with the possible exception of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help … Pelican Road by Meridian’s Howard Bahr is the best piece of new southern fiction that i have come across in at least a decade.
i have admit to having a weakness for mississippi writers, and for railroads.
Barry Hannah and John Armistead were classmates of mine in the early ’60’s: John was a good friend. JC Simmons, who writes the Jay Leicester action hero / flier series and i went to school together for twelve years … played high school football together at the old Magnolia High School. i currently have the privilege of doing some editing ( reading ) for him on his tenth book. … … my dad worked from the end of WWII until he retired in 1974 in the ICRR car shops in McComb. he was hurt really badly in 1953 ( an incident that would have fit perfectly in Bahr’s book ). that left me, the oldest of five brothers, running a small dairy farm at the age of eleven years, eleven months.
it continues to amaze me, after over fifty years of reading, that some writers are able to take the ordinary, and the ordinary people, in our midst and turn them into masterpieces of literature. Mr. A P Dunn and Sweet Willy Wine and Donny Luttrell are, in this book, gripping (ordinary) people. tens of thousands of people drive by or cross over the Pelican Road daily, usually not even thinking, “there is a railroad.” the ordinary become the grist for a writer’s mill. … sometimes it takes me two months to finish a good book. i read this one in two “goes.” … put it near the top of your list.
a new Bahr fan. tom honea … a mississippi scribbler
magnolia, ms & ( asheville, nc )