- Taschenbuch: 304 Seiten
- Verlag: Ballantine Books; Auflage: 1st, First Edition (3. April 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0345438329
- ISBN-13: 978-0345438324
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,5 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 51 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.873.873 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Big Stone Gap: A Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. April 2001
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In the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, not much happens. The highlight of 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan's week comes on Friday, with the arrival of the Bookmobile, the sight of which sends her into raptures. Her favourite book concerns the ancient Chinese art of reading faces. Through her face-readings, we come to understand the hostilities simmering within her family: her father whose small eyes are the clear "sign of a deceptive nature" and her aunt who "has a small head and thin lips. (That's a terrible combination)". Adriana Trigiani's first novel concerns the family scandals that befall Ave Maria in this seemingly uneventful town. Greed, lust, envy--all the ancient emotional elements--manifest themselves even in this hamlet of "ordinary folk". Fans of Fannie Flagg or Rebecca Wells will enjoy this down-home tale, full of small, everyday details and colloquial revelations. The writing is often awkward, but so too are the characters who inhabit this place: the Bookmobile lady who thinks of herself as the sexiest woman alive; the amateur actors in the local Outdoor Drama who bristle with ambition when they hear that Elizabeth Taylor is coming to visit. In Big Stone Gap, her visit is so anticipated, it's like she's an angel sent from heaven. --Ellen Williams, Amazon.com. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Praise for BIG STONE GAP
"Charming . . . Readers would do well to fall into the nearest easy chair and savor the story."
— USA Today
"Delightfully quirky . . . chock-full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists, this Gap is meant to be crossed."
— People (Book of the Week)
"As comforting as a mug of chamomile tea on a rainy Sunday."
— The New York Times Book Review
"A touching tale of a sleepy Southern town and a young woman on the brink of self-discovery and acceptance."
— Southern Living
"Ave Maria's spunky attitude, sardonic wit, and extravagant generosity compel you into her fan club . . . . Delightfully entertaining."
— Tampa Tribune
"A delightful tale of intimate community life [where] the characters are as real as the ones who live next door."
— Sunday Oklahoman
"In a sassy Southern voice, [Trigiani] creates honest, endearingly original characters."
From the Hardcover edition.
As a depiction of rural life, however, the book does not have the abundance of artfully selected details that make Big Stone Gap come alive as a place different from every other town in rural America. As a result, the book lacks the warmth and vibrance of setting that one takes for granted in novels by Lee Smith, Jon Hassler, and Lois-Ann Yamanaka, for example. As a first novel, it also lacks the earnestness and fervor one finds in many other first novels, a sense that the author has revised, revised, and revised again to find just the right word to convey an idea, something one does find in first novels by Kiran Desai, Charles Fraser, and David Guterson.
Many of the characters are stereotypes: the aging Italian playboy with movie star good looks, the handsome miner with a heart of gold, the unkind cheerleader who gets her comeuppance by becoming pregnant by mistake, the poor, fat girl who conquers all and shows everyone in the end, the "town spinster" who finds love, etc. Most frustratingly, the writing style consists almost entirely of simple, short, declarative sentences containing few words of more than two syllables and making the reader long for a sentence of more than twenty words. I wonder if Random House ever did a test for readability level here-the book's "Fog Index" comes out to between 5th and 6th grade.
'Skin your possum. Place in a large pot and boil 'til tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make gravy with broth and add 4 tablespoons flour and a cup of milk. Cook until thick. Save a foot to sop gravy.
Reading this, Trigiani's protagonist Ave Maris Mulligan ponders what to do with the other three feet. She is a witty thirty-five year-old, not yet 'murried'. She owns the local drug store taht apparently has a net value of one dollar. Being pharmacist creates access to the town's secrets. Not that anyone gossips in Big Stone.
We first meet her taking advantage of the Wise County Bookmobile's weekly visit, as it lumbers down the mountain road. She learns from a book how to read faces and starts observing and analyzing the populace.
Then Elizabeth Tayor and her politician husband decend on Big Stone Gap. Elizabeth books the deluxe suite at the Trail Motel. 'Boy is she in for a surprise,' says Ave Maria. Based on an actual happening in 1978, the visit is hilarious. A bizarre football game precedes a dinner that boasts a program printed on lavender paper 'compliments of the Dollar General Store.' Liz ends up in Hospital, the culprit: Fried Chicken.
Although author Adriana Trigiani grew up in this drab location, she now lives in New York, a successful producer and playeright. This novel revisits choice hometown characters, and her experiences there directing local plays that led her to a wider horizon of opportunity.
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