Hall takes us from Texas to Vietnam and back again, treating us over and over to exquisite evocations of place. We get lost in the East Texas Big Thicket, with its mosquitoes, sloughs, feral hogs, armadillos, and carnivorous plants, and wind up enjoying the pollution-enhanced beauty of a sunset. In Vietnam we sit with Hall on his berm, watch napalm explosions, and drink Chianti on Christmas. We meet local people with whom, as an interpreter, Hall can converse in Vietnamese. Stateside, we go on road trips in Mustang and Volkswagen convertibles and end up at a hilarious high school reunion, on a golf course where all the holes and water elements are named after people who have hurt Hall's family.
Written in a clear, direct prose with a dry wit and a refreshing absence of hype, these essays touch on racism, injustice, class snobbery and pure stupidity. Hall's occasional swipes of malice are reserved for the rich, the powerful and the cruel; the pervasive impression is one of quiet kinship with other struggling humans. As he says of his childhood, "those times come back and, lordy, yes, they were hard, but they were good in so many ways."
Jeanne Emmons, poet and editor of "Briar Cliff Review"
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 15th October 2007
Publisher: Plain View Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 0.9
Weight (kg): 0.23