Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Slow Constellations Wheeled On: A Novel

For Consideration: The Slow Constellations Wheeled On, by David Wayne Hampton (Maul & Froe Press 2012)
-- available September 30th from, or your local bookstore

"From this coming-of-age novel, set in Boone, North Carolina, and southwest Virginia, spins a stellar story of country-fried innocence striving to be worldly, and marks the debut of an authentic new voice -- our own Silas House. We expect great things from him in the years to come!" – J.W. Williamson, founding editor of Appalachian Journal and author of Hillbillyland

"Like his main character can deliver pizza, David Wayne Hampton can deliver a novel. The Slow Constellations Wheeled On is full of wit and terror, tomato sauce and pepperoni -- an emotional roller coaster for the palate. Eat it by the slice, but eat it all. It’s worth the extra tip.” -- Jim Minick, author of The Blueberry Years

"The Slow Constellations Wheeled On belies its title. David Wayne Hampton has written a swift, fun read, deadly accurate in its details of youth, badassery, amorous confusions, and pizza delivery. On almost every page I found something about which I could say, “Oh Lord, I remember that!” I laughed and went red-faced reading this novel, laughing and embarrassed at myself all the way .... Constellations seethes with life – like a shook-up can of Budweiser." -- Fred Chappell, former NC Poet Laureate and author of Shadow Box

Randall is an ambitious boy trying to survive in a college town. He is also secretly a teenage runaway. His parents’ failing marriage and a growing impatience to escape his small town prompts him to start a new life for himself. Precariously playing the part of a 21-year-old, while balancing school and his job in pizza delivery, is a bigger challenge than he thought, especially with the temptations of college life at every turn. He wants to make it on his own, yet battles the despair and loneliness of living a lie that both repels him from and pulls him back to his troubles at home. He meets new friends, confronts his adversaries, falls in love, and learns the hard way the painful truths of the real world. His grandfather is an inspiration and voice of reason, but thoughts of his mother wrack his dreams and his conscience with guilt. It is the hardships he continually faces that may prove to be too much, though, ultimately challenging his beliefs, battering him emotionally and spiritually, bringing him to the edge of the abyss.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

What Makes It Taste Better: A Collection of Poems

For Consideration: What Makes It Taste Better, by David Wayne Hampton (Maul & Froe Press 2010)

"In David Wayne Hampton’s first collection of poems the world is always at summer, with somewhere nearby “the ploink, plunk, brunk of the water/ the high hat, pat-a-slap tap/ of silver.” He gives us the kind of food we want on a green summer day- from doughnuts to ham hocks to Cheerwine, to Moonpies- and good family stories to listen to while we munch. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing these poems as light, however: “it’s not the eureka moment/ but the long, slow continuing” through these poems of place that makes the reading of them as satisfying as an afternoon swim at summer camp. Hampton’s southern Appalachian world is light-filled, but within light dwells the possibility of all colors, including the darkest ones. “Don’t call us backward” one poem admonishes, “we walk in the same direction as you/ just not in such a hurry.” Don’t hurry through Hampton’s collection; you’ll be glad you lingered awhile.” ---Dana Wildsmith, Author of Back to Abnormal and One Good Hand

"Clever parodying, curious and playful lines make What Makes It Taste Better verge on the educational and insightful, yet with humor, not pedanticism. Here I found out that the mullet haircut is also called the 'Carolina Waterfall' and that blackbirds and boogers have more than a little in common. The poems’ humor saves them, in that tongue-in cheek way that disarms any resistance to their charms. David Hampton’s clever word-play with classical and modern themes reminds me of the work of the legendary Louise McNeill. This book made me laugh and cringe, sometimes in the same instant."------ Ron Houchin, author of Museum Crows

"In this wryly observant first collection, David Hampton gives us an insider's view of life in these post-millennium Appalachians. What makes it taste better? Humor which manages to be all at once ironic and compassionate. A sense of history, and of one's own place in it. Precision of language and the joy of its tang on your tongue." -------- Pauletta Hansel, author of Divining and First Person

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