Pelican Road: Howard Bahr

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 ) 

  

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About Tom Honea

the south mississippi i grew up in did not yet have paved roads or telephones or televisions. it did have great story tellers, on front porches in the summer or around the fire place in the winter. we were poverty stricken, financially but not culturally. we didn't know it. everybody up and down the road was in the same boat. . after forty years of day jobs i am approaching my "fishing years." i plan to spend them writing. i have a finished and edited deep south novel in the "marketing" stages. currently i'm deep into a WW II home front piece set in the Hampton Roads, VA area. notes and character sketches are already underway for "From Hiroshima to Elvis" ( the ten years after the war ) on the coastal areas of South Carolina. . visit asheville ... come and see me.
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