Dec 17, 2006

Book Review - A Short History of a Small Place

A Short History of a Small PlacePearson, TR

New York: Linden Press

On occasion I am introduced to the work of writers who, after I delve into one of their books, I am amazed that I never encountered them before; how could I have missed their brilliance in almost 40 years of reading.

Such is the case with T.R. Pearson and A Short History of a Small Place , which has been collecting dust on a shelf in my house for several years. Echoing equal parts of William Faulkner, John Kennedy Toole, and Mark Twain, Pearson's narrative about the fictional town of Neely, NC is a tragicomic tour de force of the goings-on in this quirky Southern burg.

Told through the child's eyes of the young Louis Benfield, the book is part satire and part social commentary, though never becoming overly judgmental in its examinations of issues such as racial relations and provincialism.

I laughed out loud many times while reading A Short History of a Small Place, generating inquisitive looks from my wife, who was trying to sleep (it's one of those books you just don't want to put down). Pearson's deadpan humor and ability to concoct uproarious situations make this book an entertaining read.

Buy it - you will not be disappointed.

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