A sickly and awkward boy who turned into a country music legend, Hiram Williams had reinvented himself as Hank Williams and taken to alcohol by the age of 14. He was dead by the age of 29. Here, Paul Hemphill recounts the tortured life and whirlwind career of the hillbilly Shakespeare as only a fellow Southerner can. " . this is the finest work of literature about Williams yet written."-Booklist
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"The short but dramatic life of Hank Williams, the beloved country singer with the distinctively mournful voice, offers sufficient material for an interesting biography--but this book is more. Also a product of the rural South, the author entwines his own life with that of Williams, and the result is worthwhile. Reader Jonathan Hogan invigorates Hemphill's descriptions of Alabama during the Depression, replete with coarse honky-tonks and the struggles of everyday Americans. Hogan mingles Williams's rocky road to fame with a sad recognition of his self-destructive drinking. Through Hogan's voice we experience Williams's ambition, and with wry and gentle sadness we anticipate his lonely death at age 29. N.M.C. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"