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Taft Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 131 ratings
Part of: Taft (1 Books)

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following her well-received debut, The Patron Saint of Liars , Patchett convincingly portrays a bar manager's conflicted feelings for a teenage waitress in this tale of fatherhood and unfulfilled dreams. Narrator John Nickel runs a bar called Muddy's on Memphis's Beale Street. He took the job to help provide for his lover, Marion, and their 10-year-old son, Franklin, who have since moved away, leaving him concerned that the boy lacks paternal guidance. When 17-year-old Fay Taft shows up at Muddy's, lies about her age and asks for a job, Nickel is touched by her neediness and hires her. But he doesn't bargain on her growing desire for him, or on her drug-dealer brother, who brings sleazy clients to the bar. Another complication is the issue of race--Fay is white, Nickel black--but the author concentrates on the color-blind moral problems that any family faces. As Nickel contemplates his own predicaments, he imagines scenes of the Tafts in a stable home before their father died. His sincere sense of responsibility--to his son, to Fay, even to Fay's no-good brother--is conveyed with visceral power, although the hard-boiled dialogue often resembles parody. Patchett's characters may include tough cookies with hearts of gold, but the novel is at its best when she mutes the melodrama and focuses on basic moral issues.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This second novel from the author of the well-received The Patron Saint of Liars (LJ 4/1/92) is narrated by John Nickel, an ex-drummer who manages a Memphis bar that is a sort of anti-Cheers. He is also African American, a fact you can soon forget. For one thing, in Patchett's Tennessee, everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, class, or locale, speaks nearly the same flat language. John is obsessed with his young son, who has moved to Miami with John's ex-girlfriend, and his longing for the child is the pivotal and most convincing aspect of the novel. In the meantime, 18-year-old Faye Taft enters the bar and John's life, with her drug-addicted brother in tow. They're running from a family destroyed by their father's sudden death. Strangely, John starts imagining the Taft family before the death in passages that are vividly realized yet so disassociated from the narrator that you begin to wonder if he is receiving ESP transmissions. Patchett is a fine writer, but here we are most aware of her ideas for the novel-the fiction itself rarely takes off. For large public library collections.
Brian Kenney, Brooklyn P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5
131 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Nikki Orth-Pallavicini
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Reviewed in Canada on June 12, 2017
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Anne C Parelius
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Reviewed in Canada on July 15, 2016
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G. Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars Ann Patchett does it again
Reviewed in Canada on March 5, 2014
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nicola combel
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in France on December 14, 2012
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ferrari
4.0 out of 5 stars バーほど心地よいところはない
Reviewed in Japan on June 12, 2007
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 22, 2017
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