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Eveningland: Stories Hardcover – 7 Mar 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (7 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802125972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802125972
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 18.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 946,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Praise for EVENINGLAND:
"Impressive...'Water and Oil' is deft and wonderful, wholly original, and 'Smash and Grab, ' is sharp and fresh with an ending like something out of 0. Henry or Thomas McGuane, skating just along the edges of a physical violence that is subordinate to the story's emotional violence...happily, Percy's influence begins to lap against the scenes and voices and perspectives, as if Binx Bolling were now living on Mobile Bay and facing the same challenges he did in 1961: What is the meaning of life, and, oftentimes, What shall we have for dinner?...Knight pays careful, writerly attention to the details of desperation. His characters--often entombed in middle-age despair--in their weakened, even futile attempts to shift position, if not actually escape, give a reader the sensation of watching the lateral movements of blobs of life wriggling beneath a microscope."--Rick Bass, New York Times Book Review
"The spirit of Eudora Welty broods over these adroitly crafted stories set in and around coastal Alabama, evoking a world coiled tight as a conch shell." --O Magazine, One of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
"With both suspense and humor, Knight explores "the going under of the evening land" in this diverse collection. A thought-provoking and deeply satisfying reading experience, Eveningland evokes the Old South without sentimentalizing its loss. Yet its characters, and the reader, too, know that it's evening. And it's very late." -- Clifford Garstang, Washington Independent Review of Books
"Read individually, some of the stories can feel airy, static, in a few cases shorn of a satisfying conclusion; taken together, however, they exert a tremendous and accretive pressure as those endings--not so much withheld as postponed--take devastating shape in the reader's mind."--Jonathan Miles, Garden & Gun
"It's always tempting to roll your eyes when you hear about yet another collection of short stories by a Southern writer, thinking, as the late Gore Vidal did, that it'll be just one more stitch in a rather boring "quilting bee." Vidal, of course, was wrong. And you can add the name of Michael Knight to a reputable list of Southern short story writers who realize that fiction set in a specific region doesn't have to be provincial. And there's a big difference between the two....His prose is touching, haunting and brilliant--far from just another stitch in a quilt."--Charles Ealy, Dallas News
"Knight's prose is pristine, as watertight as the skiffs, barges, and tankers that occupy Mobile Bay . . . No one can deny this author's command of sentence-level writing, and his paragraphs flow in flawless succession like warm waves from the Gulf." --Kevin Kotur, Kansas City Star
"Eveningland is tough to put down, thanks to Knight's masterful command of pacing and suspense. The stories make surprising reversals . . . a sense that whatever the upheavals and changeability of weather may reveal to us, deeper, unreachable mysteries will always lurk beneath the surface." --Emily Choate, Knoxville News Sentinel
"A sublime new collection . . . Knight is a master." --David Byron Queen, Deep South Magazine
"Like "The Twilight Zone" in ways, and not just because the titles are synonyms...For Rod Serling, it was the dread of nuclear holocaust and McCarthyism; for Knight, it's dread of the dusk of American contentment...Knight's protagonists are often adrift, and in memorable ways...Knight brings sympathy to the downtrodden."--Rob Neufeld, Asheville Citizen-Times
"[An] exquisitely crafted collection . . . these often funny and heartfelt stories explore life in its messy fullness while also exuding a deep, wistful wisdom." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"From a distinguished Southern writer, a very fine collection capped by a masterful novella." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Knight's stories are at once simple and intricate, weaving the particulars of geography and weather into family loss from death, divorce, and estrangement, and the awful weight of grief." --Booklist
"Michael Knight is a supremely gifted writer and his latest collection-- Eveningland-- offers rich and lasting proof of this on every page. I am in awe of how skillfully he manages tension and suspense on the page--a slow burning flame that might explode or not, might manifest as tragedy in the physical world or simply the painful collapse of a human heart. There is humor and grief and an aching sense of longing that is nearly impossible to catch and put on the page. But Michael Knight does it and not only that, he does it beautifully."-- Jill McCorkle
"There's something almost holy in the way Michael Knight writes about his native Alabama, emotional honesty and acuteness of vision leavened with genuine reverence for these people and this place. Taken individually these stories are beautifully crafted--often funny, just as often heartbreaking, always surprising. Taken together, they paint a portrait that is on its surface as refined as the region's most wistful vision of itself. Beneath that gracious veneer, however, lurk depths of loss and longing that speak to what it means to be alive no matter where you live. This collection of linked stories is as potent as any novel I have read in a long, long time." --Adam Johnson
"Over the last two decades, Michael Knight has quietly become one of his generation's premier short story writers. And he might just be the best writer of novellas in the country. This collection gives us a handful of new, shorter gems and one long, beautiful piece you'll not be able to forget. With each selection, Knight finds people in crisis--whether it's a cuckolded husband, a down-and-out burglar, or a family preparing for an impending hurricane--and makes that crisis both deeply personal and deeply universal. His literary god-uncles, Fitzgerald and Cheever, would be proud of their nephew and his work. As for the rest of us, how fortunate we are, how truly fortunate, to be able to read his fiction. Michael Knight is an American master." --Tom Franklin


A New York Times Editors' Choice
"Deft and wonderful, wholly original . . . sharp and fresh . . . Knight pays careful, writerly attention to the details of desperation. His characters--often entombed in middle-age despair--in their weakened, even futile attempts to shift position, if not actually escape, give a reader the sensation of watching the lateral movements of blobs of life wriggling beneath a microscope." --Rick Bass, New York Times Book Review
"The spirit of Eudora Welty broods over these adroitly crafted stories set in and around coastal Alabama, evoking a world coiled tight as a conch shell." --O Magazine, One of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
"With both suspense and humor, Knight explores 'the going under of the evening land' in this diverse collection. A thought-provoking and deeply satisfying reading experience, Eveningland evokes the Old South without sentimentalizing its loss. Yet its characters, and the reader, too, know that it's evening. And it's very late." --Clifford Garstang, Washington Independent Review of Books
"Read individually, some of the stories can feel airy, static, in a few cases shorn of a satisfying conclusion; taken together, however, they exert a tremendous and accretive pressure as those endings--not so much withheld as postponed--take devastating shape in the reader's mind." --Jonathan Miles, Garden & Gun
"A fresh masterpiece of Southern fiction . . . you can add the name of Michael Knight to a reputable list of Southern short story writers who realize that fiction set in a specific region doesn't have to be provincial . . . His prose is touching, haunting and brilliant." --Charles Ealy, Dallas News
"Knight's prose is pristine, as watertight as the skiffs, barges, and tankers that occupy Mobile Bay . . . No one can deny this author's command of sentence-level writing, and his paragraphs flow in flawless succession like warm waves from the Gulf." --Kevin Kotur, Kansas City Star
"Eveningland is tough to put down, thanks to Knight's masterful command of pacing and suspense. The stories make surprising reversals . . . a sense that whatever the upheavals and changeability of weather may reveal to us, deeper, unreachable mysteries will always lurk beneath the surface." --Emily Choate, Knoxville News Sentinel
"A sublime new collection . . . Knight is a master." --David Byron Queen, Deep South Magazine
"Like 'The Twilight Zone' . . . For Rod Serling, it was the dread of nuclear holocaust and McCarthyism; for Knight, it's dread of the dusk of American contentment . . . Knight's protagonists are often adrift, and in memorable ways . . . Knight brings sympathy to the downtrodden." --Rob Neufeld, Asheville Citizen-Times
"Superbly drawn . . . [these stories] seek to map complex, difficult, often hidden psychological and emotional truths . . . confronting the passage of time, regret, and loves lost and found--all of which is handled with great humility, insight, and compassion . . . Essential for fans of literary fiction." --Library Journal (starred review)
"[An] exquisitely crafted collection . . . these often funny and heartfelt stories explore life in its messy fullness while also exuding a deep, wistful wisdom." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"From a distinguished Southern writer, a very fine collection capped by a masterful novella." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Knight's stories are at once simple and intricate, weaving the particulars of geography and weather into family loss from death, divorce, and estrangement, and the awful weight of grief." --Booklist
"Michael Knight is a supremely gifted writer and his latest collection--Eveningland-- offers rich and lasting proof of this on every page. I am in awe of how skillfully he manages tension and suspense on the page--a slow burning flame that might explode or not, might manifest as tragedy in the physical world or simply the painful collapse of a human heart. There is humor and grief and an aching sense of longing that is nearly impossible to catch and put on the page. But Michael Knight does it and not only that, he does it beautifully." --Jill McCorkle
"There's something almost holy in the way Michael Knight writes about his native Alabama, emotional honesty and acuteness of vision leavened with genuine reverence for these people and this place. Taken individually these stories are beautifully crafted--often funny, just as often heartbreaking, always surprising. Taken together, they paint a portrait that is on its surface as refined as the region's most wistful vision of itself. Beneath that gracious veneer, however, lurk depths of loss and longing that speak to what it means to be alive no matter where you live. This collection of linked stories is as potent as any novel I have read in a long, long time." --Adam Johnson
"Over the last two decades, Michael Knight has quietly become one of his generation's premier short story writers. And he might just be the best writer of novellas in the country. This collection gives us a handful of new, shorter gems and one long, beautiful piece you'll not be able to forget. With each selection, Knight finds people in crisis--whether it's a cuckolded husband, a down-and-out burglar, or a family preparing for an impending hurricane--and makes that crisis both deeply personal and deeply universal. His literary god-uncles, Fitzgerald and Cheever, would be proud of their nephew and his work. As for the rest of us, how fortunate we are, how truly fortunate, to be able to read his fiction. Michael Knight is an American master." --Tom Franklin

About the Author

Michael Knight is the author of the novels The Typist and Divining Rod, the short story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Dogfight and Other Stories, and the novella, The Holiday Season. He teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee and lives in Knoxville with his family.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Read from January 10th-17th 2017

Story #1 Water and Oil
This is the first story in the book, it begins and is told like an old country song. About a boy and his first love, and his first heart break. His transition into becoming a man, and the inevitability of his future loves and losses.
It was written in a descriptive prose, this was consistent throughout the story. We learn about the boy, through an older man who serves as a narrator for the tale:

'The boy’s name was Henry Rufus Bragg and though he was seventeen years old and would most likely have been offended by my description, there was still enough boy about him that the word remains appropriate. He was handsome but in an unfinished way..... A late bloomer, his mother called him, the last of the model airplane builders, a tender boy, a quiet boy, an odd and earnest boy who, like the keeper of some lost art, memorized old knockknock jokes and repeated them in his head when he was bored.'

I was drawn to the sophisticated style of description. I loved it.

Story #2 Smash and Grab
n this short story we encounter a burglary gone wrong. We learn that Cashdollar is an expert thief, he is quick on his feet and has never had a run in with the law. That is until he is caught by a teenage girl, she knocks him out, and he wakes to find himself taped to a chair, bruised. He learns that she is the daughter of the owner if the house, and she calls the police on Cashdollar. By a weird and surprising turn of events she manipulates the situation for her own benefit.

This story wasn't as descriptive, but it was definitely unpredictable.

Story #3 Our lady of the Roses
A chapter in the life of Hadley, an art teacher at a Catholic school.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous read!!! 24 April 2017
By LFH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eveningland Stories, a collection of short stories by Mobile born Michael Knight, is an absolute must read for anyone with an appreciation of the insular atmosphere of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Others have correctly noted that few of those born to the region choose to live anywhere but there.

Therefore, when so many generations choose to return, or never leave, there are always richly textured, colorful, layered tales to be told.

Michael Knight is a born story teller and, as one of the natives who has chosen to ply his trade elsewhere, is able to write with great insight about the ethereal pull of the Gulf and it’s tributaries, the human wreckage of hurricanes and violent storms, and the unique twists of his observations about the various forms of work and play by the native in his/her habitat.

A fabulous read!!!
Bill Blount
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Alabama gem 22 Mar. 2017
By ecrutle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A short story collection that reads like a wonderful regional novel. I enjoyed every separate, but Mobile connected vignette.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read about the state I was born in and ... 7 Mar. 2017
By Dorothy L. Link - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great read about the state I was born in and in which I now still live. I loved it!
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that good 29 April 2017
By R. Newell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Each story incomplete, probably by design, but not what they could be. A little shsllow. Too predictable, and a little too unreal.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!! 10 Mar. 2017
By Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved this book! It transported me back to my childhood home and made me care about the characters. I was sad when I finished because I wanted more!
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