I believe I am back in reader’s glory and declare Southern Gothic as my personal favorite. While the format of A Good Man is Hard to Find is short story, the tale is certainly far from being short and sweet. O’Connor takes the reader down a desolate dirt road and into the heart of evil.
An extended family head out for a road trip to Florida and each has their own idea about what to expect. The grandmother worries about an escaped convict and rather than leave her cat home, hides her in a basket and takes her into the family car. An intentional detour, directed by the grandmother takes the family down a dead-end.
The Grandmother is the central figure of the story and her concerns about the escaped “Misfit” foreshadow the direction the family will follow. A sense of good and bad permeates her thoughts and conversations and she is compelled to label most everyone she encounters. Her own mistakes are kept under wraps, yet their effects are far-reaching.
Red Sam, a restaurant owner, is very similar to the Grandmother and forms strong opinions of the people he encounters in his business. While busy judging others, he fails to see his own shortcomings and carries on in ignorance.
The Misfit is an enigmatic and eerie man, all the scarier when he proves to be somewhat aloof and abrupt at the same time. He seems to possess hypnotic powers and gets all others to follow his directions without question. Run, and run damn fast, from this creepy and sinister fellow.
I would be in heaven spending time with Ms. O’Connor and would try to contain my giddiness and seek some writing advice from this gifted woman. Of course, we’d have to meet in Georgia and perhaps go for a little ride, being very cautious about the drive.
My rating for A Good Man is Hard to Find is a 10 out of 10.
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