Yonder Stands Your Orphan by Barry Hannah Online

Yonder Stands Your Orphan
Title : Yonder Stands Your Orphan
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781843540069
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352

The story of how the denizens of a lakeside community in Mississippi are beset by madness, murder and sin in the form of Man Mortimer. Mortimer, a creature of the casinos who looks like the dead country singer Conway Twitty, is a killer who has turned mean and sick.


Yonder Stands Your Orphan Reviews

  • Anthony Vacca

    While full of lovely moments of freaky Dixie-fried beauty, there are only so many acid-tinged musings on God and trips to the local fishing hole a body can take! This final novel from Mississippi's avenging angel of word-drunk verbosity focuses on a gaggle of aging eccentrics who try to move past the disappointments of life by fishing and building a ramshackle barge. Unfortunately, a local pimp and car thief with Conway-Twitty hair is seriously losing his shit and has taken up the hobby of haras [...]

  • Gregsamsa

    Full blown FAULKNERGASM, y'all, on the inexhaustible theme: ya cain't trust no one with perfect hair.

  • Nick

    You ever finish a book and say to yourself 'huh, maybe i missed something.' Because really, at the risk of offending those that really really like this book, I simply don't get it. The novel doesn't confuse me, just the praise it has received. Because I enjoyed the first 1/3 and then it just seemed too meandering, too unfocused, too ephemeral in all the wrong ways. The writing isn't lacking, and-again, perhaps I am wrong-there is a host of interesting characters, but for those compliments the th [...]

  • Natalie

    Orphan is a beautifully written modern Southern Gothic tale set in Mississippi, with all the good stuff that implies: ex-biker/junkie preachers, fair widows, alcoholic Irish priests who compare themselves to Beckett, insane animal rights activists, violent pimps with fading looks, beautiful torch singers, disgraced doctors trying to find their way back to God, lots of whiskey, even more fishing, and plenty of blood. I love this kind of stuff, and it's even better that Barry Hannah has a preterna [...]

  • Angus McKeogh

    This book pulls off an amazing feat. It's somehow too wordy yet never has enough information to figure out exactly what's happening. Moreover, it's pretty short but reads like a 1,500 page omnibus. Terrible! Skip it!

  • Jamie

    I needed something batshit crazy and bighearted, and there’s nobody better for both than Barry Hannah. My favorite when reading him is to forget— just for a minute, just long enough— all the ongoing story and pick a line, any line, to marvel at the mini-story packed inside it. “Lightning loved the swamp. The willows thrashed now where all the souls of dead bad poets roamed day and night.”“Spanish words, Japanese thoughts, for these elves of Confederate trash.”“Here was a man who [...]

  • Sarah Pascarella

    If Federico Fellini and David Lynch commissioned a work to represent the American South, "Yonder Stands Your Orphan" by Barry Hannah would fit the assignment. More a mood piece than a novel, Hannah's work is surreal and strange, with depraved characters, epic violence, and quirky relationships. The storytelling is muted, heavy on allusion and scenery, and Hannah always keeps the reader guessing as to just what exactly is going on--and then interrupts his lulled audience with a blast of violence. [...]

  • Wade

    If I like this book more than it deserves I think a lot of people like it less than it does. That Hannah can use one of the character's identity as a bad poet to literary effect is also indicative of the way this book is written as a whole, and I don't mean that as a detraction. If the book is not completely successful in its aims, that failure is only mirroring, in not an entirely unconscious manner, what is one of the major themes of the book. Is that a copout? Probably, but I don't care.

  • Marianne

    I loathed this book at the start. Couldn't follow it if I put it down for more than 24 hours. Then, I figured out that I needed to read it slowly. I needed to hear the story in the words. By the final 100 pages I couldn't not read it. I didn't want so much to know how it ended, but how it went on. This is one I will read again

  • Erica

    I was really enjoying this until about halfway through, when I stopped caring. I love his style, his characters, his scenes - but he just kept piling them on top of each other until they stopped being coherent and lost the impression of going anywhere. Maybe when I'm in the mood to just hang out with some weirdos in Mississippi I'll read the rest.

  • Mary

    After I gave up keeping the characters straight, I simply relished the decadent plot turns (which I couldn't always figure out in time) and always startling prose. It's directly in the tradition of Southern Gothic fiction, so if, like me you hanker after that secret taste, you'll relish this novel too as sad and sick as it often is

  • Jenny

    Every sentence is written to be a story in itself.

  • William

    on page 145, don't know if I can finish. don't know what's going on. what is the point. rambling.

  • Margaret Carmel

    "Barry Hannah writes the most consistently interesting sentences of any writer in America today"--Sven Birkerts said, on the back of my copy of Yonder Stands Your Orphan. While I agree with this sentence after reading this book that follows the exploits of a morally corrupt town in a Mississippi lake community, I don't think it is accurate to say that this book was a good one despite all of those interesting sentences. Hannah's writing is funny and his characters are vast and creative, but it wa [...]

  • Zee

    I just couldn't get into this book. I appreciated how the writing was technically very good, but I just could not settle into the character's heads. Not to say that I didn't become fond of some of the characters, but I got them confused, and I don't feel like enough time was spent on any one. They got muddled in my head. I made myself read to page 210 and thought I might be able to power through, but I just don't think so. Maybe I can come back to the book, just to read it passively, but right n [...]

  • Lewis Manalo

    It's been a long time since I read something with such little plot. A lot of the characters are unconventional in a macabre kind of way, but without a plot, the characters must be fascinating. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I found nothing they did very surprising.There's something of a hazy dream to enjoy in what feels like a collection of prose sketches, but I wasn't in the mood for it.

  • Patti Hallowell

    I gave this book 3 stars because of the superb writing. The book itself was hard to follow, and I almost quit reading it several times!

  • Alan Spinrad

    Did not finish. Never got interested enough to want to sift through the verbal dreck coating every sentence.

  • Andy

    Quite possibly, the worst book that I have ever read.

  • Carson May

    a post modern, southern nightmare

  • Steve

    An unusual novel. The author's gift for telling micro stories sometimes obscures the overarching story. But it is a fun ride.

  • wally

    This is the 3rd from Hannah that I've read. He has a way w/words, w/language and that is a joy to read. But this one is alsol over the place. Who is the protagonist? I dunno. The narrative skips easily from one to another often in the same paragraph. Nothing wrong with that but if the reader is not set on reading or there are other distractions available--maybe the news is attuned and there's that breaking story about Mitt's dog, or polygamy, or some gawd-awful story (prop-piece) how the pipelin [...]

  • Rachel

    (written 3-04)Hannah's writing style is amazing. It is really like poetry. So concise yet descriptive, his use of old words turned fresh. "She watched from her windows. She watched for men like a teenager. She watched for wildlife like a child. One day she saw an eagle fishing. Another day she saw an aarmadillo mother playing with her children.She liked a big-stomached black fellow who sat on a white lard bucket fishing a lesser inlet of the big cove with a cane pole." 24--and even the syllables [...]

  • Chris

    The initial going was slow and you kept reading to see what craziness was about to ensue. I kept confusing many of the characters who had names beginning with M. Also, I should have made a flow chart of the strange and twisted relationships. What a collection of lost quirky souls! Funny, disturbing, and profound at times. I can see why Hannah is compared to Faulkner. If this were a movie it would be like Twin Peaks meets Deliverance. I wonder what the boys at Lynyrd Skynyrd would have to say to [...]

  • Travis

    "A sort of burned laughter." Many people I'm close to swear by Barry Hannah. His sentences stone, his proclamations astute and usually off-color. That said, if you didn't grow up fishing with your male relatives then Hannah's choice of subject matter probably won't appeal. His scenes run unbelievable in plot and yet accurate in humanity & frailty. Again, though, you may not care about men drinking whiskey in a fishing shack who are pondering locally-made porn. "The better part of my malforma [...]

  • Stacey

    OK, seriously. I love being back home in the South, and I especially love being in Oxford. I get the romance of Oxford at least as far as a Memphian can. I never pass within 300 miles of Square Books without going in. So it was with great eagerness and anticipation that I bought this Barry Hannah book, in 2010, the year that he died. The cover is festooned with praise from every great publication and every notable reviewer you can think of, and then 30 more after that. It basically says one hund [...]

  • Tracey Lin

    Could not finish this book. The plot was interesting but executed poorly. I couldn't identify with any of the characters. Too many words on philosophies, viewpoints, and setting and unable to hold my attention. The writing ran every which way, with hardly any focus. The story would jump from character to character randomly and suddenly. I made it about halfway through the book and not much has happened at all. Had to put this one down, and I rarely ever give up on a book. I simply stopped caring [...]

  • Oliver Ho

    Strange and interesting novel--beautiful and poetic sentences throughout, sitting at odd angles to one another and creating a discombobulating effect. The story feels southern gothic at its most modern and grotesque, although the plot is quite hard to follow for long intervals. By the end, I think I got what happened, but that seems beside the point. This novel seems more about the weird voices and haunted, desperate moments. I would re-read this one.

  • Paul

    I could not finish this book. If this is what passes for great writing we are in more trouble than I thought. This book is so unique, at times exceptionally wordy and other times the sentences are clipped, but either way nothing of any meaning is ever conveyed, a remarkable feat. Not sure I will seek out another book by this author regardless of the amount of praise afforded to him, and this book had a bunch.

  • Brian

    At times the people and setting gave me the sense of being inside a John Prine song. But the characters did not become tangible people, and the narrative was confusing and disjointed -- like the author was as drugged or insane as some of the characters. And ultimately there was a believability problem -- one sane and normal person amidst all the characters of the town? Just not realistic enough to suit the story, time, and place of the author's choosing. I gave up after 2/3 of the book.