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The Practical Heart [BOOKS] ⚣ The Practical Heart By Allan Gurganus – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk In his fictional Falls North Carolina–a watchful zone of stifling s–Allan Gurganus’s fond and comical characters risk everything to protect their improbable hopes from prejudice poverty betrayal In his fictional Falls North Carolina–a watchful zone of stifling s–Allan Gurganus’s fond and comical characters risk everything to protect their improbable hopes from prejudice poverty betrayal Seeking warmth and true connection they shield themselves and loved ones while creating The Practical PDF or a rarely glimpsed world of valor minor grandeur side street heroics Muriel Fraser a poor Scottish born spinster is the subject of a John Singer Sargent portrait in the imagination of her devoted grand nephew Tad Worth a young man dying of AIDS finds ways to restore vitality to old friends and th century houses Overnight one pillar of the community accused of child molesting becomes the village pariah And Clyde Delman ugliest if kindest man in Falls finds the love of his eight year old son jeopardized when troubling family secrets arise In each of these splendid complex tales Allan Gurganus wrings truths–sometimes bruising ofttimes warming–from human hearts as immense as they are local.

  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • The Practical Heart
  • Allan Gurganus
  • English
  • 25 February 2015
  • 9780375727634

About the Author: Allan Gurganus

Since Allan Gurganus’s novels stories and essays have become a singularly unified and living body of work Known for dark humor erotic candor pictorial clarity and folkloric sweep his prose is widely translated Gurganus’s stories collected as “Piccoli eroi” The Practical PDF or were just published to strong Italian reviews France’s La Monde has called him “a Mark Twain for our age hilariously clear eyed.



10 thoughts on “The Practical Heart

  1. Jacob Jacob says:

    July 2012The impoverished daughter of an unlucky immigrant has her portrait painted by John Singer Sargentor maybe she doesn't if her favorite nephew is to be believed A North Carolina home preservation society newsletter eulogizes its flamboyant founder A Trojan Hose several urinals over proves to be one family man's undoing And something something ugly father something something adulterous mother something something ruined childhood somethingFour novellas of mixed uality from Allan Gurganus author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and others The Practical Heart is the best of the bunch with its did she or didn't she get painted by Sargent story and Gurganus's prose here is damned good or at least gives that impression before it goes downhill in the later yarns Preservation News and He's One Too were decent although they tended to wander And Saint Monster was a total snooze the longest of the uartet too in both wordcount and readability I get it kid your dad was ugly and your mom shtupped the veterinarian Those 158 pages felt as long as a Rothfuss novel only less purple Made up rating one fourth good one half decent one fourth godawful boring Stop reading at page 161 and you won't miss a thing

  2. Susan Emmet Susan Emmet says:

    Although the novellas are uneven in uality and punch this is a fine collectionI loved the story of Muriel descendant of upright Scottish gentry who by sheer will and intelligence moved upward at least in her mind The tale of getting to John Singer Sargeant is priceless sad madcap and wonderful And Gurganus connects Muriel to grand nephew in incredible ways as she leaves him her incessant search for probity and a sort of grandeur God what a sadglad mergerShades of Sedaris and Monette and Lives of the City in He's One Too That old black magic of humor and gritty descriptionPreservation News is the best of the lot Resurrection abounds on many fronts for many peopleSaint Monster lasts way too long but I found so many passages of incredible nuance and realismGurganus is a fine fine writer and that's reflected in this collection but not consistently

  3. Brian Brian says:

    Some books arrive at just the right time Whilst I was struggling through several poorly written novels Goodreads chum Jacob posted some comments on this Gurganus collection a couple of weeks ago and I grabbed onto this book like a literary life buoy in a sea of feckless fiction mediocrityFirst Gurganus If you've not read Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All please put it on your list This book is one of all to infreuently overlooked brilliant masterpieces of the last uarter of the 20th century Gurganus is an absolute master of sentence structure choice of diction and perfectly constructed thoughts that ignite in your brain like white phosphorous grenades of insight Here's a chestnut from the first of four stories in this collectionShort of driving you to criminal acts can the Imagination be too vivid? Can a wish have too much ballast too much invented History? Can a person's life be over alive? And to Whom should we apologize for too much Seeing?This group of sentences blends in with the story in perfect comfy flow you don't feel like Gurganus is taking the opportunity to shove down your gullet a deep thought It's part and parcel of the narrative and making you bite into this morsel without hurting the story is one of the joys of experiencing Gurganus's virtuosityI agree with several other reviewers that the final story tended to be a bit too long it could easily have been a shorter novel published separately Either way each of these four novellas offer a great story with interesting twists memorable characters and several laugh out loud metaphors

  4. Lisa Lisa says:

    I don't know why I haven't read any Allan Gurganus before but what a fabulous writer he is He has taken four novellas or short stories and turned them into an excellent collection with characters so very vibrant that you are certain you've known them Though all the stories take place in his mythical town of Falls they are different people and different times They can't all be him but they all seem part of the author somehow and therefore fit into the same collection The first is the account of the narrator's aunt Muriel and is the story the collection is named for The Practical Heart discusses her plan to turn her simple life into one fantastic moment of having her portrait done by John Singer Sargent This plain Jane maiden aunt had one adult wish of this portrait which seemed totally out of her means and completely ridiculous but seems to change the fortunes of those around her From there we have Preservation News about a man hell bent on saving every historical home in the region and the widowed woman left behind to continue his legacy It is funny endearing and sad The next story He's One Too is the story that is most unguarded about the narrator's attempts halting at first to become what he is a gay man It is very powerful readingThe final story is Saint Monster and is narrated by a man who seems lonely in middle age and tells the story of his boyhood with his father and his mother and his uncertainty about the truth of anything about their relationship What we learn is of course that things look very much black and white in childhood and these things are always much complicated than that and you can never uite answer all the uestions you have as an adult about your childhood

  5. Χριστόφορος Χριστόφορος says:

    The first short story from which the book takes its titleabout an aunt whose family loses its fortune and her uest to have her portrait painted anyway by John Singer Sargent was amazing The story was compelling and the prose was magnificent I still have some of the images the author's writing drew in my mind Maybe the story should have been last because the other ones varied in uality with some being just 'meh' Not sure what was going on with that Still I am glad I read it to be exposed to this author who can at least sometimes write almost like Henry JamesAlso while most of the stories revolve around life in a small Southern town the first and best story is set in Europe and Chicago which I liked very muchAn example of the way in which the author captures the human condition is this sentence If in public places young mothers half smilingly acknowledge one another nodding then so do the Single sniff out and respect one another's dignified solitude I loved lines like that

  6. Joe Joe says:

    Semi read Will return to it Gurganus is a gorgeous writer and when he's in flow can't be touched The first novella is a bit encumbered I was indifferent to whole sections then would stumble on two pages of intimate story telling the like of which I've never seen Ultimately I wanted to move on to other books on my shelf But Gurganus will summon me back He always does Plays Well With Others is one of my favorite novels still

  7. Dave Dave says:

    What a delight I couldn't get into the final novella but the first three were impeccable I loved the spinster aunt and her uniue uest and the home restoration expert was beautifully sketched Really worthwhile

  8. Brianna Brianna says:

    I really liked the first two novellas but lessened the rating because my attention span dropped after thatKudos to the author for being original

  9. Joann Joann says:

    Liked the Oldest Living Confederate Widow much This is a book of not too interesting short stories that are not connected

  10. Frederick Bingham Frederick Bingham says:

    A book of short stories by a well known author I tried to read but could not work up much interest

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