editor with The Sciences and Discover, and has credits in The Atlantic and Harper's, where his cockfighting piece, "Enter the Chicken" previously appeared), he slips into nostalgia just enough to romanticize a squirrel hunt, or raise a game of backwoods marbles into an Olympic march of glory.

Bilger kicks off the tour from his hometown in Oklahoma, where he "noodles"--thrashes a limb around in catfish-thick waters--hoping to land a fabled 80-pound monster with his bare hands. In Louisiana he challenges the misgivings any nonenthusiast might have about cockfighting. Even though it's illegal in most of the country, the bloodsport is thriving in the Bayou State, replete with trade magazines, well-produced venues, and American Kennel Club-worthy breeding strategies. The same passion for efficiency goes into the moonshining business, where Bilger is taken under the wing of one of the few shiners willing to lead him through his sourmash operation. A few nights later, however, Bilger is on the other side, on a raid with the local sheriff. Squirrel-brain consumption is still popular in hamlets throughout Kentucky, even after a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine blamed a neurological disease on the dish. Frog legs, one Georgia entrepreneur claims, will soon replace chicken, and southern cooking--the kind that features chitlins, pigs feet, and collards--has become haute cuisine in Atlanta. Back in Oklahoma, Bilger connects with a coonhound trainer during a long night's raccoon chase, and he follows the success of a backwoods marble team who shaped their shooters in the granite-strewn streams of Tennessee. Bilger treats each eccentric character with a distant respect and hints at the melancholy of losing tradition, no matter how bizarre. --Lolly Merrell

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Books listed on Abebooks are online. A large inventory of additional books are available so feel free to ask about other books. I have a large collection of native American and western Americana as well as the books that are listed.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web sites. If you're dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as Described/Damaged) or if the order hasn't arrived, you're eligible for a refund within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. If you've changed your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use the Ask bookseller a question link to contact us and we'll respond within 2 business days. You may also contact the corporate headquarters at 601 E. ...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or over-sized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Direct Debit (Personally Authorized Payment) Money Order PayPal Bank/Wire Transfer