Read Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story by Freddie Owens Free Online
Book Title: Then Like the Blind Man: Orbie's Story|
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Reader ratings: 7.7
The author of the book: Freddie Owens
Edition: Blind Sight Publications
Date of issue: November 15th 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.49 MB
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Alt Cover: ISBN 1475084498 (ISBN13: 9781475084498)
A storm is brewing in the all-but-forgotten backcountry of Kentucky. And, for young Orbie Ray, the swirling heavens may just have the power to tear open his family’s darkest secrets. Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie’s Story is the enthralling debut novel by Freddie Owens, which tells the story of a spirited wunderkind in the segregated South of the 1950s, and the forces he must overcome to restore order in his world.
Nine-year-old Orbie already has his cross to bear. After the death of his father, his mother Ruby has off and married Victor, a slick talking man with a snake tattoo. Orbie hates his stepfather more than he can stand; a fact that lands him at his grandparents’ place in Harlan’s Crossroads, Kentucky. Orbie grudgingly adjusts to life with his doting Granny and carping Granpaw, who are a bit too keen on their black neighbor’s for Orbie’s taste, not to mention their Pentecostal congregation of snake handlers. Soon, however, he finds his worldviews changing, particularly when it comes to matters of race, religion, and the true cause of his father’s death.
Equal parts Hamlet and Huckleberry Finn, 'Blind Man' is certain to resonate with lovers of literary fiction, particularly in the grand Southern tradition of storytelling.
Owens captures his characters’ folksy Appalachian diction without overdoing it and subtly reveals character through dialogue and description. A psychologically astute, skillful, engrossing and satisfying novel.
– Starred For Exceptional Merit by Kirkus Reviews
Every once in a while you read a book in which every element fits together so perfectly that you just sit back in awe at the skill of the storyteller. Then Like The Blind Man is one of these books.
– The San Francisco Book Review
In an American coming-of- age novel, the author presents a stunning story with clarity and historical accuracy, rich in illuminating the Appalachian culture of the time period.
– Publisher's Weekly
Orbie's sharecropping grandparents, by defying convention with unnerving grace, become founts of colloquial wisdom whose appeal is impossible to resist, and the Orbie they nurture – the best version of a boy who may otherwise have been lost – is someone the reader comes to love.
– Michelle Anne Schingler / ForeWord Reviews
This is a rural-America version of Hamlet...but with intriguingly different choices made by the protagonist that have their inevitable effect on the ending. The symbolism is both omnipresent and beautifully handled.
– Catherine Langrehr / The Indie Reader
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Read information about the authorI was born in Kentucky but grew up around Detroit. I would sometimes spend a week or two, once I spent six weeks, in Kentucky, staying with cousins or with my grandparents. And yes, it was an entirely different world for me, providing some of the best and worst times of my growing up years. I had a great time on a dairy farm with several of my cousins, milking cows, hoeing tobacco, running over the hills and hollers and up and down a creek that surrounded the big farm. I remember too, periods of abject boredom, sitting around my grandparent's place with nothing to do but wander about the red clay yard or kill flies on my grandmother's screened in back porch.
Certain aspects of this history did manifest knowingly at times, at times spontaneously and distantly, as ghostly north-south structures, as composite personae, as moles and stains and tears and glistening rain and dark bottles of beer, rooms of cigarette smoke, hay lofts and pigs. Here's a quote from the acknowledgements that may serve to illustrate this point.
"Two memories served as starting points for a short story I wrote that eventually became this novel. One was of my Kentucky grandmother as she emerged from a shed with a white chicken held upside down in one of her strong bony hands. I, a boy of nine and a ‘city slicker’ from Detroit, looked on in wonderment and horror as she summarily wrung the poor creature’s neck. It ran about the yard frantically, yes incredibly, as if trying to locate something it had misplaced as if the known world could be set right again, recreated, if only that one thing was found. And then of course it died. The second memory was of lantern light reflected off stones that lay on either side of a path to a storm cellar me and my grandparents were headed for one stormy night beneath a tornado’s approaching din. There was wonderment there too, along with a vast and looming sense of impending doom."
Cormac McCarthy, Pete Dexter, Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver, Flannery O'Conner and Joyce Carol Oates, to name but a few, are among my literary heroes and heroines. Tone and style of these writers have influenced me in ways I'd be hard pressed to name, though I think the discerning reader might feel such influences as I make one word follow another and attempt to "stab the heart with...force" (a la Isaac Babel) by placing my periods (hopefully) '... just at the right place'.
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