Fall Line

Fall Line

3.61 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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December 1, 1955: Flood gates are poised to slam shut on a concrete dam straddling the Oogasula River, creating a lake that will submerge a forgotten crossroads and thousands of acres of woodlands in rural Georgia. The novel unfolds in one day's action as viewed through the eyes of Elmer Blizzard, a troubled ex-deputy; Mrs. McNulty, a lonely widow who refuses to leave her doomed shack by the river; her loyal, aging dog, Percy; and a rapacious politician, State Senator Aubrey Terrell, for whom the new lake is named. A story of land grabs, loss, wounded families, bitterness, hypocrisy, violence and revenge in the changing South, Fall Line is populated by complex characters who want to do the right thing but don't know how. Joe Samuel Starnes's novel is a memorable, beautiful, and heartbreaking tale of a backwater hamlet's damaged people and its transformed landscape.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 149.86 x 218.44 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • NewSouth Books
  • Montgomery, Albania
  • English
  • 1588382656
  • 9781588382658

Review quote

"The story of people losing their land for power generation will resonate. Well worth the read." --GwinnettForum.com "In Starnes' account, echoes of the Old South reverberate in the New. He imbues Fall Line with a lyrical authenticity and nuance that captures a truth of place in time." --Rod Davis, Plaza de Armas "Starnes has produced a novel worthy of attention, providing real insight into how the power of money and government contributed to the loss of the agrarian South...Starnes knows his home area and its people and how to write about them with admirable authority and poetic understanding." --Jean Cash, Studies in American Culture "At times, Fall Line is reminiscent of James Dickey's "Deliverance," while at others it reminds you of Harry Crews brilliant novel "A Feast of Snakes." But Starnes applies his own eye to the Southern detail. The cast of characters are rich with color both in word and deed. Readers will see the dam construction from the view of a mutt-Chow dog, a disgruntled white male native of the farm land to be flooded and a black widow losing her only possession -- home. The prose reads smooth and clean but still serves up layers of texture in scene and style." --Chattanooga Times Free Press "Nothing says Southern like a bunch of corrupt good ol' boys sitting around a table gambling away the lives of poor people. Starnes rips the lid off dirty Georgia politics, skewers the haves and honors the have-nothings who pushed back when a manmade lake came along to drown their communities for electricity and big profits." --Teresa Weaver, Atlanta Journal Constitution "The world Starnes creates in Fall Line is as evocative as it is conflicted. A story of land grabs, wounded families, loss, bitterness, hypocrisy, violence and revenge in the changing South, the book reveals Starnes's uncompromising vision." --Julie MacDonnell Chang, Philadelphia Stories "A Southern-noir saga . . . [with Starnes an] expert in local color doing right by his all-but-vanished region." --Publishers Weekly "A quiet dazzler of a new novel. Of all the contemporary Southern novels today that draw comparisons to Faulkner and O'Connor, Starnes' tale may be one of the few that deserves them. The unsentimental but glorious world seen through the eyes of a "half mutt half chow" fearful of man and guns is pure Faulkner. Elmer, condemning the bigwigs around him for "their fondness for impure women and liquor and money and the love of their own images reflected in shiny glass" echoes the righteous, scathing hatred of Hazel Motes (Wise Blood)." --Gina Webb, Atlanta Journal-Constitution "With Fall Line, Joe Samuel Starnes has written a novel that accrues force the way a swollen river becomes a torrent. ... In a tightly controlled, elegant narrative, Starnes's exacting novel brings us inside one rural community when the American South was about to burst and not one thing could hold back water or time." --Jessica Handler, TriQuarterly Online "Fall Line is full of small moments of beauty and anguish." --Mark Kelly, Weld for Birmingham "If you liked Deliverance by James Dickey, you'll like Fall Line by Joe Samuel Starnes. The Oogasula is about to be dammed by the Georgia Power Company and to hell with the folks whose houses and graves are going to be flooded. Some people take the money -- one of them takes the law into his own hands. This novel is vividly alive with people (and a great dog) and the river." --John Casey, author of Compass Rose and National Book Award winner, Spartina "Starnes's evocatively Southern story may well have readers wanting to check their shoes for red mud or find an old hound to pat. Fall Line's message transcends region, however, leaving us at once troubled by man's sins against nature and himself, yet knowing somehow that both will endure." --James C. Cobb, author of The South and America Since World War IIshow more

Rating details

42 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 36% (15)
4 17% (7)
3 26% (11)
2 17% (7)
1 5% (2)
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