Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: The Holedigger by Arthur Nelson Thornhill

The Holedigger cries out to be read by anyone who has ever had a taste of the hell that being poor, sick, lonely, depressed, tormented, abandoned and abused brings to human existence. Witness growing up with ''the boys'' hanging out at a country store, as they learn to get mad, get even, and get over it to survive and move on about the business of living, loving and dying. They let you see what life is like for those who have far greater enemies to fight than those we met in all of our wars.

The holedigger, Rayford Franklin, personifies evil all his life as he digs wells and graves while victimizing generations of women around Woosterville, Georgia. His story digs up some human treasures buried deep in the rural south. Out of the incest and inbreeding comes a mix of characters who clearly reflect the complex sea of humanity in our real world. The chiseled-from-stone permanence of these characters gives us a bold new look at ourselves by uncovering bits and pieces of our own humanity in each of them. ''The boys'' and their heroes meet evil head on. They fight and cut their way through every danger to carve from a legacy of injustice and depravity a future with great promise and a ray of hope for all. They become as real as the story they tell.
My review:

Content warning: This book contains rape, incest, and child molestation. In some cases, it's just mentioned, but it is graphic in some instances.

What seems to be a simple coming-of-age story turns into a complicated, twisting mass of tragedy and atrocity. And I mean complicated in more than one way. If you have trouble keeping up with a lot of characters in a story, you may even want to write down everyone because the relationships are integral to the story. Seriously. Write. It. Down. Take notes. It made me dizzy.

The holedigger, Rayford Franklin, isn't the only evil man in Woosterville. If it weren't for another abomination in the town, half the people in town would never have been born. A family tree is lined out after the truth becomes known but that's almost near the end of the book. By then, you will either have figured it out on your own, or you'll be so lost, it won't matter. 

I got so caught up in the characters that I was very disappointed when the book ended. I'm so mad at myself for letting this book sit on my shelf for almost a year before I read it.

About the book:
Title: The Holedigger: A Novel About Living and Dying
Author: Arthur Nelson Thornhill
Publisher: Red Lead Press
Pages: 248
Release date: Feb 25, 2008
Where I got the book: I won it.

This is Review #2 in my Hurricane Relief Review-a-thon. Please go HERE for all the details and to make a donation or win a $20 Amazon gift card by helping me spread the word.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...