cover image Long Time Leaving: Dispatches from Up South

Long Time Leaving: Dispatches from Up South

Roy Blount, jr., , read by the author. . HighBridge Audio, $32.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59887-095-4

More than anything else, Blount provides an insightful and distinctive critique of Southern cultural disposition. He addresses the elitism of overall American (and in particular, Northern) culture to dispossess the South of legitimate and unstigmatized cultural existence. While recognizing the contradictions and misunderstandings about the South, Blount encourages listeners to be critical of all aspects of American culture, not just Southern culture. While a tenuous thread connects his essays, this rambunctious rambling ranges from outsider folk art and songs about food to sports. With a gruff voice and hints of a Southern accent, Blount offers an impressive performance. While reading lists on audio can often bore listeners, Blount uses emphasis and a quickened cadence to successfully compensate for his sometimes extensive lists. His harmonic voice proves especially enjoyable during his discussions of limericks and music. One puzzling aspect of this audiobook is occasional random voices injecting quotes. These quotes read by others are superfluous or hint at production problems since Blount reads most other quotes. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover. (May)