Don Noble's Book Reviews

Mondays at 7:35 a.m and 4:44 p.m.

Recently retired as English professor at The University of Alabama, Dr. Noble's  specialties are Southern and American literature.  He also hosts Bookmark on Alabama Public Television.

Don Noble's reviews can be heard most Mondays at 7:35am and 4:44pm.  and have been made possible in part through grants from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To listen to the audio version of Dr. Noble's reviews, just click on the book title to be taken to the full page.  Audio is found either at the very beginning of the transcript or at the bottom of the page.

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Don Noble
3:52 pm
Mon October 25, 2004

The City of Churches

September of 2003 marked the 40th anniversary of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing during which four young girls were killed. It is appropriate, then, that this fictionalized account of those days be released at this time, yet is also unfortunate.

The City of Churches

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Don Noble
1:49 pm
Mon October 18, 2004

Herman Melville's Whaling Years

It may seem odd, at first blush, to review a book on Melville's years aboard a whaling ship in a radio space devoted to Southern literature and, usually, Alabama literature.

Herman Melville's Whaling Years

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Don Noble
10:10 am
Mon October 4, 2004

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer

In Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, it first it looks as if Warren St. John is immersing himself, studying the motor home fans, the enthusiasts who move from Alabama game to Alabama game, Saturday after Saturday.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer

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Don Noble
3:58 pm
Mon September 27, 2004

Chicken Dreaming Corn

There have been many pieces of the southern cultural puzzle missing, and now Roy Hoffman is adding his piece of that puzzle. there have been many pieces of the southern cultural puzzle missing, and now Roy Hoffman is adding his piece of that puzzle.

Southern fiction has undergone a steady metamorphosis, a steady evolution since its beginnings, when it was mainly the novel of the plantation. These novels of the lives of the white planters at first were southern fiction, reaching its apotheosis, of course, with Gone with the Wind.

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Don Noble
10:28 am
Mon September 13, 2004

Cadillac Beach

Cadillac Beach is Tim Dorsey's sixth novel, and it is much like the previous five. They are satires, but of the most extravagant, over-the-top variety.

Cadillac Beach

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Don Noble
4:36 pm
Mon September 6, 2004

Grass Widow

In September of 1933, Viola Goode Stroud of Camden, Alabama returned home, with a small son and a load of trouble.

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Don Noble
9:53 am
Mon August 30, 2004

Cradle of Freedom

Why was Alabama so important? Because Birmingham was understood to be the most segregated city in America and the meanest--the toughest nut to crack.

This is Don Noble's 100th book review for Alabama Public Radio.

Cradle of Freedom

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Don Noble
4:42 pm
Wed August 25, 2004

Hell at the Breech

...where armed men, living on what was still a kind of a frontier and still chafing from the humiliation of their defeat in the Civil War, set out to assassinate, hang, bushwhack, burn, and torture one another and any women, children, or black families who happen to be in the line of fire.

Hell at the Breech

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Don Noble
1:37 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

The Alumni Grill

For the past three pre-Thanksgiving weekends in Fairhope, Alabama, Sonny Brewer has put on a literary fiesta, inviting writer friends to come there to read new work to one another. The Alumni Grill are the fifteen contributors of Brewer's get-togethers, which is composed of the three Blue Moon anthologies.

The Alumni Grill

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Don Noble
11:01 am
Mon July 12, 2004

Late Thoughts On An Old War

This is not a day-to-day memoir or a volume of military overview or strategy. Philip Beidler has written a series of essays on discrete topics. Each essay is a piece of the puzzle he is putting together for us. The result is a picture of his war.

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Don Noble
9:12 am
Mon July 5, 2004

Pushmataha: A Choctaw Leader and His People

"The Life of Pushmataha" is a fascinating little piece of biography and legend. This man arrived as a teen among the Choctaw, claiming to have had no parents and no particular place of origin.

Let me at the outset assure the reader that I have very little knowledge of Southeastern Native Americans, that I had never heard of either Pushmataha, the Choctaw chief, or Gideon Lincecum before reading this little book.

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Don Noble
12:58 pm
Mon June 28, 2004

Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent

This book of essays is not a debate. Published in the midst of the campaign season, it is a call to arms by a group of writers who believe the Bush presidency to be the worst and the most dangerous, ever.

Tuscaloosa, AL – Where We Stand will inevitably be compared and contrasted with the 1930 collection of essays I?ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition, by Twelve Southerners.

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Don Noble
4:53 pm
Mon June 21, 2004

Life is a Strange Place

Life Is a Strange Place is set in New Orleans, but not really. Instead, it is set in dreamland; it is a dreamscape. Barry has landed in a frustration dream where whatever he attempts will not go right.

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Don Noble
11:55 am
Mon June 14, 2004

Strangers and Sojourners

Strangers and Sojourners is a collection of twenty-one stories that are interlinked by place--they all take place in fictional Coosawaw County, just north of Charleston--by recurring characters, and by an interest in the spiritual, in the most ecumenical sense.

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Don Noble
3:42 pm
Mon June 7, 2004

Twenty-Three Minutes to Eternity

James L. Noles, Jr., an attorney and independent historian from Birmingham, has told the story of the Liscome Bay from the laying of her keel in the Kaiser shipyards in Washington State to the aftermath of the sinking and even a cluster of brief biographies of some of the survivors.

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