Item description for Tear Down the Mountain: An Appalachian Love Story by Roger Alan Skipper...
In their tiny, secluded mountain community, Sid Lore and Janet Hollar are misfits: Sid because he wasn't born here, Janet because she can't satisfy her Pentecostal church's demand to speak in tongues. The two drift together and get married, and soon the optimistic, independent newlyweds vow to forge their own reality. Appalachian life, however, proves difficult: family and friends die or move away and Sid's work-related injuries make it impossible to earn a living. As his enters a rut of odd jobs, bar brawls, and dog fights, Janet discovers new worth --- and a hidden talent for destruction. Just when they don't think they can sink any lower, the "superior" outside world discovers their mountains, their lake, their forests, and their "rednecks" --- which brings new problems. Incisive prose, vivid characters, and a compulsively readable narrative make this novel about lives cramped and cornered by economic and cultural forces a stunning debut.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Sep 28, 2006
Publisher Soft Skull Press
ISBN 1933368349 ISBN13 9781933368344
Availability 0 units.
More About Roger Alan Skipper
Roger Alan Skipper lives in Maryland, near his Appalachian birthplace. His first novel, Tear Down the Mountain, was published in 2006.
Reviews - What do customers think about Tear Down the Mountain: An Appalachian Love Story?
Bittersweet Love Dec 28, 2006
This novel has such witty dialog that readers will want to re-read conversations to discover what they missed the first time. Especially inside Sid's flat-toned talk, deep passions hide, and characters and readers alike are warned to be alert. Here is Sid to Janet about her Pentecostals: "Long as I stay away, they got the God they talk about: the One with the little lambs and the still waters and whatnot. But when I show up, He's got a bit nasty to him. Like when He fried up all them Israelites cause one of them didn't bury their poop and He tromped on it early of a morning." Wanting to belong, to work, to make a home on the mountain, Sid is frustrated again and again. He and Janet chafe against each other, God, family, and the mountains and laws--explicit and implicit-- of Appalachia, but they remain chained by bittersweet bonds we may not always understand. TEAR DOWN THE MOUNTAINB tells several love stories all at once, including the author's own sardonic affection for the land and its displaced people.
Authentic! Nov 7, 2006
You'll know immediately that this author is the real deal. You won't forget his book.
Afresh new voice Oct 19, 2006
Recently my wife and I had the pleasure of reading Roger Alan Skipper's novel, "Tear Down the Mountain". We were greatly impressed with Mr. Skipper's ability to intertwine the stresses associated with religion, poverty and love in a young couples search for happiness. Mr. Skipper's choice of narrative comes across as both authentic and poetic. We were particularly impressed with his description of the ginseng hunt in Chapter Five and the night time expedition with Harlin Wall in Chapter Seven. Clearly in Mr. Skipper, the people of Appalachia have fresh new voice to chronicle their rich and rewarding history. We highly recommend this novel.
Bill and Judi Merriman Alexandria, VA
Love in a Rusted-Out Trailer Oct 11, 2006
Skipper's engrossing first novel is about love in the hard landscape of rural poverty. This account of Sid Lore and Janet Hollar's courtship and marriage is an all-out run down mountains, across yards ruled by angry dogs, through beer joints, and into the hearts and minds of a couple whose tenacity and passion seems to redefine 'until death do us part.'
In Skipper's Appalachia, language is something you chew and savor; characters "masticate their words." Sid's encounters with animals, butchered or alive, dog or mouse, are vivid to the point of being odorous. Janet uses words, sometimes like a whip, sometimes as a gentle wind to fan the couple's hopes into flame. Every word is believable; when Janet "lams" Sid in the mouth with a flowerpot, breaking his front teeth, his acceptance of this indignity seems as natural as relying on duct tape to fix appliances too rusted out for conventional treatments.
The plotting is a bit arbitrary; when Sid and Janet make decisions, they have a random feel. Characters I grew to love in section 1 seem to have dropped off the map without explanation by section II. Yet would more tightly-knit book have conveyed so well the drifting nature of lives bound both by their love of `the mountain' and the poverty that environment engenders?
Tear Down the Mountain is an honest picture of the scrappy nature of love; and a paean to an urge to survival that finds life to be `enough' no matter how tough the circumstances.
Wild Ride, Wonderful Journey Oct 10, 2006
Tear Down the Mountain is a wild ride into a part of the US most rarely visit and almost no one gets to inhabit the way Skipper does. He takes the reader into the intimate spaces between the valleys, gulleys, and heart chambers that ARE Appalachia. Although the book starts out slowly, it definitely picks up momentum, much the way a coal cart does as it rattles to a crashing conclusion at the end of a mine. But what Skipper does here is to make us crave the ride. HIs mastery of characterization and language is nothing short of sublime. He is nearly poetic, evoking in the reader a sense of sympathy and a gasp for breath as the views of this place, this human space, unfold page after page. The raw and sometimes brutal views are well worth the trip.
Skipper has a definitely male Margaret Mitchell approach to regional fiction. But unlike Mitchell, this author will be no "one book wonder." I eagerly await the next in what is surely to be a long line of first-rate fiction from Roger Skipper.