A Miracle of Catfish

A Miracle of Catfish Larry Brown has been a force in American literature since taking critics by storm with his debut collection Facing the Music in His subsequent work five novels another story collection and tw

  • Title: A Miracle of Catfish
  • Author: Larry Brown
  • ISBN: 9781565125360
  • Page: 394
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Larry Brown has been a force in American literature since taking critics by storm with his debut collection, Facing the Music, in 1988 His subsequent work five novels, another story collection, and two books of nonfiction continued to bring extraordinary praise and national attention to the writer New York Newsday called a master In November 2004, Brown sent the nearlyLarry Brown has been a force in American literature since taking critics by storm with his debut collection, Facing the Music, in 1988 His subsequent work five novels, another story collection, and two books of nonfiction continued to bring extraordinary praise and national attention to the writer New York Newsday called a master In November 2004, Brown sent the nearly completed manuscript of his sixth novel to his literary agent A week later, he died of a massive heart attack He was fifty three years old.A Miracle of Catfish is that novel Brown s trademarks his raw detail, pared down prose, and characters under siege are all here This beautiful, heartbreaking anthem to the writer s own North Mississippi land and the hard working, hard loving, hard losing men it spawns is the story of one year in the lives of five characters an old farmer with a new pond he wants stocked with baby catfish a bankrupt fish pond stocker who secretly releases his forty pound brood catfish into the farmer s pond a little boy from the trailer home across the road who inadvertently hooks the behemoth catfish the boy s inept father and a former convict down the road who kills a second time to save his daughter That Larry Brown died so young, and before he could see A Miracle of Catfish published, is a tragedy That he had time to enrich the legacy of his work with this remarkable book is a blessing.
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      Published :2019-02-05T03:28:56+00:00

    187 Comment

    • Howard says:

      I had heard Larry Brown interviewed on NPR a couple of times and thought he sounded interesting, but for some reason I had never followed-up and read any of his work. Then a couple of years ago, a friend recommended him to me. She suggested that I begin with his novel, “Dirty Work.” I did – and I was hooked. I quickly read three more of his novels and a short story collection. And I have now read “A Miracle of Catfish.”Larry Brown wrote about his northern Mississippi home land, which i [...]

    • J.K. Grice says:

      Man I miss Larry Brown!!! CATFISH is his final book, and even though he didn't get a chance to put a bow on it, it's still right up there with his finest work. 9 years later, I can still picture Billy's Daddy, and the old guy harvesting deer at night with his Thompson gun. Such a powerful story

    • emily says:

      This morning, while peeling a grapefruit, I found myself thinking about Cortez and Carol and wondering how their date might be going. Then I remembered that Cortez isn't real, and for a second there I was sad about it.Really, guys. I genuinely caught myself in the kitchen thinking about the characters in this book as if they are real people. It's not because it's summer and my brain is mush (though it is, a little). It's because this book is about real people who only happen to not actually exis [...]

    • Dawn says:

      This is my last novel to read of my cousin Larry whom was 12 or 13 years older than me. I didn't know him really well because I was so young but my Aunt Jane and his wife Mary Annie were best friends in high school ! They were alway funny and full of stories. I would ease drop and get an ear full. Tula Is such a magical mythical place that I wish all could visit. I know that is why so many Southern writers try to capture the allure of the South. I often write short stories myself about my memori [...]

    • Josh says:

      I can't stand reviews that basically regurgitate the entire plot, setting, and tone of a book. Because of that objection, I will avoid that approach even though that's what I am tempted to do despite my distain to that approach. Here goes. If you are looking for an "all's well that ends well" book, this isn't it. To start with, it doesn't end. The author dies about five chapters short of the ending. You are granted the insight to his editorial notes of his plans, but it's not typical closure (wh [...]

    • Charles says:

      A book that hits the table at 455 pages ought to be finished. I counted seven plot lines dangling. I read somewhere Brown expected to wrap it up in three more chapters. How is that possible?I know nothing of Brown's process. Maybe in second or third draft some of these threads would have got tied off.Anyway, I enjoyed this very much It was the story of my family, neighbors and friends. I was born and raised in central California. How can these characters from Miss. Be anything alike. I don't thi [...]

    • Tuck says:

      the super-detailed, and sadly posthumous, saga of larry brown's world. have you shade treed and like normal, nothing goes right? have you been a kid and while your world is ok, when the 'adult' world comes crashing down around you, left your perplexed, scared, and depressed? have you looked and looked and looked at the same piece of land for decades and know if better than you know even yourself, and still chosen to destroy part of it in order to 'make it better'? have you been trapped in love a [...]

    • Randall says:

      I read this book twice earlier this year. I love Larry Brown's later books and admire his honesty and his will to be a good man so much that it's heartwarming. Getting to his last, slightly unfinished book was put off for a couple of years because I knew there'd be nothing left to read in the future.Clearly his best and most skilled work, Catfish uses the themes of his short works about Mississippi folk but follows a more complex plot and is written in a more fluid literary style (longer, more p [...]

    • T says:

      I love Larry Brown. I wish he had the chance to be a more prolific writer than he was. But this book was quite possibly his best. I appreciate that it was published unfinished, and I believe it was put together as well as possible under the circumstances. So much so that when I finished it I was shocked that there was no ending. But that may actually be one of its greatest qualities: that it just stops being. I imagine Brown expiring at his typewriter, and I'll never stop wondering how he might [...]

    • Wendy says:

      Brown writes like people breathe -- effortlessly and naturally. The book centers on a cast of characters (mostly male) in northern Mississippi and how they deal with their families, their jobs, and each other. He really gets inside of their heads in a way that few writers do, and exhibits a sense of time and place that's second to none. You can feel the humidity, smell the cigarette smoke, and taste the beer. An excellent read.

    • Jamie says:

      Odd I guess, to read a book that’s unfinished and be so, so fond of it but still, in the end, OK to put it aside and not experience angst and frustration at what’s left undone. It’s just how well Larry Brown builds this world: it’s whole and real and you can go on living in it long as you like, nailing up walls and dusting out cobwebs. Plus I like it, just how it is. One of those halved skeletons with all the cool muscles and bones underneath. You never get to see that, do you: the write [...]

    • Nicole says:

      I am currently re-reading this book. I do this multiple times with all of my faves. This one is especially touching and sad to me because the author died during writing it, and it is almost completely unedited, but not finished obviously. I was turned on to Larry Brown a couple of years ago and have since devoured all of his books. This one I think is his best and it's obvious that his work was only getting better when his life was unexpectedly cut short by a heart attack at the age of 53. Just [...]

    • John says:

      What a perfect ending/no ending. Larry Brown has a heart attack; dies, his final notes remain, all these unresolved threads stay unresolved, no final story line fit get-together s, just another day. Jimmy's daddy done Jimmy wrong again.Evelyn is playing with fire and she doesn't realize how dangerous it can be.Cortez has started to resolve himself to a relationship with Albert The inclusion of Mr Brown's final notes let us imagine an ending calling upon our own imaginations. How perfect is that. [...]

    • Michelle Enfield says:

      Despite being unfinished, this novel is totally awesome and crept back into my psyche while reading a depressing article about the economy in the New Yorker. If you haven't ready Larry Brown you should, now. Yes, like right now. Don't let this get away from you I had almost completely forgotten about it, then couldn't for the life of me think of what the hell it was called or who it was by. Google, surprisingly was no help. Searches such as "novel man with drinking problem living in trailer" and [...]

    • Ellen says:

      I'll read the reviews now. Seems like reviewers gave it a lot of stars. I guess that something interesting will happen with this catfish pond and the neighbors, but I'll find out about it from the reviews. The characters are too negative for my taste and, although I don't usually mind bad language in detective books, there is too much of it for me in this audio book . Sounded like Tom Stachshulte didn't really like having to say the words. Oh well, I'll move on to my next audio book.

    • Cory Fosco says:

      For me, the best book Brown wrote, but unfortunately his last. Brown is all about the South and how people try to make it day by day. This book is about relationships, it is about discovering who you are, it is about trying to find a better life. The book was not completed before Brown's death. He sent off the draft and then suddenly died of a heart attack a week later. His skilled editor helps guide the reader through the editing process and notes where changes have been made.

    • Asghar Abbas says:

      Scrumptious .

    • Barbara says:

      Come back, Larry Brown! How did it really end??? How sad that this book was never finished.

    • wally says:

      i think this is the 4th brown story i will readarently unfinished at his deathwant to read, not read possibilities and thoughts'sides, the other brown stories i've read have been a joy to readis one begins:well has all these pages of praise for this that the otheren there's this page with just this on it:larry brown: passion to brilliance by barry hannahi dunnoere's not some sort of index or contents to figure this oneokay, so i scroll ahead, some sort of essay from hannah about brownybe i'll re [...]

    • Jessica Adams says:

      This book was recommended to me. I haven’t read anything else of Brown’s books. I loved this book as much as one can love a book that was not finished and has no actual ending due to author dying. I knew this going in , but was still stunned at the abruptness and how much was still left hanging. Nonetheless, he wrote an amazing book. Great, realistic characters. One of few books that I laughed out loud (for a while actually). He also does things with writing that I’ve not encountered befor [...]

    • Bill Sanwald says:

      Larry Brown is one of my favorite authors. I have read everything that has been published. This book is a fine finish to his career (although unfinished). His characters have depth and the story was great.I guess the only thing I can do now when I need a Larry Brown fix is to re-read his works.Gone way too soon.

    • Chris says:

      beautiful but the unfinishedness of it shoot.

    • Emily says:

      Great writing. Should read more by him.

    • Ann says:

      There's no glory in editing a dead man's book, but I suspect that, had Larry Brown survived the completion and publication of this novel, it would have been trimmed extensively. A Miracle of Catfish is absolutely a story that only Brown could tell, replete with a cast of (sometimes reprehensible) characters about which few would dare to write, but who are beautifully woven together to form something uniquely Southern, uniquely Brown. Yes, this novel could be pared down, but some of the redundanc [...]

    • West says:

      Based on a review I had read, I was really betting the farm on this book actually being told from the animals' point of view. That, I would find terribly engaging! However, there was one short chapter told by some southern blackbirds :(I also realized that reading this book would be an exercise in frustration for me, because the author died suddenly before the book was finished. I always gotta know what happens at the end!For whatever the reason, I found myself kind of into reading this book, ev [...]

    • Bookmarks Magazine says:

      In his novels and short stories, Larry Brown captured the gritty intricacies of daily, rural Southern life. A Miracle of Catfish, which Brown's editor streamlined after his death, chronicles a set of downtrodden Mississippi denizens dealing with racial tension, trust, and interpersonal and familial conflict. Brown, a native of Lafayette County, Mississippi, understood his land and people well, and, in heartrending, stripped-down prose, created a memorable human landscape. Not surprisingly, a few [...]

    • Ray says:

      I first heard about Larry Brown in early 90's. In an interview with Harry Crews, he told me about Southern writers that he liked and disliked. (His only dislike was an author he believed had copied his style). He told me that Larry Brown was a true artist that wrote from the gut. I think I picked up "Joe" or "Dirty Work " at that time. I kept up with his work over the years but after his untimely death I did not expect to read another one. this was a surprise. Larry's style was simple and succin [...]

    • Rosie says:

      Gritty like his other books but I found it hard to follow. It jumped around too much. I understand this book was not quite finished when the author died. He left notes as to how the book was to be done. The editor also took out quite a few parts for reasons never explained. Perhaps those missing parts would have helped me to "get" the book more.I have read all of this author's books and loved every one of themry gritty dark books and might offend somebut I gave up on this one and didn't even fin [...]

    • Kathy says:

      This novel was unfinished at Brown's death and the publisher chose to leave it so except for a number of cuts made to the 700+ page manuscript, the location of which are indicated by bracketed ellipses. I found it fairly annoying to know exactly where the author had said more because I could not help but wonder about the things left unsaid. Of course, much is left unsaid, since the ending is nothing more than Brown's notes for the remaining unwritten chapters. That said, I was not disappointed. [...]

    • Rachel says:

      It was amazing and bittersweet reading this posthumous offering from Larry Brown. It was hard to separate the book from the man; the novel from the life. It is truly incredible how he is able to create such a complex and detailed world using such simple language. How he manages to let a story unravel slowly, in fits and starts, until the whole comes together building in unexpected moments of high drama as man battles machine, nature, and other men, and each character attempts to confront or avo [...]

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