High Lonesome by Barry Hannah Online

High Lonesome
Title : High Lonesome
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802135322
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240

High Lonesome is a darkly comic, fiercely tragic, and strikingly original odyssey into American life. This collection by the author of Airships and Bats Out of Hell explores lost moments in time with intensity, emotion, and an eye to the past. In "Uncle High Lonesome," a young man recalls his Uncle Peter, whose even temper was marred only by his drinking binges, which woulHigh Lonesome is a darkly comic, fiercely tragic, and strikingly original odyssey into American life. This collection by the author of Airships and Bats Out of Hell explores lost moments in time with intensity, emotion, and an eye to the past. In "Uncle High Lonesome," a young man recalls his Uncle Peter, whose even temper was marred only by his drinking binges, which would unleash moments of rage hinting at his much deeper distress. Fishing is transformed into a life-altering, almost mystical event in "A Creature in the Bay of St. Louis," when a huge fish caught on a line threatens to pull a young boy, and his entire world with him, underwater and out to sea. And in "Snerd and Niggero," a deep friendship between two men is inspired by the loss of a woman they both loved, a woman who was mistress to one and wife to the other. Viewed through memory and time's distance, Hannah's characters are brightly illuminated figures from a lost time, whose occassionally bleak lives are still uncommonly true.


High Lonesome Reviews

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez

    While trudging through a craggy cemetery in Oxford, Mississippi a few weeks ago, I realized I had forgotten to pick up some flowers, a pretty ridiculous oversight on my part considering that delivery of said flowers had been the entire purpose of this trip to said cemetery. I stopped underneath a tree to collect some trumpet flowers that had dropped from their vine in the middle of its strangulation act, and was given a nasty bite by this monstrously large black carpenter ant that had been hidin [...]

  • Josh

    I often call Barry Hannah the greatest living writer and I stand by that statement. I'll reluctantly grant there may be three or four valid arguments to the contrary, his death in March 2010 being the least of them. Shit, man, I can't review this guy's books. They're my road maps. I'm like one of those obsessive Jimmy Buffett or Grateful Dead or Star Trek or model train persons when it comes to Barry Hannah's work. But maybe not. I'm giving this one four stars instead of five, for now. Hannah ha [...]

  • Steven

    I think the language Hannah uses in the stories in this collection defies categorization. It is certainly idiosyncratic way beyond anything else I’ve read this year. It demands to be taken on its own terms. Pops you out of the smooth flow that most prose strives for, but if you give in to it, it drags you deep, deep, and deeper. There is no attempt here to write the way “one is supposed to write,” although I won’t go as far as saying there is an attempt to do the opposite. The words simp [...]

  • Kirk Smith

    If I had, as a contemporary of Vincent van Gogh, stood in front of his Starry Night, would I have recognized the genius in it?? I must in all fairness, (and guilt for not knowing) try to acknowledge and promote the genius in Barry Hannah's writing. All of these short stories seem to be dipped in that quality, but my ability to appreciate all of these short stories is lacking. Perhaps only three of the thirteen short stories here reach me in the way that was intended. I will remain a fan of Hanna [...]

  • Kevin

    Not sure why I didn't have a rating for this one. But here's a snippet of an review I wrote for it a few years back: Hannah's latest, High Lonesome, reasserts him as a master of the short story. The thirteen tragic and oddly funny tales range from "Get Some Young," in which an old shopkeeper and his wife become more than friends with an "almost too good-looking" boy, to "The Agony of T. Bandini," where the main trouble-maker is possibly a closeted homosexual and insists that "Everybody is just [...]

  • Sara Judy

    Barry Hannah's stories careen across the page at breakneck speed. This is a collection of violence, a world of senselessness, there is no center here to hold outside of Hannah's language. There is devastation at every turn, but never do we take a lingering eye - the currents run under and keep us moving, almost drowning. Many of these stories I would give five stars to ("Get Some Young," "The Agony of T. Bandini," "Two Gone Over") but the collection loses me when Hannah takes a more parabolic ta [...]

  • Robert Mcgehee

    I'm not a book reviewer, can't speak to the technicalities of good writing, etc but I know what like, and I like this man's work. The stories in this one are on the dark side, but humorous, the characters memorable, and there is a poinancy. You'll laugh; you'll cry; you will say to yourself that there are no people like these people. But there are; they live next door, down the block regardless of where you yourself live. The writing approaches poetry and when I'm reading it I can't think of any [...]

  • Scott

    I will never forget the character named Sunballs. Mostly for his name. This colllection is good, but Bats Out of Hell is stronger.

  • Jim

    I pity the poor foreign fool tasked with trying to effectively translate this work; the unusual delivery and references will be difficult for a non-English speaker, let alone a non-Southerner. Although much admired and aplauded during his career, especially for his short stories, I can't say that I loved Hannah's selections that much. Some stories were ok, and he certainly opens vistas into the depravity of the region, but overall I wasn't that impressed. Luckily, I also started GERONIMO REX, wh [...]

  • Pat

    I did not enjoy it until the last three short stories - one, because I could understand them, two, they were not full of vulgarity, three, they made sense. I will not read any of his other books or short story collections. Also, the author did not use many commas and fragmented sentences. I did only fine one typographical error, though.

  • B. Mason

    Barry Hannah delivers the goods. In a short story collection that is not intentionally linked he creates a fabric of the outsiders and dispossessed that makes you want to be one of their number. He laces together a patchwork of narrative in this collection that is both abominable and excellent.

  • stuti

    stylistically interesting. my opinion is influenced by having a professor that is in love with this book. i did find a couple stories, like the ice storm to be really interesting. (but i haven't read all the stories)

  • Scottaggart

    Most of the stories were forgettable nouveau Southern gothic fiction. Most depressun'.

  • Matt

    It's been hard to ignore all the reviews lately of Hannah's _Collected Fictions_, but I hate having to read all that much fiction at once. So instead, I got out one volume and read through it. As you can tell from my rating, I liked it a good deal.Hannah's a bit weird, which is kind of an understatement, but also a bit weird for me to like. He's a Southern writer of the voicey kind, and seems by and large kind of invested in the hard drinking eccentric macho man thing, which isn't altogether in [...]

  • Kyle

    I think the key to making it through this collection of difficult stories, is reading it over a long period of time. Hannah's writing style is much like Pynchon's in that simply getting though a sentence or paragraph intelligibly can be a feat. Some stories have such a bizarre and wild delivery I needed to read them twice to simply understand the narrative (i.e. the almost Lynchean "Taste Like a Sword").I normally hate this style of writing, but I think Barry Hannah's delivery, while difficult, [...]

  • Ignacio Peña

    This is my first encounter with Barry Hannah, and his ability to slip into the voice of his characters is astounding. It is perhaps a shame then that most of the stories in this collection are various shades of the same broken, hyper-misogynist lost male of the south, if this is the view he is wishing to depict. There are some great stories in here (Taste Like a Sword, Uncle High Lonesome), but overall the view that runs through most of the stories feels overly repetitive without much gain. Drum [...]

  • Joseph Duffy

    My first go-around on Barry Hannah's short fiction. You really come to respect Barry's range over the course of this work. About half of these stories are told in Hannah's classic mode of deranged, bewildering, surreality (e.g. Get Some Young, Taste Like a Sword etc.), while others such as A Creature in the Bay of St. Louis, are more straight forward (quotation marks and all) in their exploration of topics such as place, fishing, and childhood. High Lonesome is something like throwing David Lync [...]

  • Mique

    Another series of short stories. I feel like I would of enjoyed how complex, compelling and well-written these stories are if I had read them at a better time. As it stands, I read this when writing a series of essays and was instead frustrated by the stories as they demanded too much thought that I wasn't necessarily in a position to give. Maybe I'll return to Barry Hannah later, at a better thought out time.

  • Jamie

    Wild and weird and somehow in that wildness and weirdness, true. I feel like I should have been reading Barry Hannah long before now. I feel like I’ll be making up for that from now on.This just kept building and two of the last three stories, “The Ice Storm” and “Uncle High Lonesome,” together with “Repulsed,” are my votes for the best.

  • Derek Allard

    Hannah definitely has a unique style but I wasn't crazy about this book. It's largely character sketches of people circling the drain in one way or another. Usually I go for this kind of thing but his writing style is intentionally tough to read. Not always clear. This is my first Hannah book was expecting more both in subject matter and style.

  • Kate

    We have dark humor, unhinged narrators, weird characters, pure and grotesque beauty in these stories of loneliness and desperation. Hannah's writing, as always, is searing and unrelenting. Enthralling, disturbing and creepily relatable.

  • Michael Seidel

    Brutal brilliance.

  • Ben Lee

    This collection has "Snerd and Niggero," one of the best short stories ever.

  • Alexander

    i like the title.

  • Gideon Mann

    Hit and miss collection -- "Get some young" creepy and great. others not so much.

  • Cole Brumley

    Great writing. Hate everybody in there.

  • Tyler Malone

    Hannah was a master of the short story form.

  • Robert Smith

    Discovered it in undergrad decades ago

  • John

    first story has some beautiful language, high voltage content. i'd never heard of him but i'm finding everything i can of his