- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 31 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140122060
- ISBN-13: 978-0140122060
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #656,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Paris Trout Paperback – Jul 31 1989
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In this novel of social drama, a casual murder in the small Georgia town of Cotton Point just after World War II and the resulting court case cleave open the ugly divisions of race and class. The man accused of shooting a black girl, a storekeeper named Paris Trout, has no great feeling of guilt, nor fear that the system will fail to work his way. Trout becomes an embarrassment to the polite white society that prefers to hold itself high above such primitive prejudice. But the trial does not allow any hiding from the stark reality of social and racial tensions. Dexter, a former newspaper columnist, is also the author of Deadwood and God's Pocket. Paris Trout won the 1988 National Book Award.
From Publishers Weekly
In what PW described as "an expertly crafted and bleakly fascinating tale of social conflict and madness in the deep South," the eponymous protagonist of this National Book Award-winning novel murders a black child while collecting a debt and is astounded that he is prosecuted for the crime. 50,000 first printing .
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Harry Seagraves, a lawyer who recognizes Paris' guilt, but feels he is obligated to the decadent aristocracy of the town, decides to take over Paris' defense. Everyone in the town knows Paris is guilty, but are reluctant to see a white man go down for the killing of a black girl. The question is, will the town overcome its inherent racism and see justice done? Ward Townes, an honest county attorney takes over the prosecution.
This was a good novel. It really exposes what many people already knew about certain parts of the South. You basically had some good people who knew about injustices being done to the blacks but were so ingrained with racial biases that they couldn't see blacks as equals. A murder could be bought and paid for and even lynchings could be done and noone searched that hard for the killers. This book reminded me of Crime and Punishment, in that even people without consciences can be haunted and driven mad by their crime. I did feel the closing parts of the book were not executed very well. This book won the National Book Award and should appeal to anyone that enjoys all the lawyer shows on TV at the moment like Law and Order.
This book is a step up from most sterotypical stories of redneck racists in small Southern towns. Dexter writes with the authority of someone who knows the place, knows the language and knows these people. When finished with the book, the reader feels that he knows them too. A reading experience that's hard to forget.