Category Archives: Edgerton, Clyde

Clyde Edgerton. The Night Train. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011.

The phrase “the night train” has two meanings in Clyde Edgerton’s latest novel. For most people in Starke, North Carolina, this daily event is something to which they give little thought. Accepting the brief clatter, many have trained themselves to sleep right through it. The tracks upon which the train glides divide the small town racially, with Larry Lime Beacon of Time Reckoning Breathe on Me Nolan (so named by his grandmother) being from the black side and Dwayne Hallston being from the white side. Although they live on different sides of the track, Larry Lime and Dwayne forge a friendship that encompasses their shared love of mischief and music – and overlooks race.

For Larry Lime and Dwayne (and anyone else following pop culture in 1963) “Night Train” represents the hottest single on the charts. James Brown’s unbelievable presentation of it on Live at the Apollo prompts Dwayne to envision his band performing a similar rendition on the local television program The Brother Bobby Lee Reese Country Music Jamboree (a show that “people on both sides of the tracks enjoyed”). Fortunately for Dwayne, Larry Lime is musically gifted, especially after taking lessons from a  jazz master called The Bleeder, and he instructs his friend on exactly how to move, sound, and look on stage. When Dwayne and his band, the Amazing Rumblers, land a spot on the show, Dwayne and Larry Lime see firsthand how unprepared Starke (and society) is to see a white boy impersonating James Brown. In an age of sit-ins, with the Ku Klux Klan seven miles down the road, and prejudice strong, Dwayne and Larry Lime test the status quo, not afraid to blow like the night train through Starke, North Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Edgerton, Clyde, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Clyde Edgerton. The Bible Salesman. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2008.

Innocent Henry Dampier seems no match for career criminal Preston Clearwater. Henry is a young door-to-door Bible salesman. Clearwater convinces Henry that he is an undercover FBI agent and that he needs Henry’s help. Soon Henry is driving the cars that Clearwater steals. It’s along and winding road, with many detours into Henry’s past, but Henry wises up–to his upbringing, to women, to Clearwater, to life. Edgerton’s warm humor is again on display in this tale about the people and mores of North Carolina in the years immediately before and after World War II.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Edgerton, Clyde, Piedmont

Clyde Edgerton. Where Trouble Sleeps. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin, 1997.

Jack Umstead is a professional con man and a fugitive from the law. When he first shows up here, he has just arrived in the small town of Listre, N.C., where he’s working on an elaborate scheme, but first, he must earn the trust of the residents. The story is told by a number of narrators, including Umstead himself and some of the people he has taken in. The result is a full and comic portrait of Listre, a fictional town in eastern North Carolina, which is the setting for several of Edgerton’s novels.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1997, Coastal Plain, Edgerton, Clyde, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Clyde Edgerton. Lunch at the Piccadilly. Chapel Hill: Algonquin, 2003.

At the heart of this book is the relationship between Carl Turnage, a middle-aged bachelor, and his Aunt Lil, but much of the novel is given to a lively group portrait of Lil and her friends at the Rosehaven Convalescence Center, a nursing home in the fictional eastern North Carolina town of Listre. Listre has been the setting of several of Edgerton’s books.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2003, Coastal Plain, Edgerton, Clyde, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Clyde Edgerton. Raney. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1985.

Raney Bell discovers, a little too late, that she didn’t know her fiancé Charles Shepherd as well as she thought. This novel is a chronicle of the first two years of their marriage as the innocent and cheerful Raney and the moderately worldly Charles quarrel about religion, race, sex, and family as they adjust to life together. Raney has a funny, distinctive, and unapologetically Southern narrative voice. The novel is set in the fictional eastern North Carolina town of Listre.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 1980-1989, 1985, Coastal Plain, Edgerton, Clyde, Novels Set in Fictional Places