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The Choiring of the Trees Paperback – 1 Oct 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Oct 1992
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Product details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; Reprint edition (Oct. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015617099X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156170994
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,655,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Although he was born and raised in Little Rock, Donald Harington spent nearly all of his early summers in the Ozark mountain hamlet of Drakes Creek, his mother's hometown, where his grandparents operated the general store and post office. There, before he lost his hearing to meningitis at the age of twelve, he listened carefully to the vanishing Ozark folk language and the old tales told by story-tellers. His academic career is in art and art history and he has taught art history at a variety of colleges, including his alma mater, the University of Arkansas. His first novel was published by Random House in 1965, and since then he has published twelve other novels, most of them set in the Ozark hamlet of his own creation, Stay More, based loosely upon Drakes Creek. He has also written books about artists. He won the Robert Penn Warren Award in 2003, the Porter Prize in 1987, the Heasley Prize at Lyon College in 1998, was inducted into the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame in 1999 and that same year won the Arkansas Fiction Award of the Arkansas Library Association. He has been called "an undiscovered continent" (Fred Chappell) and "America's Greatest Unknown Novelist" (Entertainment Weekly). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
CHOIRING OF THE TREES resonates with memorable aspects. Harrington develops the setting of this story in masterful detail, capturing the essence of life in a remote, turn-of-the-century Ozark community called Stay More, Arkansas. Rich with lore and colloquial expressions, this novel is particularly poignant as regional fiction, but excellent literature by anyone's standard. The story includes a few actual people from Arkansas history and it graphically portrays the brutality of the Arkansas prison system as it was prior to World War I. CHOIRING. . . is an interesting exploration of justice as well as a touching love story, but most importantly, it is a compelling read. Harrington develops convincing and lovable characters who are hard to abandon when the story is finished, and remarkably, he accomplishes all of this in the voice of a female narrator.
In January, I read bestselling COLD MOUNTAIN by Charles Frazier, and I admired it greatly. CHOIRING OF THE TREE! S, also an odyssey, is in my estimation even better.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It took me a long time to really get into this book, partly because some of the speech is written how the character spoke it rather than using conventional English. Despite this, as I read on it added to the charm and the ambience of the story.

The narrative is very descriptive, although at first I kept having to remind myself which character was which! What got me into the book though was the repeated descriptions of the sounds that the trees made, and the beautiful nature.

Worth a read if you are determined to stick to the story in hand!
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Format: Hardcover
This novel is intricate and unforgettable. The now common phrase Dead Man Walking does not begin to capture the tense, sensitive life of an unfairly doomed man and a woman who takes such chances to love him. Challenges all our ideas about bearing fair witness, justice, and goes on for years. Rich character development, rich writing. A rare find.
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By Ignite TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a stunningly good story - based on a true one - of Nail Chism, an innocent man condemned to death almost 100 years ago. It takes place in Arkansas and the tale of his incarceration, his run-ins with and last minute reprieves from 'Old Sparky' and the absolutley unbelieveable cruelty of the prison guards is completely gripping. The whole town of Stay More from which Nail originates, knows he is innocent and furthermore knows who is guilty. It's a story of Judges, Sherrifs and a Governor all in one another's pockets and all out for their own politial futures. It takes place before women had the vote, yet it is the persistence of the women, one in particular, artist and newspaper reporter Viridis Monday, which refuses to be beaten. On so many occasions I felt their frustration and anger when they tried to make a case for Nail's innocence.

Some of the story is told in the sort of Ozark Mountain dialect which would have been used back then by those with little formal education. To the British ear it takes but a little getting used to and brings the characters very much to life. I loved the characters involved; some were simple country people, some college educated and some thought they were cleverer than they really were. All came together to weave a memorable tapestry of a story. It was harsh, cruel but it was also very beautiful. It's a story I wouldn't have missed for the world. Excellent!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wide ranging novel from Arkansas to Paris, green pastures to prison, innocence to corruption. The writing style also varies from beautiful descriptions of country scenery to harsh realities of prison brutality.
Thoroughly enjoyable. I had never heard of the writer before but I shall certainly be looking out for more by him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the strangest book I have ever read. Even so I thoroughly enjoyed it although it did take a lot of understanding in many parts. I was completely drawn in to the story and couldn't stop reading it. I can't say anything about the plot without spoiling it so you will just have to read it yourself!
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By ss5 on 7 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read this, I am now on the lookout for all other books by this author. An amazing find and yet another reason why I have not written a novel myself! If you cannot write like this, you really shouldn't waste anyone else's time. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read. It's very reminiscent of The Green Mile or The Shawshank Redemption, that type of plot. The writing is very good and some of the descriptions of the prison violence are gruelling. I recommend it strongly.
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