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A Feast of Snakes: A Novel Paperback – 7 Jan 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (7 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684842483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684842486
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

A brief but stunning novel set around a former American Footballer in rural South Georgia.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I somehow remembered an old lit. teacher mentioning the name "Harry Crews" in a class once before he read bits from an old interview out loud. I remember snickering a little when I heard what Crews had to say about Ayn Rand.
In Joe Lon Mackey, we are brought an unforgettable example of near-success and public short-term memory. _A Feast of Snakes_' main character is unable to come to terms with his lost football star fame and liquor-selling future. As the locals and tourists gather to hunt and consume Mystic's rattlesnake population, Joe Lon's fate and hollow memories consume him and propel him towards his destiny.
I read _A Feast of Snakes_ for the first time five months ago, and the hollow spaces in my guts still reverberate from its stark and powerful impact. Not since reading _Heart of Darkness_ have I been so awestricken by one man's writing. Crews' prose is as hard and earthy as his characters. His portrayal of Mystic, Georgia remind me of the fearful travels I've taken to the Low Country and the "Dark Corner" of my native South Carolina. Mystic's inhabitants share the same unflinching grotesqueness of the people that lived down the dirt roads and in the screen-doored country stores of my childhood. And their spawn who we only saw on the schoolbus: thier childhoods already as misshapen as their teeth. The shadows of these eerie places and freakish people are resurrected in _A Feast of Snakes_.
But the more I talk, the less I describe _A Feast of Snakes_. You will be as speechless as I was when I put it down. END
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Format: Paperback
This novel is one which will stick with you forever. The imagery which Harry Crews uses will both repulse and stun you at the same time. He manages to fit an epic in less than 200 pages. Believe me....I was an English major and have read them all, but no novel has had as much a lasting affect on me as this book did. I must warn those weak of heart that the images in this novel are sometimes quite hard to take. You have been warned!
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By A Customer on 14 May 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book several years ago, and it still stays with me. This story of white trash living in the south, living off of old glory, whiskey, and rage is really something good. It's a horrific account of lives that are worth nothing, and those same lives act accordingly, and in the most nasty ways. Not for the weak, but a good read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Feast Of Snakes is a stunning novel.

It's set in Mystic, Georgia during the build up to a Rattlesnake Roundup that's become a little too successful for the small town to handle.

Joe Lon Mackey is an ex-football player whose career is over at a young age. To take the edge off his sense of failure he's turned to the bottle and still tries to maintain his top-dog status in the area.

He has a hard-nosed father (Big Joe Lon) who has a talent for dog-fighting, a damaged sister who stays in bed all day watching TV, a sheriff friend who likes to play with young girls, a saintly wife and two children and a hot lust for an ex-girlfriend who has returned to Mystic from college.

The opening at a football game is full of energy - sexual, violent and disturbing - and pregnant with the bizarre. It's clear from the off that this book is going to be out of the ordinary and that understanding is powerfully underlined as it continues.

There are some very strong elements that a reader can hold on to. There's the subtle depiction of racial relations and the way people work within the boundaries of time and place. There's an existential slant to the examination of purpose and the implications of losing direction whether that be through age or accident. There's a view of the power within relationships on a small and larger scale and that damage that can be done when power is the only tool one has in the box. There are thoughts on madness and the thin ice that we all tread upon. We also get to see the extremes of complete control and absolute anarchy and the dangers of each extreme.

The plot is a gently meandering one is some ways.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book came as recommended for me. If i'd known it was only 177 pages i may not have bothered. It was more than i would normally pay for a paperbqck too. I am so glad i bought it! A great read, and quite horrific. Yes you guess the worst charqcter will get his comeuppance, and it makes you want to cheer when it happens. I didn't realise how long ago it was written, why have i never heard of it before i can't fathom. It should be made into a film, it reminded me of an southern american whicker man in some ways. Buy it, read it, recommend it!
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Format: Paperback
Harry Crews, who grew up in rural south Georgia, does an excellent job of telling the story of a young man who grew up in a rural, poor, and culturally-deprived area of Georgia. The "hero" is JOe Lon Mackey, a former high school star football player, who finally realizes that he is a "nothing". One cannot live on past glories. He realizes this as he watches his former high school girlfriend go on to college and develop as a person.
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