Item description for Jayber Crow (Port William) by Wendell Berry & Paul Michael...
Overview From the simple setting of his own barber shop, Jayber Crow, orphan, seminarian, and native of Port William, recalls his life and the life of his community as it spends itself in the middle of the twentieth century. Surrounded by his friends and neighbors, he is both participant and witness as the community attempts to transcend its own decline. And meanwhile Jayber learns the art of devotion and that a faithful love is its own reward.
Publishers Description From the simple setting of his own barber shop, Jayber Crow, orphan, SEMInarian, and native of Port William, recalls his life and the life of his community as it spends itself in the middle of the twentieth century. Surrounded by his friends and neighbors, he is both participant and witness as the community attempts to transcend its own decline. And meanwhile Jayber learns the art of devotion and that a faithful love is its own reward.
From Publishers Weekly Jayber Crow, town barber in Port William, Ky., recounts his life journey, which parallels the decline of sustainable agriculture throughout rural America. The agrarian threads also run through the novel's romantic triangle, in which Crow pines for the heart of the gracious and beautiful Mattie Chapman, whose ambitious agribusinessman husband, Troy, embodies the antithesis of Crow's sacred devotion to nature. Veteran narrator Paul Michael effectively portrays Crow's complexities and contradictions as both an insider at the hub of community life and a self-sufficient loner who eschews the material comforts and conveniences of the modern age. As Crow and his friends feast on fried catfish and corn pone at a water-drinking party, Michael's whimsical imitation of the good, good, good sound of a moonshine whiskey jug evokes a wistful connection to the joyous simple pleasures of a contemplative existence. Michael's deliberate pronunciation of hard consonant sounds as Crow repeatedly scoffs at the machine-like momentum of the war and the economy may seem heavy-handed. Yet Berry's activism informs his storytelling, so listeners familiar with his body of work should not be surprised by the political edge. A Counterpoint paperback (Reviews, July 31, 2000). (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews Jayber Crow (Port William) by Wendell Berry & Paul Michael has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 08/27/2007 page 83
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Studio: Hovel Audio
Running Time: 900.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.19" Width: 5.23" Height: 1.63" Weight: 0.54 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Hovel Audio
Series Port William
ISBN 1596444444 ISBN13 9781596444447
Availability 0 units.
More About Wendell Berry & Paul Michael
WENDELL BERRY was born in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1934. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1956 and continued on to complete a master’s degree in 1957. In 1958, he received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.
Berry has taught at Stanford University, Georgetown College, New York University, the University of Cincinnati, and Bucknell University. He taught at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky from 1964-77, and again from 1987-93.
The author of more than 40 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Wendell Berry has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1962), the Vachel Lindsay Prize from Poetry (1962), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1965), a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing (1971), the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly Review (1974), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award (1987), a Lannan Foundation Award for Non-Fiction (1989), Membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers (1991), the Ingersoll Foundation's T. S. Eliot Award (1994), the John Hay Award (1997), the Lyndhurst Prize (1997), and the Aitken-Taylor Award for Poetry from The Sewanee Review (1998). His books include the novel Hannah Coulter (2004), the essay collections Citizenship Papers (2005) and The Way of Ignorance (2006), and Given: Poems (2005), all available from Counterpoint. Berry's latest works include The Mad Farmer Poems (2008) and Whitefoot (2009), which features illustrations by Davis Te Selle.
He lives and works with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal, Kentucky.
Wendell Berry currently resides in the state of Kentucky. Wendell Berry was born in 1934.
Reviews - What do customers think about Jayber Crow?
Stunning Novel Aug 23, 2008
This is a book that I couldn't read slowly enough for fear that it would end.
Wendell Berry--novelist, poet, essayist--has written an unrequited love story and a love letter to the natural world. Jayber Crow revisits Berry's fictional Kentucky town of Port William and peers into the life of the town's barber, the book's namesake, Jayber.
Berry, a well-known environmentalist, has enough skill to render a page-turning story while advocating for the earth. He's one of our greatest living American writers. I highly recommend this book.
Great Story! Jan 27, 2008
This is an amazing story! Vividly written and really makes you think about what is good in the world. The characters stay alive in your mind for months after finishing the story!
This audio version is well narrated and easy to listen to. It's un-abridged, so all the wonderful descriptions of the book are in there.
Wendell Berry is a fantastic author - I can't wait to start the next book.
Deserves to be a classic Oct 31, 2007
The book jacket calls this a "beautiful, lyrical love story," and it is. But it is not the romance of a man for a woman but rather the deep, fond emotion that Jayber Crow holds for his community, his friends, and all that has gone into his non-eventful but ultimately pleasant life. Here is a book that can be an antidote for the disillusion and despair we feel when we seem to be lost in the cosmos. As Jayber reminisces,
"I still do belong to Port William. Being here satisfies me. I have no thought of going away. If I knew for sure that I would die here, I would be glad. And yet definite as all this is, it seems surrounded by the indefinite, like a boat in a fog. I can't look back from where I am now and feel that I have been very much in control of my life. Certainly I have lived on the edge of the Port William community, and I am farther than ever out on the edge of it now. But I feel that I have lived on the edge even of my own life. I have made plans enough, but I see now that I have never lived by plan. Any more than if I had been a bystander watching me live my life. I don't feel that I ever have been quite sure what was going on. Nearly everything that has happened to me has happened by surprise. All the important things have happened by surprise. And whatever has been happening usually has already happened before I have had time to expect it. The world doesn't stop because you are in love or in mourning or in need of time to think. And so when I have thought I was in my story or in charge of it, I really have been only on the edge of it, carried along. Is this because we are in an eternal story that is happening partly in time?" (322)
Berry's lyrical prose helps us to enjoy the opportunity to be "on the edge" of Jayber's life, and we are the better for being carried along by it.
A Fine Novel Oct 25, 2007
Reading Jayber Crow is like spending the weekend listening to your favorite uncle tell family stories. The conversational tone used by Berry could get sappy in the hands of a less skilled writer, but that doesn't happen on the pages of Jayber Crow. Wendall Berry's prose is exquisite. As the story moves slowly through another time and place, Jayber's voice draws you into his private mind. It is a tender place to be. The story is thought-provoking and deeply moving. I hated for this book to end.
None better. Oct 21, 2007
I used to read a lot of books and I never felt the need to quantify or compare one book to another. But when I finished Jayber Crow I knew that this was the best book I had ever read.
As other reviews here will testify, it is astounding how Wendell Berry communicates with mere words the beauty of life, the human heart and the love that holds both together.
I've sold most of the books I owned but I doubt that I will ever part with my copy of Jayber Crow.