The Last of How It Was

T. R. Pearson, Author Simon & Schuster $17.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-61738-7
In his third installment (after A Short History of a Small Place and Off for the Sweet Hereafter of hilarious adventures narrated by young Louis Benfield of Neely, N.C., Pearson again spins a rollicking yarn with somber undertones and reveals himself to be a shrewd social commentator. Essentially the chronicle of the pursuit of a stolen Chevrolet that ends with the murder of a black man, the kernel of the story is embroidered on, digressed from, told and retold with deepening significance each time. Everything that goes on in the real worldincluding the sordid and the profaneis here as the darker side of the crazy quilt Pearson stitches. He clearly is quite fond of his redneck characters, but underlying the comic patter and the outrageous antics is a depiction of Southern prejudice and racism; the authentic and unsanitized dialogue includes the word ""nigger,'' correct for the time but, nevertheless, potentially offensive to some. Pearson is still a wizard with headlong, run-on sentences and inspired set pieces, but sometimes he is a bit too obfuscatory here for clarity. Yet, although it takes longer to get going than the earlier volumes, the narrative abounds in ``your conflict . . . your crisis, . . . your complication . . . your pacing, . . . your poetical ve-locity'' and plenty more. (September 14)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-35640-6
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-0-8050-3757-9
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