!!> Reading ➺ The Last of How It Was ➲ Author T.R. Pearson – Thomashillier.co.uk


The Last of How It Was The Last Of The Trilogy Set In And Around The Fictional Town Of Neely, North Carolina, The Last Of How It Was Is Narrated By Young Louis Benfield And Is Primarily Concerned With The Convoluted And Often Tragic Benfield Family History

  • Hardcover
  • 362 pages
  • The Last of How It Was
  • T.R. Pearson
  • English
  • 04 January 2017
  • 0671617389

About the Author: T.R. Pearson

Thomas Reid Pearson is an American novelist born in Winston Salem, North Carolina He is the author of seventeen novels and four works of non fiction under his own name, including A Short History of a Small Place, Cry Me A River, Jerusalem Gap, and Seaworthy, and has written three additional novels Ranchero, Beluga, and Nowhere Nice under the pseudonym Rick Gavin Pearson has also ghostwritten several other books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has written or co written various feature film and TV scripts.



10 thoughts on “The Last of How It Was

  1. says:

    This is a book about stories and storytelling, and especially about oral narrative.It contains a lot of stories, but not in the way that, say, a collection of short stories contains a lot of stories At one level this book is a single story But in telling the story, the narrators there isthan one repeatedly get sidetracked and start off in new narrative directions in order to tell other stories, the purpose of which, sometimes, is to further illuminate the main story Then again, someti This is a book about stories and storytelling, and especially about oral narrative.It contains a lot of stories, but not in the way that, say, a collection of short stories contains a lot of stories At one level this book is a single story But in telling the story, the narrators there isthan one repeatedly get sidetracked and start off in new narrative directions in order to tell other stories, the purpose of which, sometimes, is to further illuminate the main story Then again, sometimes, the new story just seems to be so interesting that the narrator can t resist the temptation to tell it So stories spin off of the main story, and then stories spin off from those stories, and so forth in a fractal patternimage error a Lichtenburg figure The meandering narration contributes both to the book s glory and to its difficulty In addition to the non linear exposition of what plot there is, the book reads the way people talk Sometimes it is long winded and hard to follow But don t get the wrong impression despite the difficulty, I liked the book very much That isn t to say that the book will appeal to everyone It s not a quick, light summer read As I said, it is difficult in its way But once you settle into the cadence and the style, the reward is worth the effort I haven t even mentioned yet that the book is hilarious Many of the stories are just laugh out loud funny My favorite one involved a triple A baseball game at Ernie Shore Field in Winston Salem It took me a long time to stop laughing about how the Gold Leaf Queen, Miss Pamela Louise Spainhour of Lexington, awarded the door prizes between games of the double header.The other reason that it will not appeal to everyone is because of the numerous racial epithets that it contains If you think the recent censorship of Huckleberry Finn was a good idea, then don t bother with this book.Getting back to what I claim is the fractal nature of this book s structure, the image of the Lichtenburg figure that I used might leave you with the wrong impression This isn t a hierarchical or tree structure It slike this view spoiler As described by Wikipedia, an ourobouros often represents self reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re creating itself.Self reflexivity The Last of How It Was eats its own tail just like the ourobouros the beginning of the book is literally at the end.Cyclicality there are several generations of Benfields and Younts involved in the stories, and in the narration of the stories If the book is about anything, this is it the small things of daily life add up over the course of a life and define it and those patterns repeat themselves, fractal like, generation after generation The sensitivity to ancestry seems to be important to many Southern writers and is turned way up in this book.So a better image would be a combination of the ourobourus and the Lichtenburg figure replace the smooth skin of the snake with branching, spiky skin that represents all the stories and digressions and sidetracks and backtracks, and there you d have it hide spoiler Overall, highly recommended

  2. says:

    One of the best series in the Southern literature canon I read this book every few years in the summer All I can tell you is its like a lighter version of Faulkner, less cartoonish than Flannery O Connor with a taste of Harper Lee thrown in The author has done some amazing work with his NEELY series Definitely worth reading for anyone who has true southern roots.

  3. says:

    He is jsut so up and down I wasn t crazy about his first book short history of a small place but loved the second Now teh third book in the series wasn t that good either His writing is so faulknerized that it really walks a fine line between entertainment and getting in the way of the story the latter dominated in this book

  4. says:

    no 17 of 2019

  5. says:

    Love this author s story tellingTakes time to read but what a hoot Told by the little boy, the stories and personalities are hilarious but totally human.

  6. says:

    The Last of How It Was is the best book I almost never read I grew up lollygagging in living rooms and kitchens listening to family gossip, soap operas and grapevine news flashes Keeping a low profile and an open ear was the pipeline to all the best information the world had to offer, courtesy of my mother and aunts So too, does Pearson s fictional Louis Benfield, gain his education in the Last of How It Was A rambling tale of a fictitious Southern family, chock full of strange yet loveable The Last of How It Was is the best book I almost never read I grew up lollygagging in living rooms and kitchens listening to family gossip, soap operas and grapevine news flashes Keeping a low profile and an open ear was the pipeline to all the best information the world had to offer, courtesy of my mother and aunts So too, does Pearson s fictional Louis Benfield, gain his education in the Last of How It Was A rambling tale of a fictitious Southern family, chock full of strange yet loveable characters, it tells stories of a better, gentler time, from a South I never visited but feel right at home in thanks to the author s wonderful ear for dialect and eye for detail.T.R Pearson weaves a rich tale only it isn t simply one tale It s story spun off of story spun off of story in the best of family storytelling styles Each hilarious character and their story, only puts the storyteller various elder members of Louis Benfield s family in mind of another evenoutrageous character with all of their eccentric essential details, which leads to another and another and It s laugh out loud funny It s Pearson having a summit meeting with William Falkner, the Beverly Hillbillies, and Mark Twain It s the funniest book I ever read.In at least two places, I literally laughed until I cried when I tried to read it out loud to someone.But it is not a read for the faint of heart It takes some tenacity to take on the flow and rhythm of the dialog and setting It is in fact, confusing at first as the reader is plunged into Deep Southern dialog and rambling monologue, with no good explanation offered as to what is going on, or why.I almost gave up I almost put it down,than once For some reason, I kept wading through the characters the rich, fat, juicy descriptions and the personal histories of people and mules alike and was rewarded It happened somewhere between pages 40 65, and after that I was hooked.Hang in there until page 65, and enjoy all the wisdom, adventures, and foibles of the Benfield family and all of their charming southern fried acquaintances You will be very glad you did

  7. says:

    Unquestionably the funniest book I ve ever read The first time I read the book, my mother was in the same room with me and kept asking me why I was laughing so hard, but it s impossible to read a passage from this book aloud.Some people might find Pearson s style of writing hard to get used to unless they re from the South The book is written exactly as if it s being told to someone and there are sentences that go on for paragraphs and stories that splinter off into asides and back again I Unquestionably the funniest book I ve ever read The first time I read the book, my mother was in the same room with me and kept asking me why I was laughing so hard, but it s impossible to read a passage from this book aloud.Some people might find Pearson s style of writing hard to get used to unless they re from the South The book is written exactly as if it s being told to someone and there are sentences that go on for paragraphs and stories that splinter off into asides and back again I don t think any other writer could make this work, but Pearson does and he does it to amazing effect.Don t read this in public and don t read it if there s a good chance you ll be interrupted frequently If you have bladder issues, wear an adult diaper and settle in

  8. says:

    T.R, Pearson s books do not really get this side of the pond After reading the very excellent Cry Me a River and A Short History of a Small Place I was expectingfrom this one.After plugging away and plugging away at it, by the middle you finally DO come to realise that it is a book with something to say but so stylised as to be one track only The e.e.cummings i had an uncle named sol long winded discursive style gets to be too much and this is a real pity Buried in there are som T.R, Pearson s books do not really get this side of the pond After reading the very excellent Cry Me a River and A Short History of a Small Place I was expectingfrom this one.After plugging away and plugging away at it, by the middle you finally DO come to realise that it is a book with something to say but so stylised as to be one track only The e.e.cummings i had an uncle named sol long winded discursive style gets to be too much and this is a real pity Buried in there are some real gems of humour but the quality of the writing is so buried beneath this forced style that, once set by Pearson, it has to be stuck too A real shame but don t give up.read the other two instead

  9. says:

    Clearly not for everyone and an effort to get through, even for me who loves it A funny, poignant, outrageous story about the stories we tell No story is not dependent on another story Any story worth its salt reminds us of another story Every story has some story that went before In this very southern novel our family story is part and parcel of who we are, yet anyone is capable of surprising us We can usurp someone s story, but no one but that person can really appreciate what that story Clearly not for everyone and an effort to get through, even for me who loves it A funny, poignant, outrageous story about the stories we tell No story is not dependent on another story Any story worth its salt reminds us of another story Every story has some story that went before In this very southern novel our family story is part and parcel of who we are, yet anyone is capable of surprising us We can usurp someone s story, but no one but that person can really appreciate what that story means to them

  10. says:

    It took me forever 70 pages at least to get into Pearson s writing style long paragraphs of one long sentence with minimal punctuation But the family stories, relationships, and tangential stories were humorous The last 30 pages were my favorite, and I m glad I stuck with it.

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