é Thin Blue Smoke ò Download by Ô Doug Worgul I got this book in a prize bag of local items when I won the quiz on the NPR program, Whad ya Know Hmmmm a book written by a local author and published by a no big deal publishing company How good can it be, right Well, this book was amazing It centers around LaVerne Williams, who owns a BBQ joint known as Smoke Meat in downtown Kansas City The book tells LaVerne s story and also weaves in the stories of Smoke Meat s regular customers There are so many things I enjoyed about this book the local references the author s beautiful prose the characters that I cared about and wanted to meet I wanted to drive to 18th and Walnut and be a part of the Smoke Meat family and partake of some of the BBQ In my opinion, the book could have been about 75 pages shorter, but this is definitely worth reading especially if you re familiar wit Overall, I really enjoyed this book I am also from Kansas City and Worgul did a great job of conveying Kansas City and the atmosphere here I also appreciated his characters and their development I wish there are had been less religious overtones and preaching, though That sort of thing doesn t appeal to me and it grew tiresome by the end of the book Still, Worgul is an author I would like to read again he is in the process of writing his 2nd novel and I will certainly keep an eye out for it LaVerne Williams Is A Reformed Felon, Ex Ballplayer, And Owner Of Kansas City S Best Barbecue Joint Ferguson Glen Is An Episcopal Priest And Faded Literary Star, Lover Of God, Women And Liquor But Not Necessarily In That OrderTheir Lives Intersect At LaVerne S Diner Smoke Meat, As The Regulars Call It There They Are Joined By A Cast Of Remarkable Characters, Including LaVerne S Devoted Right Hand Man, AB Clayton Blues Legend Mother Mary Weaver And Sammy Merzeti, A Young Man With A Bloody Past And A Bloodier Future Thin Blue Smoke Is An Epic Redemption Tale, The Story Of Two Men Coming To Terms With Their Pasts It Is Also A Novel About Faith, Race, Storytelling, Bourbon, The Language Of Rabbits, And The Finer Points Of Barbecue TechniqueHeartrending And Bitterly Funny, It Marks The Arrival Of A Vital New Voice In American Fiction 4.
5 stars What a lovely book This is a series of anecdotes short stories written as chapters They re all about the male characters connected by a BBQ joint in Kansas City LaVerne, A.
, Ferguson, Delbertand the turtles Each chapter brings out a range of emotions but it s done so lightly You re giggling And you re sniffling And you re moving forward Through their ups and their downs there s just enough emotional space to make this an incredibly comfortable read You ll feel, but you won t resent it Nothing is pulled from you you give it to a cast who deserves it This book is full of food and history and God and love and friendship Bc it enthralled me and charmed me and never squashed my heart or stopped my breath it s going to be fondly remembered long into the future.
What I thought was a book about BBQ turned out to be so muchI was slowly drawn into the lives of the owners, workers, and regulars at a BBQ joint in Kansas City and by the end of the novel was completely engrossed This is an insightfully written and wonderfully uplifting novel that I find myself thinking aboutandafter I finished the last page.
Victoria AllmanAuthor of SEAsoned A Chef s Journey with Her Captain This book is so very USA that I found it impossible to really, deeply relate it s not my history, nor my culture, nor my country issues Nonetheless, it is about that USA I ve grown to love so much in the last ten years, it became a place I crave for, my personal source of wholeness And this book is filled with this wholeness, with people bonding over real things, creating their own culture and code as they go, and sticking to it I may not feel that comfortable with the religious theme it makes me want to shield the characters from themselves but it s a really small but.
It isn t often we come upon novels this rich, true, and arresting I will be reading this book again, because sometimes a story deserves to be studied.
fascinating story about fathers and sons and the ways women bring healing to their lives.
this guy is an insider to the culture of the Episcopal Church.
the author wove the book together with ever increasing complexity and insight one layer informing the next.
A few weeks before reading Thin Blue Smoke I didn t know about the book or its author Partway through SMOKE, I was glad I stumbled onto it The moment I finished it and clicked off my e reader, I knew what my answer would be to a standard question read any good books lately Yeah Worgul s SMOKE Want to know the why I ll tell you in a moment.
First, how d I find it I was searching for information on Frederick Buechner, a writer I admire In one of the references, SMOKE and Worgul were mentioned Buechner influenced Worgul, and was apparently thanked in SMOKE s acknowledgments Good enough for me And that s how it goes, isn t it One link leads to another A search for A takes a turn and discovers B Relationships are built through other relationships.
And this leads to why I loved SMOKE It s about relationships If the books you read mu Just finished this book I m not putting Worgul on the same plane as Steinbeck, but I have to say that he evoked many of the same emotions I felt when I read East of Eden Worgul s portrait of the Kansas City Barbecue joint Smoke Meat was masterful The 41 seat dive is just as much a character as LaVerne and Ferguson Worgul does a difficult thing in his novel He explores the spirituality of two central characters without flattening them into flimsy flannel graph caricatures.
Both characters are deeply flawed, layered, and likable characters God intersects these men without destroying their flaws, layers, or likability These men are cut from the same cloth as the patriarchs in Genesis, just with a dotof rib sauce o