Friday, March 09, 2012

"At Home in the Heart of Appalachia": A Review

At Home in the Heart of AppalachiaAt Home in the Heart of Appalachia by John O'Brien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disgruntled ex-pat returns to his home ground. Misunderstands locals and is misunderstood. Has the same noblesse-oblige toward the locals that he resents in others who've moved to the area and just want to "help." Hopeless liberal trapped in a very conservative backwater and having a hard time just chilling. Another axe-grinding Appalachia book? Yes, but it has made me curious about his region -- Green Bank, Franklin, such areas -- and he's a decent if muddled guy. He has a good wife, good kids, stability. The sad part: The author died a few years after writing this, and even more sadly he died at a hospice in Charleston (learned all this on WikiPedia), which is not the kind of place where he would have liked dying. This fellow really loved his native woods, and I appreciate that. Jack and I will plan a drive or two up there.

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1 comment:

  1. Mike Ranelli5/17/2012

    I read that book several years ago and it made an impression on me. Julie and I drove through Franklin once and stopped for dinner downtown. I remember trying to pick out O'Brien's house.