ePUB Jack Butler Ç Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock Kindle Ø Ç

Narrated by the Holy Ghost this most unusual novel tells the story of Charles and Lianne Morrison He's a millionaire lawyer possibly a future governor She's the beautiful ex TV newscaster and former Miss Little Rock What begins as a soap opera and a whodunit becomes an engrossing examination of the human soul in turmoil Dallas Morning News


10 thoughts on “Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock

  1. says:

    Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock is a brilliant all encompassing all engaging novel that I can't believe I've never heard of before since I live near Little Rock From the first few pages all I wanted to do was read this book This imaginative post modern novel impressed me on several levelsFirst I was in love with how gossipy and detailed it is about Little Rock in the 1980s I did not live here then and yet I still recognize a lot of the people's names the stores etc I loved having a peek into that world in which many of my friends grew up and livedSecond I thought Butler was really able to depict the complexity of a marriage with great heart and depth He has a lot of compassion for his characters and it was fascinating to look at their relationship through his skilled prose The book is very episodic though it does build to a tragic climax and in many ways the marriage of Charles and Lianne Morrison of Little Rock is the real protagonist of the novel Finally in telling the story of all the characters from the down and outest to the hoity toitiest Little Rock residents thugs to servants to cops to therapists to writers to detectives to lawyers to ex beauty ueens Butler displays an appropriate cleverness to illustrate their characters their circumstances their individual lives I laughed out loud often but also felt profoundly moved by almost every character in the book He uses a variety of points of view including the Holy Ghost's text styles and time jumps to tell a complex story of a communityIf I have a complaint it is that some of the conceits go on too long Some of the meditations could have been edited I think you need concise


  2. says:

    I read Barry Hannah's Yonder Stands Your Orphan just before I read this and it uickly became apparent to me that this novel was basically Hannah's muse for YSYO which is kind of awesome Both novels start out with a somewhat straightforward narrative this one as a legal drama YSYO as crime fiction but they uickly evolve into total insanity Living in Little Rock reminds me of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie; at times it gets a little punch drunk on the power of its craft and can feel a little overwrought but it ultimately brings an explosive emotional coitus


  3. says:

    This review first ran on Pretty Fakes way back whenA few days ago I finished the first of my summer reading books Jack Butler’s 1993 novel Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock I’ve started this book probably half a dozen times over the last five or six years only to put it aside when pressing concerns arose; at 655 pages you can see where I might have felt a little daunted But I kept coming back to it because I wanted to see if it delivered on the promise of its opening lineHowdy I’m the Holy Ghost Talk about your omniscient narratorsAnd I’m glad to say that it mostly does Walker Percy once wrote that American novels tend to be about everything and Little Rock is definitely an American novel in that vein This is a novel with everything don’t hold the kitchen sink heck buy two and we’ll return the one we don’t like It’s the sort of novel that includes full page mock ups of newspaper obituaries and letters to the editor pages including a letter from the Holy Ghost and Peanuts strips and stream of consciousness passages laid out like a flow chart and a scene in which the author appears as a character but it’s not annoying or pretentious Set in Arkansas duh in the early 1980s it chronicles the adventures of Charles Morrison a wealthy liberal lawyer his wife Lianne a former pageant ueen and TV anchor their various friends and members of Charles’ law firm and their enemies a crooked top cop and his gang of thugsExcept Except except except After one of those thugs is finally busted for committing a hearbreaking crime Butler or rather the Holy Ghost and against His will to boot gives us a peek inside that thug’s head and it’s so beautiful and touching that you think for ten pages or so that maybe he’s been the hero of the book all along In fact that may be Butler’s greatest strength as a writer a kind of tragic grace a hyperactive empathy that goes beyond merely repeating the tired old shibboleth about life and shades of gray and instead forces you into the skins of those whom you’ve found the most repugnant and revolting holds their eyes wide open with toothpicks and makes you look through them until the differences upon which you’ve based your whole identity and worldview don’t dissolve exactly not for Butler the tepid finger food book club conclusions of we’re all the same under the skin but rather collapse inward like a black hole inexorably sucking all the matter in the world into you no matter how desperately you fear contact with all this other junk you hold yourself higher than denying you the safe refuges of scorn and disdain in which to hunker down and protect yourself or your Self Reading Butler is like seeing the corners of the vision that Mrs Turpin receives at the end of Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation” a crowd of folks marching to heaven as not just their differences but even their virtues burn away Except Butler writes way sex scenes than O’Connor Way way And I love that Little Rock is set in the 80s and devotes long passages to a court battle over creation science being taught in schools and the attempted assassination of Reagan And Butler as the son of a Baptist minister and a former student of Mississippi College absolutely nails a brand of Southern fried faux piety that has probably rankled all of us at some point And the whole thing is funny as hell


  4. says:

    I didn't hate this book but there's just so much literature to wade through to get to the interesting parts It's 655 pages and it shouldn't have taken me as long as it did to read but the author insists on showing off his literary aspirations whenever possible You could easily lop 200 pages off of this monster and you wouldn't miss a thing The narrator is the Holy Ghost and our Host with the Most thinks he's the funniest spirit since Beetlejuice So we get interludes during which nothing happens but it takes time to wade through and realize that you've been literally reading about nothing for 20 minutes Example the last chapter is 19 pages and I wound up skimming it because it made absolutely no sense and had no point It was supposed to be a benediction of sorts over the book's proceedings but it just fell short for me I kind of feel bad slamming a fellow Arkansan but the fact that I obtained a signed copy in a thrift store sort of says it all


  5. says:

    As a sheer exercise in prose this tastefully decadent portrait of rather privileged life in the American south is not only pleasant to read but deeply engaging Between the characters arguing sexing and generally enjoying their lives they have real problems and deep flaws In other words they are real characters and populate a real world only occasionally exciting and beautiful than our own


  6. says:

    I don't know what got me on to this book originally It was a long time ago I couldn't even recount the plot for you But I remember sitting out in my friends' backyard where I happened to be housesitting and just soaking this one up Probably means it would be a good summer read for you if you like ambitious smart one of a kind novels


  7. says:

    This book was a huge shock because I in no way expected it to touch me in the way it did I was expecting a throwaway political comedy with a lot of insider jokes about Arkansas politics and got a moving tragicomedy instead I can't recommend this enough


  8. says:

    I have now tried twice I just can't get into this book And with so much book so not be able to get into it feels extra daunting I even tried a running start the second time skimming through the first 100 or so but it's no use This book and I are just a bad match


  9. says:

    I don't do well with writing gimmicks Dialect too many narrators winking omnipotent Holy Ghosts breaking the fourth wall clever formatting etc I think this book was written to annoy me Every time I'd start getting into the story or enjoying some character development I'd hit a chapter full of gimmick I gave up about 80 pages in when I realized I couldn't take another 600 pages of thatIt's a shame when the story was rolling I liked the characters and the not uite over the edge yet craziness in each of them It's obvious this book goes off the rails at some point and I wish I'd had the patience to get to anything like the murder mystery it's billed asBut Now I've created a DNF did not finish shelf So there's that


  10. says:

    I picked this up while waiting for Jujitsu for Christ to come into the library Butler blends metafiction humor detective fiction and politics into an enjoyable whirlwind adventure