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All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg

All Over but the Shoutin'

by Rick Bragg

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    The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg (koalamom)
    koalamom: The three titles complete a good down home story of the author's life by reading about those he loves the most.

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Although Yankee-born, I have lived in Alabama for nearly half my life and I feel a kinship and loyalty to this State - with all of its beauty and flaws. So that is why I'm quite ashamed that it took me 17 years to read Rick Bragg's memoir of growing up in Calhoun County, Alabama, and his amazing journalism career. We all have books that stick with us, invade our thoughts for many days or months after you've read the last page. This is one of those books for me. I spoke recently with a Journalism graduate from the University of Alabama where Rick Bragg now serves as a Professor of Writing and we debated the tone of Mr. Bragg's memoir. He thought Mr. Bragg was overplaying the "country bumpkin" card. I feel I can pick out a poser and Rick Bragg is not one of them. He feels quite genuine to me. In fact, he talks quite extensively in this book about the struggles he's had throughout his life with that perception of being "less" because he was born and raised as a poor white kid on someone else's land in rural Alabama county. It is actually just that tone that endeared his story to me, and reminded me of just why I love this State and its people so very much (with a few exceptions - of course). Great southern memoir! ( )
  kellifrobinson | Nov 21, 2014 |
Loved this story of Rick Bragg's childhood and rise to Pulitzer recipient status. I am probably about one generation removed from the type of childhood Bragg had (it was probably similar to my dad's childhood and youth - he was one of five boys born to a poor Florida family and I'm familiar with their tales of making do and fighting for the fun of it), and his story feels familiar to me as a white Southerner who has never had much money, although I benefited from the more well-to-do, liberal background of my Memphis-born mother.

I'm amazed that Bragg, in the late part of the 20th Century, was able to achieve such success and respect as a journalist without having completed college. His really is a rags-to-riches story and even he continually repeats how much he owes to sheer luck.

Although it has its sad and tragic moments, this is ultimately a hopeful story with a lot of joy. Good read! ( )
  glade1 | Oct 23, 2014 |
A lot of successful people stand up and thank their mother when they win a prestigious award, Rick Bragg just does it better and more thoroughly than most of them. ( )
  dele2451 | Apr 3, 2014 |
What an excellent book. Bragg writes with style, wit and compassion. As he turns his thoughts towards his childhood and his life, the clarity of his words takes you directly into his life.

I'm not able to do this one justice, but it's marvelous. ( )
  wareagle78 | Feb 3, 2014 |
Immediately I love his writing! It's like poetry, with lots of funny analogies I've never heard before. This is a "memoir" of a guy who grew up in the rural south; Alabama. He starts writing as a newspaper reporter and goes on to win the Pulitzer Prize. He never married so perhaps that's why he writes so much about his 'momma'. Towards the eand I was feeling a little ill. It reminded me of Punkin's family a lot! ( )
  camplakejewel | Oct 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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Living on the road my friend/ Was going to keep you free and clean/ Now you wear your skin like iron/ And your breath is hard as kerosene/ You weren't your momma's only boy/ But her favorite one, it seems/ She began to cry when you said goodbye/ Saddled to your dreams
- T. Van Zandt
To my Momma and brothers
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I used to stand amazed and watch the redbirds fight.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679774025, Paperback)

One reason Rick Bragg won a Pulitzer Prize for his feature articles at the New York Times is that he never forgets his roots. When he writes about death and violence in urban slums, Bragg draws on firsthand knowledge of how poverty deforms lives and on his personal belief in the dignity of poor people. His memoir of a hardscrabble Southern youth pays moving tribute to his indomitable mother and struggles to forgive his drunken father. All Over but the Shoutin' is beautifully achieved on both these counts--and many more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:18 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most. But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable.… (more)

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