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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Monday, January 01, 2007

Florida Frenzy

Books #53 on my reading list this year was Harry Crews' Florida Frenzy, a 1982 collection of his previously published essays and fiction.

I loved every page of this one. Florida Frenzy easily vaults into my short list of best books I've read this year. Crews flair for gritty storytelling is astounding. The essays cover a wide range of intriguing topics such as why Crews teaches, why he lives in Gainesville, dog fighting, poaching gators in the Everglades, bar fights, falconry, and the Gatornationals.

The essays were even more interesting to me as they ooze of the North Central Florida in which I grew up. For several years Crews even lived near Putnam Hall, a one gas station town just North of Interlachen (which looks like a compartive metropolis with its one stop light) where I grew up.

Highly recommended.
"Mustard is allowed in a good bar, but there is never any mayonaisse. Mayonaisse won't do. And it cannot be explained. Either you know right off that mayonaisse doesn't belong in a bar or you can never know." -- Harry Crews "Tuesday Night"

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