Read Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah Free Online
Book Title: Captain Maximus|
The author of the book: Barry Hannah
ISBN 13: 9780140088113
Date of issue: July 1st 1986
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.50 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.2
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Barry Hannah, Captain Maximus (Penguin, 1985)
Barry Hannah is America's most sadly neglected literary author since John Fante, and that's a shame. Hannah's place in literary history should be carved in rock, if for no other reason than having written one of the world's few absolutely perfect novels in The Tennis Handsome; had he retired after that, he should have been able to retire secure in the fact that his literary legacy would stand as long as humanity does. But he kept writing, and every once in a while he'd turn out another wonderful and overlooked gem. The short story collection Captain Maximus is without doubt one of them.
Hannah hands us a small (too small, for my tastes, but you can't have everything; it runs ninety-two pages in trade paperback) collection of stories, many of which had only appeared in limited runs or places one normally doesn't find short stories (for example, the newspaper) before appearing here. Spanning the first half of the eighties, the collection shows once again why Barry Hannah should be hoisted on the shoulders of the literary establishment to tapdance on the heads of vacuous New York Times bestseller list residents; his characters are savage, unrepentant, funny, mixed-up, and above all fiercely intelligent and with a finely-honed sense of the ironies of their existences. Most of the stories here are only a few pages long, but still manage to pack a wallop. As a side note, this is unmistakably work of that genre known as "southern fiction;" had a genetic engineer taken the best parts of the creative genes of Flannery O'Connor and mated them with the same from Faulkner, they might have gotten Barry Hannah (or, at least, the oddly fraternal twins of Hannah and Ferrol Sams). So let your taste for whatever it is that makes "southern fiction" southern be your guide, but one way or the other, give Hannah a try. If you want a small dose first, by all means, start here.
(Side note: it is amusing that 90% of the bibliographies of Hannah I found on the web list Captain Maximus as a novel. Ah, the hazards of letting books go out of print for years.) *** ½
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Read information about the authorBarry Hannah was an American novelist and short story writer from Mississippi. He was the author of eight novels and five short story collections. He worked with notable American editors and publishers such as Gordon Lish, Seymour Lawrence, and Morgan Entrekin. His work was published in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Oxford American, The Southern Review, and a host of American magazines and quarterlies. In his lifetime he was awarded the The Faulkner Prize (1972), The Bellaman Foundation Award in Fiction, The Arnold Gingrich Short Fiction Award, the PEN/Malamud Award (2003) and the Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was director of the MFA program at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, where he taught creative writing for 28 years. He died on March 1, 2010, of natural causes.
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