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Old 06-05-2016, 08:10 AM
 
28,895 posts, read 54,141,122 times
Reputation: 46680

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
Just dropping in to say that Paul Theroux's new book Deep South is one of the best books I've ever read. I always enjoy Theroux, but this book is not just his typical cranky social commentary/travel memoir but it is also an exploration and criticism of the genre of "Southern" literature. Oh, SO good!


If you haven't read this book yet, please give it a try!
Gotta say it. I thought it was a lazy, self-indulgent wallow in stereotypes, an exercise in confirmation bias. And I say that as both an avid reader of Theroux and someone who understands the warts of my region.

I mean, how many times can he rehash the same anecdotes. How many gun shows could he visit? How many times could he bring up a Patel running a hotel in a sleepy backwater?

In that sense, Paul Theroux is right about one thing: Travel writing isn't about the place the writer visits, but rather about the writer himself. Visiting a handful of remote rural communities isn't the same thing as writing about a region.

I mean even his transcribing of local dialect was embarrassing. Even more embarrassing was his fixation on whether or not people he met had heard of him or read his books. I'm pretty much guaranteeing that had he gone on a similar journey through rural Massachusetts or Vermont, he would have had the same experience.

Here's the thing. If you are intellectually lazy and think the South is something out of a Lil Abner comic strip, then you'll love this book. If you think that it is a complex and nuanced place shaped by forces that are unique in American history, then you'll walk away from it shaking your heads.
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,317,167 times
Reputation: 62766
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Gotta say it. I thought it was a lazy, self-indulgent wallow in stereotypes, an exercise in confirmation bias. And I say that as both an avid reader of Theroux and someone who understands the warts of my region.

I mean, how many times can he rehash the same anecdotes. How many gun shows could he visit? How many times could he bring up a Patel running a hotel in a sleepy backwater?

In that sense, Paul Theroux is right about one thing: Travel writing isn't about the place the writer visits, but rather about the writer himself. Visiting a handful of remote rural communities isn't the same thing as writing about a region.

I mean even his transcribing of local dialect was embarrassing. Even more embarrassing was his fixation on whether or not people he met had heard of him or read his books. I'm pretty much guaranteeing that had he gone on a similar journey through rural Massachusetts or Vermont, he would have had the same experience.

Here's the thing. If you are intellectually lazy and think the South is something out of a Lil Abner comic strip, then you'll love this book. If you think that it is a complex and nuanced place shaped by forces that are unique in American history, then you'll walk away from it shaking your heads.

That's a rather offensive post. You could well have said what you thought of the book without that last paragraph (that I have bolded) which shows you being so rude to the previous poster who happens to be a very nice person and a well thought of member of this forum.


We get it. You do not like Paul Theroux's book and your opinion of him is low because of it. That's your right but please avoid implying members of this forum are about as deep as birdbaths. BTW, several of us live in the South. I for one have never been offended at Theroux's take on this part of the country.

Last edited by Ketabcha; 06-05-2016 at 06:57 PM..
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,489 posts, read 8,810,279 times
Reputation: 17514
My best, lifelong friend wrote a book and I am reading it now. It is definitely not my cup of tea, but is holding my interest. I don't know what to tell her about it, but she is grateful for my editing skills.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
31,373 posts, read 20,174,182 times
Reputation: 14070
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:52 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
31,340 posts, read 14,254,824 times
Reputation: 27861
A Life Stolen - Jaycee Dugard
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:59 AM
 
4,724 posts, read 4,415,751 times
Reputation: 8481
I started The Boleyn King , kind of looking forward as it's been a while since I read historical fiction. I was taken aback though because whatever history I thought I remembered did not seem correct. I looked it up on amazon and sure enough this book is more of a what if , using historical figures. So I will gve it another whirl, and see if it can grab me or I might just have to give it up. (I am reading it on kindle from the library and only read like 5% , but already it has Queen Ann, Elizabeth a teenager, and her brother en route to becoming King. Talk about way confusing.)
And, guess what book I am next on the hold list to get via e-library? Yup, Deep South. by Paul Theroux. I have been on the list for months I think.

I am not from the south but I will let you all know what I think
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:00 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 7,930,850 times
Reputation: 7237
I just finished The Tender Bar: A Memoir by JR Moehringer. The author tells of the men at the local pub who played such vital roles in his life as he grew up fatherless. The writing was fantastic with quick, clever banter and some very beautiful prose, but I admit to skipping a good bit to keep the narrative flowing. The book was about 70 pages too long. A good read though all in all.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
10,855 posts, read 6,368,233 times
Reputation: 22048
Finishing up one library book, and today got email notice saying a book I'd requested has been acquired by library & is available for me to come pick up. Yay !
Maia Szalavitz's "Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary Way of Understanding Addiction"-enjoy her writing style & subject choices, expect to find this one of interest as well.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,018,915 times
Reputation: 28903
I just started The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood. Although it's not really my type of book (a bit too sweet, I think), I'm going to give it a shot.

https://www.amazon.com/One-Million-B...s=books&sr=1-1
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:14 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 3,349,261 times
Reputation: 1795
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
That's a rather offensive post. You could well have said what you thought of the book without that last paragraph (that I have bolded) which shows you being so rude to the previous poster who happens to be a very nice person and a well thought of member of this forum.


We get it. You do not like Paul Theroux's book and your opinion of him is low because of it. That's your right but please avoid implying members of this forum are about as deep as birdbaths. BTW, several of us live in the South. I for one have never been offended at Theroux's take on this part of the country.
Well said!! Definitely an offensive and completely unnecessary paragraph added to that review.
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