Alabama Stories (Review & Giveaway!)

Alabama Stories (Review & Giveaway!)
Hey there!
Title: Alabama Stories
Author: John Isaac Jones
Publisher: Self-published
Published Date:1st February
2006
Rating: 4 stars
*Thank you to the author for the review copy*

Synopsis: Alabama Stories is a collection of short
works lifted from the life of native son William Vernon “Billy” Johnson.
Haunting, harrowing and gloriously-moving, these stories represent an intense
examination of Billy’s childhood and young adult years in the Cotton
State.

Meet the colorful characters Billy knew during his Alabama years. There was
Boone, the tight-lipped, physically and emotionally crippled farmer who had a
psychotic love for his invalid wife. You will never forget Annie, the lonely,
tragic former actress who desperately wanted a child. Meet Bobby Worthington,
the high school football star who dreamed of playing for Paul “Bear” Bryant.
There was Virgil, the wildly successful Baptist evangelist who could never
quite quench his thirst for black girls. Meet Charley, Billy’s angel
unaware….

These are only a few of the strangely-wonderful characters who will step into
your life when you read this book. Each and every one of these stories brings
its own special flavor of Alabama to life and places it in direct context with
the universal human experience.

Review: I’m
not quite sure how to review this book, and I find it’s actually one of the
hardest reviews I have to write! I actually really did enjoy reading this book,
which was for some reason pretty unexpected. It’s a collection of short
stories, and some of them are linked to each other with an underlying main
character called Billy. But some of them have nothing to do with Billy at all
and seem to just be short stories.
This book is definitely what I would define a character
driven read to be. I think if you are a more plot-driven reader than this book
may not be for you. As soon as I started reading I was unable to stop –
completely immersed in the stories. I think the way the author manages to
connect you to the emotions and the experiences of all the characters – even
those you only know for a short while – was amazing. I read this book in one
sitting and was up till 4:30am to finish reading it xD
When the book turned out better than I anticipated it to be. 
The characters were incredibly well done, but as well as
that the stories were too. We get a little taste of almost every theme. To list
just a few we cover: love, marriage, divorce, family, friendship, asexuality,
loneliness and so many other things! This one is a bit of a historical fiction
because it is set in the 1900’s and we get a story about negroes and their
fight for rights as well. There are two stories where murder is involved as
well, and a story about pool. I’m not even interested in pool in the slightest,
but when I was reading that story I frankly didn’t care!
There is a mention of religion in this book, and
personally I didn’t quite like how it was handled. I could see a general
opinion of religion running through it and that was the one generally stuck to.
But that was a personal thing and I doubt it will bother many other readers.
But it did a good job of showing that even people who are “supposed” to be
good, for example the president let’s say, or a teacher, or generally someone
in a role like that, can be bad and have their downfalls as well.
I have talked to the author and he really is a nice
person. I do think this book needs more attention and more people enjoying it,
so do pick it up if you think you might enjoy it!
Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Giveaway! Enter to win one of five signed paperback copies of Alabama Stories! Open internationally, courtesy of the author. 

Olivia’s Question: If you had to explain the definition
or the meaning of life, how would you explain it?
Olivia-Savannah x


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