“The Prince of Frogtown” by Rick Bragg

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Some people just seem to string words together better than most of us. Rick Bragg is one of those people.
This beautifully written book tells the story of Bragg’s father, a poor hillbilly of Alabama, who was an alcoholic and scofflaw, the “prince” of his milltown, Frogtown.


Bragg also writes about his relationship with his father, who actually wasn’t around much. Bragg must have excellent memory, considering much of the story happened when he was very young, or he gets help from his mother and other family members in the remembering, because his descriptions are vivid.
Throughout the book, Bragg contrasts his relationship with his father with a new relationship for him, the one he has with a young boy, the son of a woman he is dating and eventually marries.
It seems at first that Bragg and his stepson couldn’t be more different. But we know that by the end of the story, they are both going to change.
In telling his father’s story, Bragg tells also the history of his people and his town, which gives good insight into the problems of his family and much of the South.
This is the third of Bragg’s memoirs, following “All Over But the Shoutin'” and “Ava’s Man.”
Bragg’s storytelling keeps you turning the pages. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it, especially for Father’s Day.

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