Item description for Welcome to Higby by Mark Dunn...
Following the national success of Ella Minnow Pea, this second novel from Mark Dunn brings the same charm and love of good language to a small town in the South. A Robert Altmanesque comedy, Welcome to Higby follows the hilarious goings-on in a small town in northern Mississippi over Labor Day weekend. From mousy Carmen Valentine, whose guardian angel, Arnetta, gives her penny-pinching shopping tips, to addled old Hank Grammar, who preaches Jesus to his neighbors' pets, Higby's townsfolk have a knack for getting into -- and trouble getting out of -- outrageous situations. Blessed with an unerring eye for dead-on details, Dunn lovingly traces the eccentric and touching lives of his characters, offering an intelligent yet heartwarming vision of life in small-town America. Welcome to Higby is a Southern comical tale about simple dreams both realized and thwarted by all the complexities of the human heart.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.25" Width: 6.51" Height: 1.25" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2002
ISBN 1931561176 ISBN13 9781931561174
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark Dunn
Mark Dunn is the author of more than twenty-five full-length plays. "Belles" and "Five Tellers Dancing in the Rain "have together received over 150 productions throughout the world, and Dunn has been the recipient of several national playwriting awards. He is currently playwright-in-residence with the New Jersey Repertory Company and the Community Theatre League in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Originally from Memphis, he now lives in Greenwich Village with his wife, Mary. Ella Minnow Pea is his first novel.
Reviews - What do customers think about Welcome to Higby?
Not as clever as Ella Minnow Pea...... Nov 17, 2004
A fine book but I was disappointed because I was looking for another Ella....
Loved Ella, at least Oct 23, 2004
*Welcome to Higby* was a disappointment considering the wit Dunn exhibited in *Ella Minnow Pea*--not that the book didn't have wit; it just didn't have the spark that *Ella* had.
Part of the problem was the writing itself. Dunn spent a lot of time "head-hopping" in this one. He drifted from one point-of-view to another. Not only was this distracting; it was confusing. I had to reread paragraphs to find who the main player was from one minute to the next.
His theme is beaten to death, as well--everything goes as long as "love" is involved. A minister ignores his son, partly because of his grief over his wife's death and partly because of his work; then he falls "truly in love" with a former prostitute and has sex with her upon their second meeting while his son climbs the Higby water tower for the second time. Another man falls instantly for a woman who has rear-ended his vehicle. And another man who has just converted to Christianity--but is still shacked up with his girlfriend due to an imagined "grandfather clause"--decides to bed down with a new flame, then goes back to his girlfriend, making passionate love to her the same day; and then the minister who catches who catches them is made to look ridiculous??? Other types of "love" that are deemed unacceptable by society are gushed over in this book, as well.
What humor is there is pretty run-of-the-mill (for example, a bumbling policeman, an adorable older man bordering on senility).
Little new; little original; little reason to read it.
A fun book... Jul 27, 2004
Well, it took me a few days to finish this book, I wasn't really able to get into it all that much, but once I finished it I started to like it more and more! Thinking back on all the quirky, eccentric folks of Higby, Mississippi, I was a little disapointed there wasn't more to read.
The book is about Labor Day weekend in the small town, and the going-ons in some of towns peoples lives. The chapters are real short (3-5 pages) and each focuses on a different person. There's Carmen, in love with the handsome Tie who doesn't know she exists...Stewie and Marci, who's relationship is tested, Pastor Cullen who's son Clint falls from the Higby water tower, both of whome are trying to move on after the loss of a wife and mother, and so many more!
I recommend this book as a light fun little read. You'll really enjoy the craziness and quirky drama of the folks from Higby, Mississippi.
Funny and uplifting Apr 24, 2004
I loved this book. The people you meet in Higby are eccentric and charming and wonderful. The introductory biblical quotations for each chapter are a real treat and must be reread after finishing the chapter for full appreciation.
Visit to Mississippi town mirrors a Texasville visit of yore Jan 6, 2004
The brevity of chapter length in Mark Dunn's Southern comedy entices the reader to keep reading. Yes, the character names are contrived and ridiculous, but no more than other authors have penned in their comic tales. In fact, this tale of the citizens of Higby, Mississippi, mirrors the bizarre cast of Larry McMurtry's ribald "Texasville", and of the humor of the movies "Daddy's Dyin': Whose Got the Will?", "Home Fries", ad nauseum.
But I liked it enough to read on. Perhaps I was wondering how Dunn's plot might parallel T. R. Pearson's "A Short History of a Small Place", what with the town water tower serving as the start and end of the Higby visit.
The characters in this tale are richly eccentric and colorful to match their names. Dunn had fun with these names: Carmen Valentine, Harold and Carold, the Pedloe twins, Klaus and Abbadene Ostermeyer, Stewie, Tie, Ponce, Talitha, Bowmar, and more. And the reader is reminded of the cleverness of Dickens and Twain in their naming of casts of characters.
Dunn's playwright's talent definitely influences his novel. He has a way of setting up scenes that might be vividly played out on stage or on screen. And with the humorous situations into which he places his cast, one also sees the pathos of real life, the true basis of humor, a deep sorrow of the valleys of life, not just the high points.
Each character, starting with a grieving teenaged boy named Clint Cullen, a preacher's son, no less, and a love-starved maker of potato salad, virginal Carmen Valentine, is likeable and believable. In fact, you may swear that you know some of these people. Dunn skillfully manages his "cast of thousands" by weaving them into one another's lives, just as small towns tend to do to their citizens.
I do recommend this book. It is a nice escape from TV and its laugh track sit-coms and over-done reality series. And you will find laugh-out-loud moments, good for what ails you during winter doldrums.