Mr. Tall Pdf Summary
Two decades after his debut collection Here We Are in Paradise heralded Tony Earley as one of the most accomplished writers of his generation, the rueful, bittersweet, and riotous stories of Mr. Tall reestablish him as a mythmaker and tale spinner of the first rank. These stories introduce us not only to ordinary people seeking to live extraordinary lives, but to the skunk ape (a southern variant of Bigfoot), the ghost of Jesse James, and a bone-tired Jack the Giant Killer. Whether it’s Appalachia, Nashville, the Carolina Coast, or a make-believe land of talking dogs, each world Earley creates is indelible.
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Mr. Tall Review
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little More Than Real
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 22, 2015
Earley has a way of adding an extra dimension to reality. It’s a dimension that heads the story in a direction that is just bizarre enough — the story stays tethered to reality, but it has a quirk that branches away. That extra dimension allows the story to teach us more than reality alone could do.
All seven stories in the book have at their core a genuine, sometimes even iconic human situation. The very first story is a coming of age story for a couple (Darryl and Cheryl), seeing their daughter off to college and her own life, leaving them to fend for themselves with the starkness of a one on one relationship, no longer mediated by their daughter.
Mr. Tall, the title story, moves a little farther from the realism of that first story, with a semi-mythical neighbor, a bit more thought-about than real. And by the time we reach the final story — Jack and the Mad Dog — we’re following the Jack of the Appalachian Jack Tales down the rabbit hole farther from literal reality. The world of Jack’s Tales is dissolving all around him as pop culture makes him and his tales less and less relevant.
All seven stories are “regional”, set in southern hills that are secluded enough that even the landscapes seem just a bit beyond reality. Maybe I’m a little over-influenced by the final story, the Jack Tale, but where the book left me was with the feel of having experienced stories with morals, like folks tales themselves — just fantastic enough to allow you to draw out something to think about in your own life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, but unsentimental. Highly recommended.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 12, 2015
This collection of short stories and the novella, Mr. Tall, was my first exposure to Tony Earley. It won’t be the last. In the first story in the collection “Haunted Castles of the Barrier Islands” a couple drive up to the University to visit their daughter who they dropped off two months ago as a scared and homesick eighteen year old. From the first page:
“They found her locked in her room – dressed, but flushed and disheveled – with a scrawny wannabe surfer named Kyle. Kyle wore temporarily indecent board shorts and a T-shirt with F**K**U printed across the front. By the time he took hold of Darryl’s thumb and said, “Sup, dude” Darryl hated him thoroughly.”
It takes a certain brilliance to come up with the term “temporarily indecent” to perfectly capture the awkwardness of that scene.
In the novella, Mr. Tall, his main character is a young woman name Plutina, who sets up a household with her new husband in an isolated patch of Appalachia where her only neighbor is the mysterious Mr. Tall. Plutina (love that name) is a great character – honest and funny and innocent and tougher than she realizes. I could have easily read a hundred more pages with her as the narrator.
Earley’s stories are heartfelt, but unsentimental. Unpredictable, but with endings that feel natural and inevitable. Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth the read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 11, 2019
Mr. Tall, by Tony Earley, is a collection of short stories mainly based in the American South. Due to his upbringing in North Carolina, Earley has developed a detailed knowledge of the settings he discusses in his stories. This appreciation of the region is demonstrated in lively descriptions of characters and their surroundings (where he does not seem to miss a detail). And Earley’s first-hand account of the people in that area also shines through with realistic dialogue.
Earley is also a master of internal dialogue and conflicts. His short stories in Mr. Tall explore the lives of various individuals from differing backgrounds and time periods. Even in the sometimes limited space that short stories provide, Earley presents the character and conflict in a way where the reader immediately connects to them. While reading, there were several times that characters from past stories appeared in another character’s storyline and you can’t help but get excited because of how attached you become to them. This ability to make each character seem relatable no matter their age, gender, or characteristics truly speaks to his skills as a writer.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but darker than you think.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 11, 2019
Although Mr. Tall is a humorous collection of short stories, it is not as lighthearted as you might assume. The stories hint at mental illnesses such as depression and PTSD but never address them directly; suicide and suicidal thoughts are also mentioned. Mr. Tall also features several unhappy or unfulfilling marriages. Almost every character seems trapped in a haze of boredom, longing, and loneliness. The seven short stories cover a variety of characters and time periods from a newly married country girl moving to her husband’s homestead in the mountains to an empty nester couple visiting their daughter at collage. Each story is unified by its focus on the mundane events of life, even when the actual events aren’t mundane at all. Sex is referenced often, but not in a truly erotic way. The characters refer to it with so much casual indifference that it becomes humorous. The humor throughout is very dry and sarcastic, but it generally lands well and keeps the writing interesting. Although the stories often have twist or surprise endings, they are not generally action packed or “exiting” in a traditional sense. Tony Early tends to focus less on a series of events and more on the internal dialogue of his characters as they deal with life’s drudgery. Ultimately Mr. Tall is a well written and interesting collection of stories, but not for the faint of heart. This collection is probably not the best choice for young audiences, but a great choice for a more introspective or cynical reader.
About Tony Earley Author of Mr. Tall pdf Book
Tony Earley the Author of Mr. Tall pdf Book (born 1961) is an American novelist and short story writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, but grew up in North Carolina. His stories are often set in North Carolina.
Earley studied English at Warren Wilson College and after graduation in 1983, he spent four years as a reporter in North Carolina, first as a general assignment reporter for The Thermal Belt News Journal in Columbus, and then as sports editor and feature writer at The Daily Courier in Forest City. Later he attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he received an MFA in creative writing. He quickly found success writing short stories, first with smaller literary magazines, then with Harper’s, which published two of his stories: “Charlotte” in 1992 and “The Prophet From Jupiter” in 1993. The latter story helped Harper’s win a National Magazine Award for fiction in 1994.
In 1996, Earley’s short stories earned him a place on Granta’s list of the “20 Best Young American Novelists”, and shortly after that announcement, The New Yorker featured him in an issue that focused on the best new novelists in America. He has twice been included in the annual Best American Short Stories anthology. His writing style has been compared by critics to writers as distant as a young Ernest Hemingway and E. B. White. One of his favorite writers is Willa Cather.
Mr. Tall pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; First Edition (August 26, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316246123
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316246125
- Item Weight : 14.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,999,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #29,879 in Short Stories (Books)
- #30,269 in Family Life Fiction (Books)
- #86,523 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars 37 ratings
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