Ray by Barry Hannah Online

Ray
Title : Ray
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802133878
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 128

Nominated for the American Book Award, Ray is the bizarre, hilarious, and consistently adventurous story of a life on the edge. Dr. Ray--a womanizer, small-town drunk, vigilante, poet, adoring husband--is a man trying to make sense of life in the twentieth century. In flight from the death he dealt flying over Vietnam, Dr. Ray struggles with those bound to him by need, sicNominated for the American Book Award, Ray is the bizarre, hilarious, and consistently adventurous story of a life on the edge. Dr. Ray--a womanizer, small-town drunk, vigilante, poet, adoring husband--is a man trying to make sense of life in the twentieth century. In flight from the death he dealt flying over Vietnam, Dr. Ray struggles with those bound to him by need, sickness, lunacy, by blood and by love.


Ray Reviews

  • Adam Dalva

    "At the office there were a number of people in line. I went over to the back window and looked out over the creek, then down to it and the slick granite rocks through which it rushed. Who was it said we were invented by water as a means of its getting itself from one place to the other?"This novella is one of the best-written things I have ever read - there's nothing better, in a way: "Pick the football up, travel rearward on your legs, the way is clear, there is your receiver, arms up in the l [...]

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez

    This is probably the best book in the world that almost everyone in the world has never read. Holy shit, few to none in my experience have ever been as effortlessly eloquent as this guy, so (literally) obscenely charming and erudite and just offensively good at prose. I have been known to at least once mail his books to friends who don't even regularly read just because Barry Hannah is exactly the thing that will make non-readers read, and a lot, though they will admittedly mostly be reading Bar [...]

  • Josh

    Wanna have fun? Next time a friend asks for a book recommendation whip this short little piece out (Freudianism intended) and watch the looks you get in the next few days. It's going to go one of two wayseither one could be interesting!When I was a kid, I spent a little time in a horse barn with an old marine type who trained horses. Except he never trained, he just saddled and unsaddled them for kids like me to ride for him. We all did so because while it wasn't our turn, we sat on milk crates [...]

  • Kristin Fouquet

    In the spring of 1990, a friend suggested if I liked J.D. Salinger, I should read Raymond Carver. It would seem this recommendation and my subsequent falling in love with Carver’s style would come a bit too late. My “discovery” of him came two years after his death. I read everything by Carver I could find. I even turned down plans with friends to stay home and read his stories.Years later, the controversy of Carver and his editor, Gordon Lish, became public and many voiced their thoughts [...]

  • John Pistelli

    I know Hannah is a beloved figure (lavish blurbs on this edition from Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Alfred Kazin, James Dickey), but this doesn't do anything for me. Ray a miscellany of edgy zaniness that we're apparently supposed to accept quite soberly as a literary correlate of "the American confusion." Narrated Beckett-style from a hospital bed by Dr. Ray of Tuscaloosa after he has some kind of alcoholic crack-up, it meanders through tales of the town's eccentrics and through Ray's memories of [...]

  • Shappi

    wow, I'd never read Barry Hannah before and have just fallen in love with him. I think it's because almost every line is completely unexpected--i'm a sucker for that. But overall the writing is just incredibly sharp. However, I can't be responsible for reactions to the actual content of the book. the guy's clearly a racist and misogynist up the wazoo.

  • Charles White

    holy and perfect.

  • Steve

    "Ray," a slender early novel by the Mississippi writer Barry Hannah, is the first person account of an alcoholic/drug addicted/physician/former fighter pilot who, in his own words, "lives near the Black Warrior River and has an enormous sex engine." His love of the Hooches, particularly Sister Hooch, richly erotic singer and her morphine addicted poet father, Papa Hooch, runs like mainlined junk through the story of a man who's lived so many lives in so many different times.This novel is unique [...]

  • Will

    The writing, which is dazzling, gets five stars, maybe six. But I'm loath to moralize about art, but Hannah's evident romance with his run-down, tough-guy, jet-pilot-Nam-vet, dreaming-of-JEB Stuart narrator and his despite-all-the-thanatism-alcoholism-casual-misongyny-and-racism-I'm-still-a-charming-fucker,-ain't-I? self-regard sticks in my craw, even as it goads me into about 36 hours of put-on swagger. This might have been easier to take when Burt Reynolds still smoldered and it will be easier [...]

  • Sarah

    The best book I have read this year.

  • Reuben

    This book is hard to review adequately because it puts into light several questions about the nature of reviewing. Though I should best go into them by describing the reading experience. Ray is laced with witty, atonal lines--clipped sentences that hit you like a gut-punch. Some of my favourite prose of the year, by a long margin. But it's also filled to the brim with racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc, etc. And, OK, the character himself is racist, misogynistic, anti-semitic--often I don't real [...]

  • Erik Evenson

    Here is a scene from Ray: Westy comes in. She's disturbed."Are you drinking, Ray?""No. Get me a drink."Here's another scene:She hits me over the head with a pillow.Violence.Some days even a cup of coffee is violence.When I can find my peace, I take a ladder to the hot attic and get out the whole plays of Shakespeare.Okay, old boy. Let's hear it again. Between the lines I'm looking for the cure for cancerd the kicker:Ken, my nephew, once asked me as we were going to sleep after some snapper fishi [...]

  • Krok Zero

    Sabers, gentlemen, sabers!Someday Barry Hannah will get his due as one of the greatest American writers. Sure, all his books have been critically acclaimed and he enjoys a healthy cult following, but this man deserves to be a household name. His books should be taught in schools, his name should be whispered in tones of mythic reverence. "Ray" is a concentrated blast of what makes Barry Hannah unique and wonderful, 113 slim pages of distilled genius. You will not forget it. And if you happen to [...]

  • wally

    this is the 4th from hannah for me and i think it is by far his best.i read a review or two three that mentionat word, it means "hatred of women" i don't even know how to spell the fucking word, much less pronounce it, but it's been a part of my world since i went to college. like the word "pink". i could say ray is "pink" and it would mean exactly the same fucking thing. nothing. wait now, "pink" says more because it denotes a color, whereas "misogyny" as it is used means nothing until the revi [...]

  • Melody

    Barry Hannah's nephew told my husband that he had tried briefly living with Uncle Barry. He said he never used a cliché, always had something interesting to say, but his rants started to scare him. That's just how I felt about the book. My, my, he can turn a phrase - but what the hell is he talking about?Barry Hannah was the uncle of my husband's college roommate. That fact, the poetic phrases, and the familiar landmarks mentioned in the "story" (the term I shall use lightly) made the book a li [...]

  • Judi

    Howl! This transcends the term "a novel" or merely brilliant writing. Ray is pure art . . . a mosaic, a collage. Never experienced a comparable book. For me, it is bitter, sharp edged, moving, vulgar, painful, heroic, loyal, red, visceral, southern, soft, grey, delicate . . . . It is all that art could ever hope to convey and each "reader" will come away with a different experience. For example, I didn't see the humor tucked into this work. Others have. My perspective is impacted, I'm certain, a [...]

  • Bud Smith

    Easily one of the best books I've ever read.

  • Dan Sherrell

    I've probably never had more fun reading a book. The sentences are like standing under a whiskey waterfall, getting pleasantly pummeled. Damn I wish I'd somehow known Barry Hannah in his prime. Closest I've come is sharing a beer with one of his old drinking buddies while I was living out of a Winnebago and working on a vegetable farm near Oxford, MS. In that town, if not in the rest of the country, he remained a legend well after his death.

  • Lou

    Doctor ray is a womanizer, a small town drunk, vigilante, poet and adoring husband.The author presents this very hyper character who goes after anything he likes in a dress, while being married, he does it all in theses pages so expect some talk of the sexual nature coupled with his bizarre outlook and humor to life. Ray lives life wildly and to the edge and he's having swell of a time doing it. The story was written some nice little sentences with some great dialogue. I found this to be good ol [...]

  • Elliot

    I don't understand how this book has a nearly four star average. I don't understand it at all. It's a random and jumbled-up collection of tiny bits of stories and anecdotes that are neither interesting nor entertaining, in fact far more of them are just pointless or even offensively stupid. Perhaps I should have read some of the reviews before deciding to read this book, they're glowing but in a way that I would have known that I'd hate the book.At least it was mercifully short, taking perhaps a [...]

  • Goldie

    What to sayRay is an amazing, crazy, out-of-the-box book that, at the same time, annoyed the heck out of me. Hannah's writing is so good, the phrases he uses, the energy of the whole thing, all leave me stunned in a good way. But the misogyny, the homophobia, the racism, the sheer bloody-mindedness all leave me stunned in a bad way. It's awful to have both things in one book do you rate something that just may be one of the best pieces of writing you've ever read when you LOATHE what it actually [...]

  • Matthew Thompson

    An unforgettable performance of run-on storytelling. Ray the novel is about Ray the person: an overheated, drug-addled, war vet doctor who threatens to come apart at the seams as he plunges headlong into the heart of his small southern town. Named the heir apparent to such literary greats as Faulkner and O'Connor, Hannah's strength has always been in his ability to blend grotesque strangeness with flesh and blood writing (please see: Airships, his sprawling debut, Geronimo Rex, anything really w [...]

  • Blurp

    'I was treating a large old woman who spat in my face. I fell backward into the heater, face-forward. This is to prove that I'm not always the hero.'The protagonist is an oversexed philanderer, jet pilot, doctor, bad poet, alcoholic and it was published in 1980. A good critique of the next thirty years to come. Classic American novella that everyone you know should read. And, hey, at 110+ pages, maybe everyone you know is even capable of reading it (they probably will need to use their smartphon [...]

  • Jason

    Take the Southern dysfunction and fragmentary views of reality from Faulkner, add a bit of PoMo à la Donald Barthelme, and a healthy outrageous pinch of farcical humor from Mark Leynor or George Saunders (who of course come after Hannah and are undoubtedly influenced by him), and toss them all in a 1980 mint GE-brand cream-colored blender and set the mix to chop, then eventually puree and wait a while, and you might get something like this book. Try it, you’ll like it.

  • Pete

    i don't know what to say about this. it is scabrous and wretched and poorly behaved, but also poisonously funny, and intermittently ignited by genius. nowhere near the same kind of thing as airships. in love with the simplicity of sex and violence. cacophonous, at once somewhat bad and very good. 1-5 is not a very useful diagnostic tool.

  • Rayroy

    I don't know man, it's like if you took out only the comedy from a Thomas Pynchon novel you would more less end up with "Ray", that's not to say it's not dense, for it is. There is a scene with a Woodpecker and an arrow that was moving and brilliant and lasting.

  • David

    The life and times of a racist, sexually promiscuous, substance abusing, Alabama physician and Vietnam veteran as related in stream of consciousness prose by the eponymous first person narrator. I love the prose, and the protagonist, while dislikable, is nonetheless authentic.

  • Shannon S.

    Just frigging brilliant. Misogynistic, yes. Awful main character? You betcha. And yet you still end up begrudgingly liking the guy. A brilliant case study for Bakhtin's theory of the carnivalesque.

  • Mitchell Jackson

    Another book I am constantly re-reading.

  • Troy

    One of my favorite books ever. Hannah's language is batshit crazy, burns right off the page.