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Last Good Man -Awp Paperback – Apr 1 1995


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From Publishers Weekly

The depressed industrial Boston suburb of Lawton Falls is the setting for this impressive fiction debut. In 11 linked short stories, Lyons portrays a bleak environment including corrupt politicians, two-bit mafiosi, abandoned textile mills and characters whose one true talent is survival. Among the well-drawn characters are a young Puerto Rican mother and laundress who appears in various stories and, we discover in "Brothers," was raped as a teen; Jerry Gallagher, the bitter newspaper reporter and protagonist of the title story, who learns--40 years too late--that his one true love reciprocates his emotions; and the priest in "The Miracle," who, when faced with the prospect of losing his parish, makes a deal with the neighborhood devil. The writing here is brisk and clean, if unexceptional, and the stories are finely detailed.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Like Sherwood Anderson's classic Winesburg, Ohio , Lyons's debut collection of 11 stories--winner of the Associated Writing Programs 1992 Award in Short Fiction--lifts the rock off a seemingly sleepy town to cast light on the quietly desperate secret lives of its inhabitants. Lawton Falls, Massachusetts is a dying mill city whose ethnically mixed population includes politicians, priests, blue-collar workers, mixed-up teens, and the newspaperman of the title tale who, at the end of an undistinguished career, wrestles with the morality of making "a great deal of money in an illicit fashion." Lyons, a remarkably gifted writer, renders these slices of life with compassion and a keen eye for telling detail. Highly recommended.
- David Sowd, formerly with Stark Cty. District Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If you liked "Dog Days," read this book. Sept. 23 1998
By hburnell@umich.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The depth of place and character displayed in "The Last Good Man" intensifies the experience of Mr. Lyons' much-loved and wildly humorous first novel, "Dog Days." If you read that book, this collection of stories offers you the same, quirky humor, some of the same characters in different situations, and the short story that grew into the novel. If you have yet to read "Dog Days," I encourage you to see the reviews for Mr. Lyons' novel on Amazon.com. You will not be disappointed.
In "The Last Good Man," Mr. Lyons is generous. He invites us into the secret fears and desires of his characters; we move quite close to them. The stories deal with questions of separation, jealousy, temptation, selfishness, violence and corruption. Our nearness to the characters pulls us into these questions, and we come away asking what we might do in similar circumstances. These stories are about dark and edgy subjects, but they are not draining. Instead, they are accessible, provoking, even uplifting. After we read them, we feel better for having read them, we take them with us as we move through our day and, like a slightly mysterious memory, we hold onto them for a long time.


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