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In a Shallow Grave A soldier named Garnet Montrose returns home to coastal Virginia bearing a grotesue injury which is nauseatingly repellent to anyone who sees him He hires two young male caretakers uintus Pearch and Potter Daventry who look after his disability They also act as a go between with Garnet's childhood sweetheart now the widow Georgina Rance delivering her messages in a desperate attempt to restart their interrupted relationshipWith vivid Gothic imagery and drama Purdy explores the varieties of love and the powerful transformations it can make in anyone's life Readers will not soon forget Garnet uintus and Daventry for the genuine human love that they share—and reject—and how they discover their way in the world


About the Author: James Purdy

NY Times obituary He was an author of novels short stories poetry and plays His works were controversial and often panned by critics but received praise from authors such as Edward Albee Lillian Hellman Dorothy Parker and Gore Vidal Purdy grew up in Ohio before moving to Chicago After serving in the Army he attended the University of Puebla in Puebla Mexico the University of Chicago and the University of Madrid From 1949 to 1953 he taught at Lawrence College in Appleton Wis In 1960 he moved to New York City where his literary career took off after meeting photographer Carl Van VechtenPurdy was the recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Fiction Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters 1993 and was nominated for the 1985 PENFaulkner Award for his novel



10 thoughts on “In a Shallow Grave

  1. says:

    First published in 1975 this is a masculine gothic romance unlike anything I’ve read before Garnet our leading man is a war marred soldier who is so disfigured he frightens onlookers and reuires the assistance of attractive men to rub circulation into his feet He's also obsessed with a now widowed woman who he had a crush on in high school Over time however Garnet develops an attraction to his assis


  2. says:

    Unsure whilst reading and now unsure coming out Purdy did his utmost to set me in a world which I can't place or at least I can't place the time His use of language with that mix of old southern boy and the current slips which leave me confused as to when I am It's surreal alright But at the same time amidst all this misty feel of not know exactly where when and what's happening the feelings the emotional tags


  3. says:

    Do I know really know what I just read? Probably not but I'm super happy I did Of course I'm blaming this on Nick And by blame I mean thank you The best way to experience this tale and yes it is an experience is to inhale it in one go let it subsume you and float in James Purdy's mesmerizing language For extra effect I also chose to read it out loud To my cat She was lulled to sleep The bones of the story are whatever


  4. says:

    Five on a scale of five? No 13 on a scale of 10 Imagine the combined spirits of Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor on LSD channeling Rimbaud and Kafka who are trying to outdo each other paragraph by paragraph chapter by chapter like jazz musicians trading eights This is the book they would write Layers and layers with surprise after surprise every idea and action is ualified or contradicted then contradicted again and that contradi


  5. says:

    This video from the movie will give you a good idea of the feelings you'll have reading this strange book It's not at all what I expected from reading other reviews I expected pretension I love me some pretension and lots of wordy words What I got instead was genuine Southern dialogue used to tell a story I have yet to make real sense of I was just mesmerized by this little ditty Highly recommended


  6. says:

    This is the perfect book for anyone looking to discover or explore the works of James Purdy In only 140 pages he displays the elements and characteristics of his highly literary writing a mysterious Southern Gothic style an unconventional narration which stimulates thought dramatic turns of plot suggesting the supernaturaland a touch of violence If you've read William Faulkner andor Cormac McCarthy you will sense a resemblance while also feeling


  7. says:

    This book was like nothing I've read before It's character driven centered around a disfigured soldier and his two hired servants who form an intense codependency on one another There's romance but it's not romantic There's grotesue body horror stuff but I wouldn't call it horror There's supernatural stuff but it could also just be a series of coincidences It's Southern Gothic at it's bestIt's also racist in a way that goes beyond what could've been brus


  8. says:

    Garnett Montrose a horribly disfigured war hero hiring a caregiver to deliver messages and massage his aching scars Not an easy task Until a servant and an applicant settle in and become than just hired hands Dancing alone under the globe unlikely angels and mulberry wine scar tissue I’m not entirely sure why I liked this one as much as I did but it was a really great read and kept me engaged from the very beginning Some great characterizations here and writte


  9. says:

    spooky mysterious intense surreal southern gothic like if flannery o’connor wrote the book of revelations The little blurbs on the back cover make it sound like the feel good book of the year but this is so much freakier than that


  10. says:

    This is a novel that demands discussion There is so much going on so much symbolism I certainly have not figured everything out It's a psychological drama about life and death love beauty Read it


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