Decades after its original publication, James Agee's last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man's death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed. On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he believes is dying. The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly. Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelmingly powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read aloud for the sheer music of its prose.
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"Unfolding mostly through the eyes of two children, James Agee's somber novel recounts a father's death and its impact on his family. The events of the book move slowly as the story focuses on the emotions and responses of Mary Follet and her two small children, Rufus and Catherine. Lloyd James narrates with a careful cadence, clearly rendering the plot in low tones and making each character distinct. He captures each family member's cautious restraint, revealing the ever present tension between self-control and emotional outburst. The gravity of James's tone suits the solemn occasion of the story, making for a thoughtful and conscientious narration. D.M.W. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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