Why Dogs Chase Cars: Tales of a Beleaguered Boyhood

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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004 - Fiction - 300 pages
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These fourteen funny stories tell the tale of a beleaguered boyhood down home where the dogs still run loose. As a boy growing up in the tiny backwater town of Forty-Five, South Carolina (where everybody is pretty much one beer short of a six-pack), all Mendal Dawes wants is out.

It's not just his hometown that's hopeless. Mendal's father is just as bad. Embarrassing his son to death nearly every day, Mr. Dawes is a parenting guide's bad example. He buries stuff in the backyard—fake toxic barrels, imitation Burma Shave signs (BIRD ON A WIRE, BIRD ON A PERCH, FLY TOWARD HEAVEN, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH), yardstick collections. He calls Mendal "Fuzznuts" and makes him recite Marx and Durkheim daily and befriend a classmate rumored to have head lice.

Mendal Dawes is a boy itching to get out of town, to take the high road and leave the South and his dingbat dad far behind—just like those car-chasing dogs.

But bottom line, this funky, sometimes outrageous, and always very human tale is really about how Mendal discovers that neither he nor the dogs actually want to catch a ride, that the hand that has fed them has a lot more to offer. On the way to watching that light dawn, we also get to watch the Dawes's precarious relationship with a place whose "gene pool [is] so shallow that it wouldn't take a Dr. Scholl's insert to keep one's soles dry."

To be consistently funny is a great gift. To be funny and cynical and empathetic all at the same time is George Singleton's special gift, put brilliantly into play in this new collection.

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Why Dogs Chase Cars : Tales of a Beleaguered Boyhood (Shannon Ravenel Books (Paperback))

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Fans of contemporary Southern writing will recognize Singleton as the author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie , a collection of humorous stories set in the small South Carolina town of Forty-Five. In ... Read full review

Contents

Nearby Toxic Waste Dumps
1
A Wheelchairs Too Slow
87
Segregation
107
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

George Singleton teaches writing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.

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