A Good Man Is Hard to Find

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

And Other Stories

eBook - 1970
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Publisher: New York : Image books, 1970
Characteristics: 233 p. ; 18 cm

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

O'Connor was assuredly a wonderful writer, particularly skilled at short stories. Her exploration of humanity has the capacity to punch the reader in the stomach. It's wonderful and done so well, but the reader does come to expect it—how trepid it make the reader to know the rug may be pulled from underneath them at any moment. These stories have great economy and breath, perhaps the perfect mix of the two. They're simple, yet multi-layered. In terms of craft, they are really wonderful stories.

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wyenotgo
Nov 16, 2015

A common theme of Flannery's stories seems to be victimization in one form or another. Her malefactors are crafty and vicious despite being ignorant, stupid or both, their victims inept, vulnerable or damaged (e.g. a mentally handicapped woman, a girl with a wooden leg, a naïve immigrant etc.) Even when the story includes no malfeasance, the scenario that develops is dreary and rather pointless despite Flannery's injection of wry humor. These people lead failed lives. The mood of the stories brings to mind some of Faulkner's writing (e.g. As I Lay Dying). Her prose is at times quite compelling and memorable but her characters and their actions get in the way of any enjoyment of the book. Too bad.

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ndp21f
Mar 31, 2012

This was the kind of thing that was happening every day in Europe where they had not advanced as in this country, and watching from her vantage point, Mrs. Shortley had the sudden intuition that the Gobblehooks, like rats with typhoid fleas, could have carried all those murderous ways over the water with them directly to this place. If they had come from where that kind of thing was done to them, who was to say they were not the kind that would also do it to others? The width and breadth of this question nearly shook her. Her stomach trembled as if there had been a slight quake in the heart of the mountain and automatically she moved down from her elevation and went forward to be introduced to them, as if she meant to find out at once what they were capable of.

n
ndp21f
Mar 31, 2012

She would have to be a saint because that was the occupation that included everything you could know; and yet she knew she would never be a saint. She did not steal or murder but she was a born liar and slothful and she sassed her mother and was deliberately ugly to almost everybody. She was eaten up also with the sin of Pride, the worst one. She made fun of the Baptist preacher who came to the school at commencement to give the devotional. She would pull down her mouth and hold her forehead as if she were in agony and groan, "Fawther, we thank Thee," exactly the way he did and she had been told many times not to do it She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick.

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