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The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart Paperback – 2 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Door (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007339542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007339549
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Glenn Taylor was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. The Marrowbone Marble Company is his second novel. His first novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart was released to critical acclaim and was a 2008 Barnes & Noble Discover pick, and a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Taylor teaches English at Harper College, in suburban Chicago, where he lives with his wife and three sons.

Product Description

Review

"[a] galloping, defiant epic…a virtuoso performance…vigorous and sincere, located squarely in the tradition of Twain, Faulkner and McCullers." THE GUARDIAN

"In Early "Trenchmouth" Taggart…Taylor has created a marvellous, jump-off-the-page character…a defiantly incredible creation…The writing is limber, and the real life it bundles up into its freakish, charismatic character make this a genuine success that admirers of John Irving - and others too - will surely enjoy." THE INDEPENDENT

"[A] mesmerisingly fluid narrative…Smart, brash, but totally convincing, this has the makings of a page-turning literary sensation." WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY

"A confident, funny and often surprising read." METRO

"Wildly inventive." THE TIMES

“This is indeed a book that succeeds in its early pages to completely capture the reader.” LE MONDE

“It is an exceptional novel with a rare picaresque power…Taylor is a master.” LE FIGARO

"Taylor's prose is so fluid and seemingly effortless that The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart bridges the usually irreconcilable gap between popular fiction and literary fiction. It's that rare creature-a literary page-turner. . .The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart is a stunning, fully realized, unique and ambitious book that proves there's still passion, fire and brilliance in the American novel." HOUSTON CHRONICLE

"An energetic romp." DAZED AND CONFUSED

"Think of this novel as an American version of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude.'" BOB HOOVER, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

Book Description

Is there room in this world for a moral man?

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Smile and a Wave TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 July 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel is divided into three sections as we read the tale of Trenchmouth Taggart. It's the early part of the story which I enjoyed best as it had me rapidly reading on, but as the story develops I felt that the style changed and I didn't enjoy it as much even though it was still a good read.
The book cover quotes similarities to John Irving and I have to say that does ring true for the first half of the book at least, with some small similarities to Irving's most recent novel Last Night in Twisted River, but only a little as Trenchmouth doesn't go nearly as deep with either characterisation or story development. For anyone who enjoys John Irving (or just a good story) then it would certainly be worth trying this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. L. Harding VINE VOICE on 14 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Glenn Taylor, a new kid on the block, but on the evidence of this book he will be around for a long time. Taggart's story from infancy to a grand age of 108 is slightly reminiscent of Thomas Berger's "Little Big Man" regarding the longevity of the main character.
The year is 1903 when baby Taggart is rescued from the river by Widow Dorsett and brought up with her adopted daughter in a shack located in an isolated area of the mountains of West Virginia. Widow Dorsett was an independent woman, she hunted game with her rifle, cured ailments, and grew vegatables. She also ran a moonshine still, supplying liquor to a middle man who sold on to the local community, mainly farmers and miners. Taggart has several varied careers during his life time, his early years growing up in a mining environment during the struggle to establish a Union forms the basis of his story. As a young man of 23 he is involved in the gunfight at the Matewan railyards between the Baldwin-Felts strike enforcers acting as deputies and evicting miners and their families from their homes and the local sheriff defending the miners. A powerful section of the book, on a par with John Sayles celebrated film "Matewan" in its depiction of the harsh and violent times when John L Lewis was forming the Union and battling the forces of the coal owners backed by corrupt sections of local government. Afterwards to avoid imprisonment Taggart lives as a hermit in the mountains for 25 years living off the land. When he returns he takes up with a group playing mountain music and blues in gigs all over the state. Later he joins a small town newspaper writing articles on local recipes and topics and making a name for himself with his offbeat views.
The author's love of mountain music, the mountains of West Virginia and the people who live there pervades the books pages and he has used Trenchmouth Taggart to express it. I commend it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Man on 28 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
M Glenn Taylor is more than a great story teller, he is a spinner of yarns and that's what makes this book such a great read. Yes, it is the ballad of a man's long, adventurous life, spanning more than a 100 years, but it's more than that, it's an incredible romp through the backwoods of West Virginia and the changing face of 20th century America.

It entwines fiction with fact, weaving the story of Trenchmouth's life with historical sequences to create a character who experiences many events that shaped the USA.

The book is peopled with endearing and interesting fictional characters, whilst Trenchmouth's meetings with Chuck Berry, Hank Williams and JFK add to the entertainment.

In Trenchmouth Taggart, Taylor has created a truly memorable character. A loveable rogue, an adventurer, sometimes charismatic, sometimes eccentric, always intriguing.

Great story telling, a real page-turner, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 April 2011
Format: Paperback
The basic thing to say about M Glenn Taylor is that he is a damn fine story teller. He peoples his world with interesting and endearing characters and then fits them into a coherent, if at times fantastical, plot which cracks along at an admirable pace.

Stylistically this is a century long saga which resembles the works of Peter Carey or John Irving. In fact Taylor twice knowingly and cheekily references Little Big Man, a clear influence on this work.

Trenchmouth Taggart is abandoned to a river at birth by his mentally disturbed mother and is subsequently brought up by the moonshine-making "Widow". It is the river which infects his mouth and gives him an oral affliction and his nickname, and the widow's moonshine which brings him solace.

Through his picareque career he is at various times as speaker in togues at an evangelical church, an oral pleasurer of repressed gentlewomen, a sniper defending striking miners against company thugs, a backwoods hermit, a harmonica player, and an award winning journalist.

Taylor is very much a writer of the American left, here defending community and organised labour against the forces of capital, and a vigourous supporter of inter-racial equality and tolerance. He is however, no faint-hearted liberal, his heroes are people of action, using violence to defend their communities, even if our hero "TT" never really escapes the psychological scars which his own violence inflicts on him.

That is not to say Taylor is a dull, polemical writer. He is at heart, a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns, skilful at portraying the often complex relationships between his characters. Some of the writing is also extremely touching.
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