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Tim Gautreaux

Author of The Clearing

17+ Works 1,467 Members 52 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Lemuria Books

Works by Tim Gautreaux

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 1999 (1999) — Contributor — 455 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1998 (1998) — Contributor — 404 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Short Stories 2000 (2000) — Contributor — 397 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Short Stories 1997 (1997) — Contributor — 337 copies, 1 review
The Best American Short Stories 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 225 copies, 3 reviews
New Stories from the South 2007: The Year's Best (2007) — Contributor — 55 copies, 1 review
Novel Voices (2003) — Contributor — 55 copies
New Stories from the South 2000: The Year's Best (2000) — Contributor — 53 copies, 1 review
New Stories from the South 1998: The Year's Best (1998) — Contributor — 39 copies
New Stories from the South 2010: The Year's Best (2010) — Contributor — 39 copies
New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1997 (1997) — Contributor — 34 copies
New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1995 (1995) — Contributor — 34 copies
Birds in the Hand: Fiction and Poetry about Birds (2004) — Contributor — 33 copies, 1 review
New Stories from the South 2004: The Year's Best (2004) — Preface — 33 copies
New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1996 (1996) — Contributor — 33 copies
A Few Thousand Words About Love (1998) — Contributor — 22 copies
Stories from the Blue Moon Café III (2004) — Contributor — 19 copies, 1 review
Conversations with Tim Gautreaux (2012) — Associated Name — 4 copies


Common Knowledge



I liked Sam's background and his occasional use of Cajun French, and I really liked the descriptions of music and the steamboat travel. Overall the story felt realistic, not like a fairy tale. I did feel it dragged a bit in places, but that could have been me being impatient with some of the description.
rabbitprincess | 20 other reviews | Jul 2, 2024 |
I loved these stories! The characters are really well drawn, and they are funny. The stories are just on the edge of being too weird, but have that rollicking quality like you find in Confederacy of Dunces. The book is really funny, the writing is great, and the ideas behind the stories are really original and varied. Loved this book.
ethanw | 3 other reviews | Dec 27, 2023 |
If you like short stories this is a fine collection from a very talented writer.
Most take place in the south, and are about people down on their luck, or completely out of luck.
zmagic69 | 3 other reviews | Mar 31, 2023 |
In the 1920’s during Prohibition, protagonist Randolph Aldridge, son of a Pennsylvania lumber baron, travels to Louisiana to find his elder brother, Byron, and manage one of his father’s sawmills. Randolph takes the train to Nimbus, an isolated logging town, where Byron functions as the arm of the law. Byron is estranged from his family after returning from his service in WWI, where he has suffered psychological trauma. The sawmill hands work hard, drink hard, and fight hard, often leading to violent confrontations. A mafia boss controls the local saloon and brothels, which adds to the violence.

The setting is vividly described. The writing is atmospheric and evokes a strong sense of the Louisiana swamps. The characters are particularly well-drawn. The relationship between the brothers is key. Byron has withdrawn to the edges of civilization and Randolph wants to help him reconnect with life. During his melancholy moods, Byron plays a series of sad songs on the Victrola. Randolph cares deeply for his brother, eventually making a significant sacrifice. The supporting characters are believable and given enough backstory to picture them as part of this small remote community. Even the blind horse has a unique personality.

I particularly enjoyed the writing style in passages such as: “Ella appeared in the doorway and leaned against the frame, looking at her brother-in-law. After a while she placed a finger below a dry blue eye. At first Randolph didn’t understand, but then he turned and saw that Byron was crying, his lips formed carefully around each note of the song issuing thin and one-dimensional from the mahogany cabinet. Randolph sat as still as wood, his lips parted, his disbelieving breath coming lightly between his lips. Out in the mill yard, rain began to fall, and the house shook as the blind horse bumped its head against the porch post.”

This book strikes a satisfying balance between character and plot. It is dark and violent but contains offsetting elements of decency and redemption. It features many voices, such as the northern outsiders, Cajuns, Creoles, African Americans, and Italians. It gets the reader thinking about how violence impacts people and nature. I am impressed by the author’s craftsmanship.
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Castlelass | 9 other reviews | Oct 30, 2022 |



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