In this novel of social drama, a casual murder in the small Georgia town of Cotton Point just after World War II and the resulting court case cleave open the ugly divisions of race and class. The man accused of shooting a black girl, a storekeeper named Paris Trout, has no great feeling of guilt, nor fear that the system will fail to work his way. Trout becomes an embarrassment to the polite white society that prefers to hold itself high above such primitive prejudice. But the trial does not allow any hiding from the stark reality of social and racial tensions.
What People are Saying About This
"An eloquent, powerful book by a superbly accomplished writer....I could not put it down. One of the best novels to come out of the American South in a long time."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the finest book I've read in a long time, and I don't know how it is that I never heard of it until seeing PD speak last month in Oakland (he was reading from a new collection of his columns). I was 25 when it came out so my reading tastes were still "developing" (i.e., not very good.:)I think this is the sort of book which should comprise the new canon, if they even use that word any more, for high school. It's grittier than To Kill a Mockingbird, but more nuanced, too. Having seen PD in person (crusty is the word that comes to mind, along with "hard miles" and worldly-wise and also very kind) it is amazing that he can create such delicate, heart-wrenching human drama.It didn't hurt that the story itself was compelling enough to make the book a page-turner. There is no sin in having an actual plot in a book! More kids would read if we all embraced that thought.Also, I did not find the book at all dated. It's set a few decades ago, but other period books still smack of current attitudes...to me, this one does not. It seemed honest without any shellacking of current views and values.