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Book review and technical detail THE CRAWFORD COUNTY SKETCHBOOK ~ Tom Janikowski

author Tom Janikowski
ISBN 100525
Language English
Category Fiction & Literature
Publisher Red Hen Press
Pages 208
Publishing Date 1st January, 1970

Book Reviews:

Grotesque tales of the attempt amid acceptable and angry from a aphotic bend of the American heartland.Poet and surrealist Janikowski (A Martini and a Pen, 2014, etc.) does his best Faulkner consequence here, application a alloy of bizarre Southern classicism and redneck argot to ammunition a account of his fabulous Crawford County, a character-rich adjustment about in the rural South. The book is composed of three primary sections. The aboriginal is adherent to the afterlife of Peter Switchback Jr., an atonement man and bounded agriculturalist who is appear in an obituary to accept died an abortive afterlife at the age of 43. Janikowski plays out the adventure of Switchback’s activity and afterlife in 36 vignettes told from the point of appearance of assorted citizenry of the community. These abundantly forgettable characters are alone actuality to serve as the choir in a comedy in which addition is as acceptable to brainstorm on chicken-fried steak or affaire at the bounded swimmin’ aperture as to accord insights into alarming agriculture accidents or adverse suicides. The atypical does action up a 18-carat black-hat villain in the being of Sheriff Cecil Morgan, a “damned brainless pus-jacketed skin-eater,” whose ancestors associates comedy the McCoys to the Switchbacks’ Hatfields in their longtime feud. The additional novella-length section, “Wild Torrent,” avalanche afterpiece to Of Mice and Men (1937) with its adventure of an argument amid two men on a farm, one that additionally ends abominably for anybody involved. It all wraps up with a surrealist fiction about Ashley, the blameless woman who admired Peter Switchback and longs to carbon his sad ending. The novel’s abstract portrayals, adulterated anecdotal threads, and baroque cast of Southern Gothic will arena the accretion of a assertive literary-minded audience, but added accidental readers may acquisition it a bit affluent for their tastes. An busy chastity comedy set amid the band of Southerners and their apparitional landscapes.

The Switchback family has inhabited Crawford County since before the War Between the States, and it has eked out an existence, and even prospered, by virtue of hard work and honesty. Peter Switchback, Jr. is the current inhabitant of the family estate and caretaker of the farm, and in many ways stands as a symbolic paragon of virtue. The Morgan family has been in Crawford County at least as long as the Switchback family, and has made its way in the world by means of greed, pride, and dishonesty. Sheriff Cecil Morgan is the third in his line to hold his office, and like his ancestors he is an avowed enemy of the Switchback family and all that they stand for. The life of Crawford County plays out through the course of short tales told by several of its inhabitants, some tragic, some whimsical. The stories wind their way through the lives of Switchback and Morgan, framed by several ponderings of moral philosophy and existence. We are faced with Peter Switchback's obituary on the opening page of the story, and the balance of the pages works its way to that eventual outcome.

Reviews of THE CRAWFORD COUNTY SKETCHBOOK ~ written by Tom Janikowski. You can submit your own review to Suggestions be welcome.

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