Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flannery O'Connor and the Dummy

Book Review Flannery O'Connor

This review was first published Jan. 19 2005 and met with good reviews, it aint easy reviewing but I continue pushing that boulder up the hill, the hill grows steeper and the boulder larger but I just keep growing stronger...kinda...or maybe just more deluded. JW July 25 2005

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.60
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

107 used from $1.15

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
I seen the dummy!, January 19, 2005

I recommend reading Linda Linguvic's review, she is dead right. Reading Ms. O'Connor stories is time well invested, and I agree one at a time is about all you can to digest, its like Harper Lee meets Edger Allan Poe. I always find myself in surreal situations that remind me of a Flannery O'Conner story...STOP READING AT THIS POINT AND GO TO LINDAS REVIEW...You see I am in a witness protection program and the only way I can communicate with my family is through Amazon...sad but false.Which reminds me of when I was a kid visiting my grand parents and favorite uncle in North Carolina (we stayed with them every summer until they told my folks to stop). My mom, grandparents,uncle and brother went a visitin' some obscure relatives in a town that seemed to make my grandfather grumpy, reckon that would have been any town USA. However this particular town was near another particular town that held something of interest, the spaghetti man, or as my grandfather called him the dummy. They called him the spaghetti man because he was Italian, he had worked for a circus and happened to die in the nearby town I mentioned, back in the early 20th century is my guess. The manager of the circus only gave the local funeral director a deposit for the burial with the promise of returning with final payment, which never came. So the Spaghetti man/mummy/dummy remained in his freezer for years. The son inherited the business as well as the dummy as I will refer to him from this sentence on until the end of my review. Well back in the 60's my brother, uncle and to a lesser degree myself badgered my grandfather enough that he agreed to leave the family gathering to go find the dummy. He found the town just fine it being on the map and all, but had to ask directions to find the dummy "where's the dummy"? after several blind alleys we found the funeral home and in the garage the owner took us for a small fee to the garage, he opened the freezer and there in the flesh was a shrunken up freezer burnt dummy! One of those moments you never forget, a certain smell might take you back or a foreign accent, but you dont forget those memory's by god! cause that's what life's made of, memories and things like that, eating too. Years later in the year 2000 I visited my folks in NC and in honor of the dummy I went to Target and purchased a white T shirt a couple of sizes to big and a black marker. I laid the T-shirt on my kitchen table and scrawled "I seen the dummy" across the front and into the armpit. The next day I showered,shaved and put on my new shirt, drove to the airport early , requested exit row (I'm above average in height you know) and flew to Charlotte. I then boarded a commuter plane to New Bern and the flight attendant asked me what my shirt said and I told her "I seen the dummy" ...Even though I was in the front row and she had to sit in the jump seat in front of me she was sort of cool and impersonal the rest of the flight, people you figure them out? If you like reading, buy Flannery O'Conner its not a walk in the park but you aint no dummy now are you?


At 2:03 PM , Blogger Cléa said...

I don't think I can remember when Amazon was non profit! I admit if I read their reviews, I do so with a grain of salt. Maybe things were different when they were a start up?

At 4:35 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Clea: Amazon is all about profit,what I was referring to is their early days before they had figured out how to exploit the mass's and put just about every good privately owned bookstore out of business. I was working as a gorilla in the war against mega corporations.
However my book reviews did not bring them to their knees as I had planned. In fact I have heard and I do not know for sure they will not allow you to submit a review unless you have purchased something from them within a months period.
We all need to fight the Amazons, because they are the people that are creating 1984 George Orwell's classic...I predict Amazon will lead the way to banning books as soon as it proves profitable.

At 8:17 PM , Blogger Cléa said...

Yikes. I've heard they're trying to control the POD market as well and the push to use Kindle didn't go unnoticed.

To me, a book is something you hold in your hand and enjoy. Not some electronic device you scan with your eyes instead of read at your leisure.

At 4:58 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

Brave Clea: Everything evil you have heard about them is true.Now that you have visited my site they will be monitoring your every move. Leave this fight to the pros, keep writing your books and I will keep swinging at windmills.
Some would call it paranoia but I call it perception. Its no coincidence that when I began posting reviews on Amazon that they built two "distribution" centers on the North and West Side of Indianapolis, obviously they are planning to catch me unaware...Not going to happen.

At 2:27 AM , Blogger Mone said...

Since you were trying to get Amazon to theire knees, I'm wondering how honest your review was, should I read the book now or better stay away?

At 12:14 PM , Blogger Toby said...

My first taxable job, both income and my sanity (25 years ago), was at O'Flannery's located inside Regency Mall. I was a dish washer.

At 5:19 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Mone: I love Flannery O'Connor however I do not recommend you buy her short stories, they are dark and very American. What I am saying here is she is, very opaque and not an easy read for a non-native familiar with the colloquialism's of the Southern old school. In other words, she captures the essence but it is not pretty and can be easily misunderstood. I have roots in the south (South Eastern US) so I recognize her characters, which is very easy to become confused by and misunderstood during the period these stories are taking place. I dunno it aint easy and I suppose I would suggest other works by other authors, Flannery however was and is a brilliant author.

Toby: I would stop during a road trip (even if I did not need gas or have to pee) at a place named O'Flannery's.
Its kinda of a win, win if it had nothing to do with the author and most of the times it is not, at least I would remain optimistic that they could pour a decent Guinness.

At 7:49 AM , Blogger Toby said...

Yep, there's nothing better than a quality Guinness tap at your local mall.

Best wishes to you always.

At 8:21 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

Toby: Mall Guinness hmmm I suspect I might opt for the Orange Julius, if they are still around. Speaking of which I have not been to a Mall in over a year, there is something deeply satisfying in this revelation.Excuse me while I bask in my own smug thoughts. Cheers


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