The Prince of Frogtown

The Prince of Frogtown

Book - 2008
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In this final volume of the beloved American saga that began withAll Over but the Shoutin'and continued withAva's Man,Rick Bragg closes his circle of family stories with an unforgettable tale about fathers and sons inspired by his own relationship with his ten-year-old stepson. He learns, right from the start, that a man who chases a woman with a child is like a dog who chases a car and wins. He discovers that he is unsuited to fatherhood, unsuited to fathering this boy in particular, a boy who does not know how to throw a punch and doesn't need to; a boy accustomed to love and affection rather than violence and neglect; in short, a boy wholly unlike the child Rick once was, and who longs for a relationship with Rick that Rick hasn't the first inkling of how to embark on. With the weight of this new boy tugging at his clothes, Rick sets out to understand his father, his son, and himself. The Prince of Frogtowndocuments a mesmerizing journey back in time to the lush Alabama landscape of Rick's youth, to Jacksonville's one-hundred-year-old mill, the town's blight and salvation; and to a troubled, charismatic hustler coming of age in its shadow, Rick's father, a man bound to bring harm even to those he truly loves. And the book documents the unexpected corollary to it, the marvelous journey of Rick's later life: a journey into fatherhood, and toward a child for whom he comes to feel a devotion that staggers him. With candor, insight, tremendous humor, and the remarkable gift for descriptive storytelling on which he made his name, Rick Bragg delivers a brilliant and moving rumination on the lives of boys and men, a poignant reflection on what it means to be a father and a son.
Published: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400040407
140004040X
Branch Call Number: 976.1063 BRA
Characteristics: x, 255 p. ;,24 cm.

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IndyPL_SteveB Nov 26, 2018

In his first two family memoirs (*All Over But the Shoutin’* and *Ava’s Man*), Rick Bragg wrote about himself and about his mother’s family. He ignored his late father, who left the family when Bragg was six, except as the person who had made his mother poor and miserable. He dismissed his father as “a mean drunk and a tragic figure.” But at the age of 40, Bragg finds himself in love and married to a woman with a 10-year-old son, who thinks he “hung the moon.” For him to be a father, he needs to learn who that shadowy figure really was. For the first time he asks his father’s family about the past, from the Alabama mountains where his father’s people were born to the mill town where they married, drank, and fought. Brilliantly written and deeply moving, this is one of the great American memoirs about fatherhood.

j
jannylegs
Aug 01, 2016

I liked the parallels Rick Bragg makes between becoming a father to his wife's son and the short relationship he had with his own father who died at an age earlier than he was at the time of writing the book. His backtracking research to discover who the man was unlocks some mysteries about what is going on before his eyes with "the boy."

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 11, 2014

The third in Rick’s family stories, this one continues the saga of growing up in a Southern family with an alcoholic absent father. Rick has a beautiful way of projecting you into the South and describing his family. The characters are rich and colourful with lots of laughs and pathos.

o
ownedbydoxies
Sep 13, 2011

An extremely talented writer, Rick Bragg's books are always a very good read. He has a way of describing places and people with such skill it makes you want to re-read portions in order to appreciate his writing style as much as possible. All his biographies are excellent and this one is no exception.

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