Monday, April 09, 2007

Popular Culture's South

Ah, it is so good to see y’all getting excited about reading Southern books! *jumping for joy*

I’m going off on a limb by making this next statement. (Please, argue with me on my third choice, but don’t go there with the first and second.)

In today’s popular culture, when people think about Southern books, they think…

1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
An epic Civil War tale in which the foolish/young, main character, Scarlett O’Hara, becomes a strong, independent woman through her struggles to survive. Yeah, yeah you’ve seen the movie already. Well, in the words of a highly successful reviewer i.e. me, the book is way better!

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Do I need to say anything here? Okay, possibly one thing. If you have not read this book, you MUST walk right out the front door, and cut yourself a switch! Ew, and switches are good and green this time of the year! Seriously, if you haven't read this, you don't know Boo!

3. Deliverance by James Dickey
Why? Well, I have never heard a joke so beaten to death than the “dueling banjos, squeal like a pig” joke from this book/film. For instance, I just reread Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods where he refers to this book/joke three times. Not to say Bryson is a broke record, but he also envisions another scenario in his book, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, involving a State Trooper and himself. For more info, see Jay Busbee's entry.

Agree or disagree?


Anonymous said...

I love your first two choices. I don't know about DELIVERANCE. My husband loved the movie - in fact he watched it just a couple of days ago. I hated it! I wonder how different the book would be. I'll be interested to read your comments.

Now I have to start thinking about books for me.

Anonymous said...

Deliverance is a good novel. Dickey was a better writer than Harper Lee or Margaret Mitchell in my opinion.

maggie moran said...

Well, Paul, I thought you would be the one to replace Deliverance w/ another book. Out of the three, Deliverance is the only one I haven't read. I heard it is rather scary, too.

Tiffany Norris said...

I'm with you on the first two choices. I'm also not so sure about Deliverance, but nothing else really stands out in my mind as worthy of replacing it. Sadly, I'm too much of a chicken to read it or see the movie. Maybe this summer...during daylight hours only. ha

SFP said...

I agree with your first two choices but believe most people probably think of Deliverance as a movie, not a book (they probably do the same with GWTW, now that I think about it). But I think you've nailed the character type, the grotesque, in the third. Maybe a batch of Flannery O'Connor stories instead of the Dickey?

maggie moran said...

Ah, guess who I didn't mention? Mark Twain!

So, now the statement probably should read # 1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, #2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, #3. To Kill a Mockingbird. In that order. Knocking our GWTW and Deliverance!

This way it is purely books instead of movies, but then again, more people have seen the movie than read the book.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree with you on the original third choice, Maggie. While I think it's a major association in the minds of a lot of Americans (not to mention the rest of the world), I think it's the movie that was the cause, and I daresay most don't even know it was based on a book.

I don't think you should bump out GWTW, though!

Oh, and I've been offline for a bit and didn't know you'd created a Southern Books Challenge - I am so in! Now to decide which three books to choose ...