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Provinces of Night: A Novel de William Gay
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Provinces of Night: A Novel (original: 2000; edição: 2002)

de William Gay (Autor)

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3822065,755 (4.06)19
The year is 1952, and E.F. Bloodworth has returned to his home - a forgotten corner of Tennessee - after twenty years of roaming. The wife he walked out on has withered and faded, his three sons are grown and angry. Warren is a womanizing alcoholic, Boyd is driven by jealousy to hunt down his wife's lover, and Brady puts hexes on his enemies from his mamma's porch. Only Fleming, the old man's grandson, treats him with the respect his age commands, and sees past all the hatred to realize the way it can posion a man's soul. It is ultimately the love of Raven Lee, a sloe-eyed beauty from another town, that gives Fleming the courage to reject this family curse.… (mais)
Membro:jayeff
Título:Provinces of Night: A Novel
Autores:William Gay (Autor)
Informação:Anchor (2002), Edition: Reprint, 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Provinces of Night de William Gay (2000)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 20 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
[[William Gay]] is easily the best writer you're not reading. Thanks to an LT friend, I found him and now I'm a devoted acolyte. With [[Flannery O'Connor]]'s sense of the Southern Gothic and [[Kent Haruf]]'s poetic lilt and keen sense of the complications of the human heart, reading Gay is like entering a cathedral.

This novel follows the Bloodworth family as the patriarch, E. F., returns from a self-imposed exile with his banjo and stories to tell. It's a slow burn until the expected violence finally erupts during an ice storm. The characters are complicated and eccentric, and Gay's love of the Southern countryside feels like stepping into a lush, botanical apse while a mournful elegy plays. Words to adequately describe the beauty of Gay's writing fail me.

5 bones!!!!!
Highly Recommended ( )
  blackdogbooks | May 30, 2023 |
absolutely extraordinary ( )
  diveteamzissou | Dec 2, 2022 |
4.5 stars
William Gay wrote Southern Gothic. He knows how to tell a good tale, and his stories are about people and families that live in poverty, are moonshiners, that have mental illness, have substance abuse, and extremely dysfunctional families. A lot of abandonment and abuse goes on in his books. Though I have a large verbal lexicon, there are always words in William Gay's books that I have to look up. Also, there are many strange expressions, for example "they god."
This story takes place in a small town in rural tennessee, 1952.
The protagonist is Fleming, the grandson of E.F. Bloodworth. His father, Boyd, and he live in an abandoned cabin, a bare existence. One morning he wakes up and his father has left him a note. He went to Detroit to Chase after and kill the man who "stole" his wife from him. E.F. himself has returned after 20 years living in Little Rock, where he pursued his music. Fleming is one of the few decent characters among all, but his friend Junior Albright is a close second.
The ending is really sad, But for Fleming, things are looking up.

Fleming's Uncle Brady Bloodworth is a miserable character, who reads people's future in the cards, and cast spells. In the beginning of the book, he has cast a spell on the mailman. Brady is known for letting his dogs run wild, and some of them are biters. The mailman had told him to tie his dogs up, but was ignored, so the mailman ran over one of his dogs. Brady saved a cigarette butt that the mailman Harwood had smoked, and told Fleming he was using it to cast a spell on him.
"He run over Brownie's stomach and busted her all up inside. She died and died, takin on. I'm going for Harwood's stomach, too. His stool will set up in him like concrete, his insides will petrify like wood turning into rock. If you don't think that'll give him reason to think about what he done, then you don't know nothing about the workings of the human body."

The reader doesn't know what to think about this Brady Bloodworth. however, later:
"for 3 Days the mail carrier had been a person unknown to Junior Albright and he had observed all this with a more than casual interest. On the 4th morning he sauntered down to the blacktop and idled there by the mailbox until the dust colored Plymouth came around the curve.
This mail carrier was a woman, a heavyset woman with a bulldog jaw and short hacked-off hair. Albright had his three pennies ready. I need a stamp, he said.
She carefully tore a single stamp from a book and slid it into a small glassine envelope and exchanged it for the pennies.
Say, what happened to Harwood? He asked.
Mr Harwood sick, she told him. They got me substitutin for him. He's in a Nashville hospital.
You don't say. What's his trouble?
They don't even know yet, the woman said. they keep runnin tests on him, callin in more specialists. Somethin to do with his stomach.
You don't say, AlBright said bemusedly."

Few of the characters in this book work, or if they do, they only work sporadically.
I enjoyed the scene where Albright goes to work for a contractor. When the contractor finally agrees to give Albright a try, he puts him to work on a crimper, on the roof. The crimper was a mechanical one. All that Albright had to do was hold on to the handles, and turn it 180° when it got to the end of a line. The contractor insisted that Albright wear a hard hat, but by 10:00 in the morning, AlBright had had to take the hat off; he was burning up. He went back to work, and was working away when he noticed the contractor yelling at him, Telling him to put the hard hat back on. Albright goes over to pick up his hard hat, and leaves the crimper crimping away. He runs after it but can't catch it before it crimps off the edge of the roof and busts into pieces on the ground below. For the rest of the book the contractor is attaching Albright's wages for any work he gets.

Reading William Gay's books will Have Readers laughing out loud at certain scenes. Here's one:
E.F. is walking along a line of cedars that he had planted years ago. Suddenly a rattlesnake falls out of the sky and lands on the ground in front of him. He looks up in the sky, and far away sees a hawk drifting on updrafts. The snake is a diamondback rattler, thick as E.F.'s arm. He's about to grind his walking stick into the snake's head when he stops.
"...Somehow it didn't seem fair. Something flies down and hooks its claws into your flesh and soars away with you, high into The thin Blue air, the comforting Earth miles away and no more than a remembered dream. Then it drops you, and you slam into the ground and you lay there with your senses knocked out. After you finally start to get at yourself, and Marvel at your incredible escape, An old man limps up and shreds your head into the clay with a hickory stick.
All right, he told the snake. I'll tell you what I'm goin to do. I'm fixin to let you go. But the only people you can go into the world and bite are my enemies. Folks with guns and badges, khaki britches. Prison guards with shotguns. Lawyers, no limit on them. maybe an Undertaker or an insurance salesman every now and then. But no kids. No kids and no folks just tryin to scratch out a living. You bite one of them, just one, and it's me and you, I'll be on your ass like a plague, I'll finish what I started."

At the place called Itchy Mama's, old men from the area hang out and gossip. One day Fleming is there, and an old man commences to tell him a story.
Near to the cabin where Fleming lived, is Dee Hixson's place. He had five girls, before they grew up and moved away. These girls were partiers.
"... Saturday nights there'd be so many wagons and cars they'd run out of yard to park them in. They'd be strung out on the road. I never heard of anybody bein turned away. They'd take anything. Sometimes Dee'd go out in the front yard and fire off his shotgun a time or two just to calm things to a manageable level.
..
Then the babies started comin, the old man went on. They never heard of rubbers, I reckon, or maybe they figured that that would be cheatin. One of the youngest of them girls told me one time, she was drinkin a little or she never would have told it, she said her sisters would bury them babies in wide mouth Mason fruit jars.
In what?
In fruit jars. I reckon she meant the ones was born dead. Or maybe if they wasn't dead they'd help them along. Said they never wanted them. She told me there was several buried on that bank up from the creek below Hixson's garden spot, where they had a cat cemetery when they was little girls. I never asked if the cats was buried in fruit jars or not."
I'm trying to figure how you could get a baby inside a Mason fruit jar. It would have to be a very small baby, and you'd have to squash it a lot.


( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
It always makes my soul sing a bit to find an author who really understands the South, someone who can look at the depressing and seedy side and not make it seem composed of only depravity. Oh, William Gay finds the depravity, but he also sees the warmth, the desperation and the humor. I laughed hard, cringed a bit, and felt an emotional lump in my throat.

The Bloodworths of Tennessee are a hard-scrabble bunch. At least one of them is certifiably nuts, some drink too much, guns are a common part of their life, and the threads that bind them together are brittle. The patriarch, E.F., left years before, taking with him only a banjo and his music, but he is coming home, old and sick, and not everyone, particularly his son, Brady, is happy to see him again. In such a family, it is hard to know where loyalty should lie and what love truly is, and seventeen year-old Fleming has been dropped into this crazy bunch and has to try to find his feet and his life.

The story is great. I kept wishing life would leave me alone and let me read without interruption. But, beyond that, the skill of the writer is amazing.

He began to suspect another, deeper layer of time, a time of stone and cloud and tree to which the time of clocks and calendars was a gross mockery cobbled up by savages. He felt the ways of men fall from him like sundered shackles.

He commands his environment and his characters, and he causes you to feel the pain and angst and loneliness.

Before she shared his bed, life had been pointless, but now it had become unbearable. She had appeared from nowhere and returned to it, but she’d taken over his life, left with a lien on his body, a mortgage on his soul.

The passage from which he takes the novel’s title read more like poetry than prose:

There was something oddly restful about the fireflies. He couldn’t put his finger on it but he drew comfort from it anyway. The way they’d seemed not separate entities but a single being, a moving river of light that flowed above the dark water like its negative image and attained a transient and fragile dominion over the provinces of night.

I could quote dozens of passage that rise off the page and stand before you with body, corporeal somehow, vividly real.

There was a ceiling fan turning above him and he lay watching light play on the revolving blade. His life had honed itself down to a finite number of revelations of a metal blade through dead air.

I guess it is evident that I found this book magical, riveting, starkly real. My thanks once again to The Southern Literary Trail for introducing me to another superb writer that I would have completely missed otherwise.

Finally, Why was I not surprised to find that Kirk Smith gave this 5-stars? I so often wish I had dropped everything I was doing and read all the books he suggested to me right away. I miss him. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Inte fullt så grov och skitig som jag förväntade mig. Mer en vackert berättad familjehistoria som är fint skriven och där texten flyter på med många fina formuleringar. ( )
  Mikael.Linder | Mar 2, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 20 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
William Gay tischt uns hier eine Südstaaten-Geschichte auf, die nicht wirklich neu wirkt - John Grisham-Stil ohne Thriller-Ambitionen. Des Autors Vorbilder zeichnen sich relativ deutlich ab. Ein Schmöker ist der Roman jedoch allemal - schon aufgrund seiner Seitenzahl. Er eignet sich bestens für ein verregnetes Wochenende oder eine längere Zugfahrt. Neben amüsanten Szenen vom Kampf Mann gegen Schwein oder vom Himmel fallenden Klapperschlangen sorgt der Hang des Erzählers zum überdeutlichen Zeigen für Kurzweil:
adicionado por Indy133 | editarliteraturkritik.de, Doris Betzl (Apr 1, 2001)
 
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The year is 1952, and E.F. Bloodworth has returned to his home - a forgotten corner of Tennessee - after twenty years of roaming. The wife he walked out on has withered and faded, his three sons are grown and angry. Warren is a womanizing alcoholic, Boyd is driven by jealousy to hunt down his wife's lover, and Brady puts hexes on his enemies from his mamma's porch. Only Fleming, the old man's grandson, treats him with the respect his age commands, and sees past all the hatred to realize the way it can posion a man's soul. It is ultimately the love of Raven Lee, a sloe-eyed beauty from another town, that gives Fleming the courage to reject this family curse.

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