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Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential…
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Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential Edition) (edition 2005)

by Dorothy Allison

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3,600None1,458 (4)110
Member:beachmama43
Title:Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential Edition)
Authors:Dorothy Allison
Info:Plume (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
I was given the opportunity to read this for free in exchange for an honest review from librarything.com.

First off I want to say that I am honored to have received a copy of this book. I was a senior in high school when it was published, and although I do not remember the book's release, I do remember when the movie came out. It was always on my to watch list, but I never got around to seeing the movie. Now I am glad that I did not, at least before I read the book.

I, too, was raised in the south, but I was born 20 years after this books setting. I was also born illegitimate. It really hit home with me at how much different my life COULD have been. My saving grace was that my mother decided she did not ever want to marry, therefore I did not have to worry about any type of "Daddy Glen" being around. This story is heartbreaking and gut wrenching, but all too real in so many households, even today.

It is a shame that in the afterward, the author talks about people STILL banning this book. Maybe it isn't for a young teen, but I feel juniors or seniors in high school would take away good life's lessons by reading it. Possibly about how not to judge people only on their appearance, how other people go through bad things too, or even to just show some compassion. This generation sees sex and violence everywhere now days, and their parents are fine with that. Why not read a semi-biography on someone's pain?

I recommend this book to anyone with a heart. ( )
  LoriHopkins | Mar 16, 2014 |
Shitty book. Not badly written-characters not flat or cardboard. So I really had to ask myself, "Why is this book so bad? Why did I dislike it so much?"

Answer: because it's boring. Sure, stuff happens. It's not logged down with too much detail, or badly executed, or anything like that. The story, the events, the plot itself, is one of the most boring I've ever came across.

We have this little girl. She's born into bad circumstances, and that's okay. But then bad shit happens to her. Again. Again. Lather, rinse, repeat repeat repeat. No conflict, no real struggle, just all this bad shit happening, and it damaging her.

By the time something finally happens in the end, you've given up and slunk into weary page turning, all interest having fled.

Hey, at least I got a thrill when the librarian said "bastard" when she was announcing my fines. ( )
  broccolima | Jan 26, 2014 |
Reading Bastard out of Carolina is like watching someone mistreat a puppy. You cringe, but uncertain as to whether out of pity or outrage.

The novel is set in 1950’s rural South Carolina. The protagonist, Bone, is a child in a large, clannish, coarse family. Her mother Anney winds up marrying outwardly charming but neer-do-well Glen. Glen is resentful and bitter at his own inability to hold a job or live up to anyone’s expectations of him. He vents his anger on Bone, abusing her physically, sexually, and emotionally. In turn, Bone grows thick-skinned and seethes with repressed rage. Compassion for her plight is tempered by unease about her increasingly sinister fantasies. Will she crack? Or, will she simply mature into one more loser in this loutish extended family? In the end, nobody lives happily-ever-after.

Dorothy Allison paints this picture vividly. If you don’t mind looking at battered puppies, you will probably like the book.
1 vote refice | Oct 21, 2013 |
This novel is a bildungsroman sick and howling somewhere between Harper Lee and Flannery O'Connor, but all the same outside of them and wholly its own. Bone boils with rage and schemes with mischievous laughter, grasping for some notion of love and family in a world that sees her as apart. She is bastard, trash, and girl, and she rallies against all of these constructions as hard as she can, kicking up dirt like a building tornado. Everyone tries to tell Bone who she is, but she knows that she is ultimately alone and must discover the answer for herself, but such an answer is not easy to realize if it is at all existent. A very compelling novel, so maddeningly close to being a great novel. For it's ever so minor drawbacks in story and characterization, the book plants it foot firmly in any notion of a Southern canon. ( )
  poetontheone | Oct 8, 2013 |
The writing and language were good--a couple of the characters felt unsatisfyingly underdeveloped, particularly the little sister and the antagonist. I think i felt that way partly because the other characters are richly drawn.have limited knowledge of why people who do things like he does do them, but I felt something missing in the narrative's explanation. Also, I never quite bought his quick (to the reader) degeneration. I just would have liked to know him as a character better; he was horrible, but also human (human does not equal good, but it does equal complicated) and I wanted some more depth to him, to really understand why he was so horrible. ( )
  ageoflibrarius | Jun 27, 2013 |
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Epigraph
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead.

-James Baldwin
Dedication
For Mama Ruth Gibson Allison 1935-1990
First words
I've been called Bone all my life, but my name's Ruth Anne.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
This book is fiction, but it comes so real with the feeling of an amateur autobiography. The author is so descriptive, she takes you to the time and place and puts you right there watching it all happen. It was a very captivating, but sad story.
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Ruth Ann Boatwright, a South Carolina bastard, tells her life with her family and the emotional and physical violence she experiences.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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