Friday, March 07, 2008

Taking the Wall
by Jonis Agee

"Taking the Wall" is a collection of short stories set in the southern United States revolving around the blue collar world of NASCAR racing and its wannabes.

Until reading "Taking the Wall" I was of the notion that it was not possible to write something thoughtful, intriguing and at times, beautiful, about NASCAR ad its subculture.

Agee, in this collection of stories, writes about the lives of regular people surrounding sack car racing. Her style is very easy, romantic and freeflowing. She doesn't lead you on with cheap expectations in her story lines. You tend to sympathize with the imperfect characters because you see your imperfections mirrored in the characters, You are brought down to earth. Every reader has had a dark period in life, a struggle or difficult periods in general.

The most poignant story named "You Know I Am Lying" shines through among the collection. It tells of a man coming home to his family's multi-generational farm house that he has sold after his parents have passed. He recollects the memories of the place, while telling the story of how he was alienated from the farm with his fascination with the automobile and racing.

This is truly a working class book with the literary sense of a classic to be read by anyone and everyone - as a matter of fact a motor head may not enjoy the book quite as much as a "latte liberal." Strange world...... Great read!!!

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