From the acclaimed, New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, 30 of his finest short stories, collected in one volume.
No one captures the complexities of Appalachia - a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty - as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though the focus is regional, the themes of Rash’s work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within each of our lives.
Something Rich and Strange showcases this revered master's artistry and craftsmanship in 30 stories culled from his previously published collections Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, Chemistry, and The Night New Jesus Fell to Earth. Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash's dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people - men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Filled with suspense and myth, hope and heartbreak, told in language that flows like "shimmering, liquid poetry" (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Something Rich and Strange is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.
©2014 Ron Rash (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
Ron Rash writes great short stories set in Appalachia. This is a selection of his best from prior volumes.
As in the Midwest and Northeast, a variety of Southern accents exist from region to region within the South. For example, the accent and dialect in the hills of north Alabama differ from those along coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle, which are considerably different from those in south Louisiana, and so on.
What they do NOT have in common is a bumbling and idiotic drawl in each and every person.
This narrator Christian Baskous (a Juilliard grad, so his site says) may be okay on some audiobooks, but he should be banned from reading books set anywhere in the South. His faux Southern accent is like none I've ever heard in my 40+ years in the South, but rather it sounds like an amalgamation of every stereotypical dufus he's ever seen depicted on film and in the media. The absolute worst faux Southern accent I've heard. Think Forrest Gump in Deliverance. And, I have no problem with the use of such an accent for some of the characters or the stories. But, EVERY STORY?? EVERY CHARACTER???? It's an insult to every Southerner generally and to Ron Rash specifically.
PLEASE buy the book in print. Skip this ruination.
I have been trying to make my way through this book now for several weeks, but the faux-hillbilly affectations of Christian Baskous have made some great fiction tortuous. Mr. Baskous is a fine narrator and does a bang up job on other works, which makes me wonder what the producers were thinking when they steered him in this direction. Five hours to go ...
Ron Rash is a master of the short story form. It is unfortunate that the very poor performance of this audio collection detract from what is written.
The problem is the reader's over-the-top attempt at dialect. To my ear it is egregiously exaggerated and inauthentic. His attempt at narrating female speech is also way off the mark. Don't the producers of audiobooks review the performance? Isn't there anyone who can convince the overembellisher to dial it back?
Rich characters and story lines.No two alike.Felt like I knew many of the characters.
Young man with boat and put upon man in grave robbing story.
I could feel their complex situations.
So multi faceted it was hard to beleive.Loved it.
Trying to figure out which Ron Rash book to order next.
There are so many stories which makes it difficult to review in this little space. If you enjoy honest and say insightful writing, you'll enjoy this book.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable set of short stories, set in scenes that cover more than a century. Appalachia is the backdrop for all of them, and all of the readings reflect the gentle humility and humanity of the place. The only flaw, and it is a small one, is the slight overuse of the hanging ending at the end of the tales.
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