by Sukey HowardOctober, 2001
Y'S AUDIO FAVORITEA sequel to shout aboutIt's hard to imagine that Rick Bragg could do it again write another book with the same deep Southern storytelling lyricism and emotional power of All Over but the Shoutin', his masterful memoir about his momma. But he did. If anything, Ava's Man, read in his Alabama-cadenced voice, is even better. Bragg never knew his maternal grandfather, yet he's given Charlie Bundrum a legacy with the pepper on it, just the way he would have wanted it, the way that would have made Charlie truly proud of his grandson. And Bragg has given us an unforgettable portrait of a tall, strong, bone-thin man with a tender heart stitched with steel wire; a man who took giant steps in run-down boots. Charlie was a carpenter, roofer, hunter, poacher, river man and moonshine maker partial to a taste. He was born into hateful poverty, which he fought all his life, inspired backwoods legend and respectful loyalty and died with nothing except a family that worshipped him and a name that gleams like new money.