HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Welding with Children: Stories by Tim…
Loading...

Welding with Children: Stories

by Tim Gautreaux (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
131391,855 (4.06)6
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
While not the twisted, sadistic tale of tortured youth that the title might suggest, Welding With Children is, hands down, one of the best short story collections around. Though the eleven stories are set in Louisiana and the American West—these familiar characters could live among us in cities and towns everywhere. Gautreaux creates people who aren't searching for material goods. They're looking for some sort of purpose and real emotion that their everyday lives lack. As in life, only sometimes do his characters know exactly what they are searching for. Sadness and hope are brilliantly mixed together in each story, and there is such originality contained in this collection that it's a definite reread. One armed hitchhikers, kidnapped Alzheimer's victims, a prison convict sitting in a bullring—colorful characters abound, and they're waiting for your eyes to find them in Welding With Children.

(5/01) ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 27, 2014 |
Years ago, I read the title story and it stuck clearly enough in my mind that when I ran across a copy of the book, I wanted to read it. Considering that I have forgotten entire novels, this is notable. The story remained much as I had remembered it; the first person recounting of a day spent caring for his daughters' children, and the realization that he is not free from blame in his daughters' life choices. Set in a small town in Mississippi, there's both a strong atmosphere of people not quite getting by, of cars rusting in side yards next to decaying porches, and an undercurrent of hope.

That sense of resilience is, along with rural Mississippi, the common themes of this excellent and diverse selection of stories. Gautreaux takes set-ups that with Daniel Woodrell or Donald Ray Pollock would end in a blood bath and steers them in unexpected directions. In one story, a desperate criminal's home invasion is written with an off-beat humor, as he is thwarted by the elderly woman he finds in the house, and as her neighbors notice something is wrong. In another, an old man, disoriented in the Wal-Mart parking lot, is kidnapped by a carelessly cruel opportunist. This is the harshest of the stories, but there is a bright note in the man's desperate attempts to remember his past. Other stories deal with the remnant of a leading family, living in her decaying house and relying on the piano tuner for company, a priest whose drinking problem and inability to say no lead him into illegal acts and middle-aged man attending a writing workshop finds that he may be the only attendee with a desire to improve his writing.

I'll be looking for more by Tim Gautreaux. He's a fine writer with a strong sense of place. ( )
2 vote RidgewayGirl | Nov 17, 2013 |
Amazing writer, again, I wanted each story to continue on into a full-scale novel, just kept me wanting more. One of my definite "re-reads". ( )
  wbwilburn5 | Jun 13, 2012 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312267924, Paperback)

In Tim Gautreaux's pitch-perfect portraits of rural Louisiana life, there is no force stronger than a good Cajun-style chicken stew--except, perhaps, the vagaries of old age. Welding with Children has more than its fair share of the latter, beginning with the funny and moving title story, in which a grandfather drives around the four offspring of his four single daughters using what neighbors unkindly call "the bastardmobile." Raised on a steady diet of Icees and daytime talk TV, Bruton's grandkids finally inspire a housecleaning of truly spiritual dimensions, proving the adage that "everything worth doing hurts like hell." Other stories follow a hard-drinking priest sent on a strange errand of automotive atonement, a manic-depressive Creole princess playing cocktail piano in a motel lounge, and a one-armed feminist hitchhiker on a quest for academic tenure:
When a search committee member told me they'd received an application from a gay black female double amputee from Ghana, I reminded the committee that part of my childhood was spent in Mexico, and then I played my last card and came out as a lesbian.... But it did no good. The college found someone more specialized, foreign, and incomplete than I could ever be.
Fair enough. But while most of these tales rely on a certain tried-and-true Southern eccentricity to work their magic, two stories point to what Gautreaux can do when he seeks to do more than just charm. In "Sorry Blood," another old man loses his way--mentally and physically--in a Wal-Mart parking lot. An opportunistic con man poses as his son, then puts the kidnapped "Ted Williams" to work digging a ditch in the sun. Scary, yes, but not as scary as the old man's struggle to hold on to his memory: "This is an egg. What am I?" In the brief and powerful "Rodeo Parole," four inmates play a dangerous waiting game with an enraged bull, spurred on by the knowledge that a rodeo victory means scoring points with the parole board. The bull, after all, is no more or less than their fates, "like a judge saying something and you can't stop it or change it." Gracefully written and spiced with vivid regional detail, these are tales by a master storyteller who's not afraid to blend some darkness into his fictional roux. --Mary Park

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection of stories by a Louisiana writer. In Dancing with the One-Armed Gal, a factory worker dismissed from his job gives a lift to an academic dismissed from hers, Good for the Soul is on an alcoholic priest, while in the title story a man babysits the illegitimate children of his daughters.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
12 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.06)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2
2.5
3 5
3.5 3
4 5
4.5 1
5 10

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,968,064 books! | Top bar: Always visible