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   Beluthahatchie and Other Stories, by Andy Duncan  
  Collection, first publication in November 2000
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      Beluthahatchie and Other Stories is kind of an eyebrow-raising collection: the author had seen barely more than nine stories in print at publication time, and he's got a gorgeous hardcover collection from a respected publisher, containing nine of those stories plus two previously unpublished. Andy Duncan had better be great.

    Well, he is. He's better than many decades-established veterans, with a keen ear for dialogue, a Southerner's love of storytelling, a gift for characterization, a fascination with obscure history and folklore, and a wonderfully weird mind. He presents an ethics-obsessed secret brotherhood of hangmen and a peripatetic electric-chair operator in "The Executioner's Guild." He brings a certain notorious Paris theater to life with strange romance and artistic envy in "Grand Guignol." "The Premature Burials" finds a gothic erotic charge in being buried alive. "Liza and the Crazy Water Man" shows as much affection for Southern ways and the now-obscure world of 1930s country music as the Coen Brothers' movie O, Brother, Where Art Thou?.

    Source: Cynthia Ward,

      Related theme(s)  
  • Music - Musical Instruments - Musicians
  • Romance - Love Story

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