Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday Intro: So Long, See You Tomorrow

1
A Pistol Shot 
The gravel pit was about a mile east of town, and the size of a small lake, and so deep that boys under sixteen were forbidden by their parents to swim there. I knew it only by heresy. It had no bottom, people said, and because  I was very much interested in the idea that if you dug a hole straight down to anywhere and kept on digging it would come out in China, I took this to be a literal fact. 
One winter morning shortly before daybreak, three men loading gravel there heard what sounded like a pistol shot. Or, they agreed, it could have been a car backfiring. Within a few seconds it had grown light. No one came to the pit through the field that lay alongside it, and they didn't see anyone walking on the road. The sound was not a car backfiring; a tenant farmer named Lloyd Wilson had just been shot and killed, and what they heard was the gun that killed him.
So Long, See You Tomorrow
by William Maxwell

I've never read William Maxwell and, in fact, had never even heard of him before I started blogging back in 2008. Sometime after that, Rachel began to rave about his work and I made a mental note to read him soon. "Soon", unfortunately, turned into five years. Last week, I stumbled upon this book at the library and brought it home with me. It's very short (less than 150 pages) and the writing is excellent. I'm enjoying it very much.

Here is the goodreads summary:
On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end. In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Award winner William Maxwell delivers a masterfully restrained and magically evocative meditation on the past.
What do you think? Would you keep reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

38 comments:

  1. I've never heard of William Maxwell but that opening paragraph is an attention grabber.

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    1. Tina - It definitely got my attention

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  2. Yes, I would keep reading! For some reason, that opening reminds me of a scene in movie, Stand By Me (Stephen King's "The Body"). William Maxwell sounds like a very good writer. Got to check him out. Thanks!

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    1. Les - This book won a National Book Award in the early 80s... great writing.

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  3. oooh, like the opening! A new to me author.

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    1. Beth F - He was a fiction editor at The New Yorker and wrote several novels.

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  4. This author is new to me, too. I really like this opening, and I'd keep reading!

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    1. Monica - This is a very quiet, thoughtful book so far.

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  5. I love discovering oldies but goodies. I do like the writing here and will add it to my A wish list.

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    1. Diane - The writing is excellent!I can see why it won a National Book Award.

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  6. Sounds interesting. Coming of age novel? Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Harvee - Yes, I think you could classify it as coming of age.

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  7. The writing and the description both grabbed me so yes, I'd keep reading.

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  8. I agree with others, I really like that opening! I would definitely want to read more. I haven't heard of the author before--at least not that I remember.

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    1. Wendy - I think most of his books are published in the 80s.

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  9. Great opening...and I am now very intrigued by this book and its author. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - He was a fiction editor at the New Yorker and this book won a National Book Award in the early 80s.

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  10. This book appeals to me for a personal reason. My dad told stories of the dangers of swimming in gravel pits as a child! His stories gave me the shivers.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate your comments.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - I can remember hearing stories like that when I was a kid, too.

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  11. This author is new to me. I'm intrigued by the opening and will look for it at the library.

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    1. Catherine - This book was published back in the 80s. Have been meaning to read Maxwell for several years now.

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  12. You sound so much like me - my head is full of those mental notes that take me a long while to access! I do like the sound of this and I haven't read this author before either.

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    1. Cleo - Glad I'm not the only reader who does this, lol. This is a beautifully written book.

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  13. I adored, just adored, the letters between him and Eudora Welty, but have never read him. I need to!

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    1. Audrey - Have a feeling I'm going to need to get my hands on those letters before too much longer...

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  14. I like the writing. It's different. I can't quite describe it, but it makes me want to keep reading. I'm off to look for it.

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    1. Margot - It's an older book from the early 80s, but very good so far.

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  15. I would definitely keep reading! I've never read any books by William Maxwell, but I'll be checking to see if my library as any. Thanks. :)

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    1. Lark - My library at home doesn't have any of his books, but I just happened to think to check here last week. Glad I did!

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  16. I haven't heard of this author but I like the intro and the blurb. I have so many authors I've told myself I want to try that it's hard to keep up with them all. I hope you enjoy this one and I look forward to your thoughts on it!

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    1. Katherine - My mental list of authors to read just keeps getting longer and longer, too. The joys of being a book blogger ;-)

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  17. I think you've picked a winner! 🌟

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    1. JudyMac - Sure seems like it so far!

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  18. The plot of this novel doesn't appeal to me much. Adultery and murder are two things I don't enjoy reading about. However, I've just checked out this book on Goodreads, and read a great review, whose author states that Maxwell is an awesome writer because he's able to maintain suspense even though the reader knows what's coming next. The reviewer (he goes by the name of "William1") also praised the writing, calling the book "a little masterpiece of compression". I'm very impressed! So I might very well give this book a try.

    Thanks for sharing, and for commenting on my own Tuesday Intros post!! :)

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  19. Maria - I must have read some of those same goodreads reviews, and they made me even more excited about this book. It seems like the experience and com in-of-age of the young narrator are the focus, not so much the murder and adultery which are mostly vehicles, or plot devices.

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  20. I think I need to add to him authors I want to read. I have never heard of him before either...but that cover is really not appealing...at all.

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    1. Patty - The cover is from 1980. Maybe that has something to do with it? ;-)

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I understand commenting has been a challenge lately, so will now allow anonymous comments. However, I will moderate comments on older posts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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