- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2282 KB
- Print Length: 419 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1434799840
- Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (1 Jan. 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0087OWGIU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #968,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Crossing the Lines: A Novel Kindle Edition
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The rest of the novel follows the Hall family in Forrest Gump fashion as they interact with the movers and shakers of the Civil Rights movement as well as leading cultural voices of the South. Hall befriends or interviews everyone from Martin Luther King Jr., Furman Bisher, John Lewis, Sam Phillips (record producer and founder of Sun Records), B.B. King, Johnny Cash and Flannery O'Conner.
To be honest the story started to get lost beneath the weight of the historical encounters. This was a page turner for me because I love the South, I'm from Georgia, so I was intrigued by the stories of Ralph McGill and Furman Bisher at the Atlanta Journal, I'm a huge fan of Flannery O'Conner and have a great respect for Martin Luther King, Jr. I also love history. Doster wants to paint a true picture of the south, the good with the bad, the grace with the depravity. In this he makes an extremely compelling argument. He also was meticulous in his research bringing historical figures to life on his pages. The interview with Flannery O'Conner was particularly exceptional.
The books are a stark contrast, one presenting the microcosmic picture of the small town south during the Civil Rights movement, the other gives the macro view. In final analysis I think that Safe at Home has a much more broad appeal for anyone and stands as an excellent contribution to southern fiction. Doster is certainly a writer to keep your eye on and I can't wait to see what he spins out next.
Set in the early days of the civil rights movement, Crossing the Lines is a story of both outward and inward struggle told by a man who has already experienced its bewildering fallout in his personal life. It is open, insightful, and without condemnation for those who grappled honestly with the storm clouds that were breaking over the status quo. And it foreshadows the high personal cost of non-violent resistance to those who practiced it.
The story is seen through the eyes of Jack Hall, the able Atlanta Constitution news reporter as well as in the ruminations and observations of the magazine editor he becomes. The tension and uncertainty of those days plays out in the Hall family, just as it does in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Atlanta. It is a supremely spiritual, even Christian, story.
While Doster makes no pretense of presenting a full-orbed view of a complex man like Martin Luther King, he provides clarity about King's vision and his radical--and startlingly biblical--beliefs and tactics. This novel provides insight into an important time in history and it highlights the struggle to think Christianly in the conflict between culture and the biblical construct. As a daughter of the South who came to adulthood in the civil rights era, I find that tension especially interesting and challenging.
Other reviewers have done a good job of outlining the story. The purpose of this review is to say that if you like thoughtful, well-written fiction--historical or otherwise--Crossing the Lines is a book you should read. If you delight in the turn of a phrase and imaginative word choices, you will find particular pleasure in Doster's writing.
And if you haven't read Richard Doster's first novel, Safe at Home, read that one too.
Crossing the Lines provided me with that experience. I heartily recommend it to several populations: 1) boomers happy to relive that era when "our" music and other cultural phenomena began hitting the scene; 2) younger readers who might not know the background of the birth of rock 'n' roll, country music, blues and other sounds the South contributed so mightily in the 1950s and '60s; 3) Southerners (and wannabes) nostalgic for a period when the South rose again to take leadership in important ways, including literature, music and -- certainly -- social justice and opportunity for all; 4) both black and white readers interested in reviewing incredible events and the brave people behind them in an era when America was on the cusp of major change in race relations; 5) all readers who enjoy a fabulous yarn, a literary masterpiece and a novel whose characters, events and settings stay with you long after you reluctantly finish the last page.
Did I leave anyone out? Hope not...Crossing the Lines is really THAT good! It's fiction that matters, which -- let's face it -- can't be said about all novels.