Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt

Lookaway, Lookaway

One of Slate's and Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2013 and The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Indie Bound bestseller: "Lookaway, Lookaway is a wild romp through the South, and therefore the history of our nation, written by an absolute ringmaster of fiction." —Alice Sebold, New York Times bestselling author of The Lovely BonesJerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband Duke are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina's high society, where ...

Details Lookaway, Lookaway

TitleLookaway, Lookaway
Release DateAug 20th, 2013
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreFiction, American, Southern

Reviews Lookaway, Lookaway

  • Lawyer
    Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel: Wilton Barnhardt's New Southern Family Wilton BarnhardtI wish I was in the land of cotton, Old times there are not forgotten; Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.--Daniel Decatur Emmett, 1859Two Ladies of the South discuss the new book in TownTwo women, immaculately dressed, sit in white rockers on a broad porch. Ceiling fans turn above them. Ice tinkles in glasses of sweet tea. They sip daintily. The light re...
  • Susan in NC
    I am so glad I took a chance on this book and requested it from the Amazon Vine program; at worst, I figured, it might be a Pat Conroyesque scandal-and-angst fest told with a dash of dark humor, and at best it might be a profile in family dysfunction told with raw, biting humor a la David Sedaris. Worth a try, right? Yes!I'll admit, the first chapter had me a bit unsure; told from the point of view of society bride wannabe Jerilyn Johnston, young...
  • Book Concierge
    1.5 starsFrom the dust jacket: Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband Duke are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina’s high society, where old Southern money – and older Southern secrets – meet the new wealth of bankers, boom-era speculators and carpetbagging social climbers. Steely and implacable, Jerene presides over her family’s legacy of paintings at the Mint Museum; Duke, the one-time college golden boy and descendant of a Confedera...
  • Amber
    I didn't need to look on the dust jacket to know the author is a professor in North Carolina. It was evident in the first 20 pages.Like sitting in a lecture hall listen to a professor drone on, loving the sound of his own voice, this book was as torturous to get through as my 8:30 AM American History class. I really wanted to like this book but had to force my through it. The author tends to rambles on about various topic such as the Civil War, R...
  • Franc
    I only gave it 1 star, but I only read the first 2 chapters. Then I gave up on it.Why I wanted to like it - I like North Carolina, I generally like southern stories.Why I couldn't get past chapter 2:- chapter 1 had more nasty details of White fraternity pledging then ever needed to know and hope will evaporate from my memory, soon. The daughter was a bit spoiled and naive, but in an irritating way. This could work b/c the reader doesn't have to l...
  • Ange
    The best part of this book was the title. I should have followed it's advice. I'm not sure where the humor was because I do not think there was one time that I laughed, much less, laughed out loud.The characters were unlikeable, the story was tedious, not to mention rambling and in spots, fall asleep, boring.I did like the cover...and I do buy a book by the cover which is how I was sucked into this word-ie waste of money.Not my glass of sweet tea...
  • Donna
    Cliché and stereotyping abound in this tasteless and boring novel. It sounded so appealing, but I knew by the end of the first chapter that this was not going to be a book I even wanted to finish. Since it was a book club selection I waded through it all, and it did in fact improve, but not enough!
  • RoseMary Achey
    Set in my hometown of Charlotte was the reason I picked up this novel. Laugh out loud funny as the author takes some facts and stretches them. It is always good to see yourself or your friends through the lens of another perspective.
  • Greg
    I very much wanted to love this book, but in the end I can only say that I liked it a lot. Barnhardt's earlier works were critical in my reading life. Emma Who Saved My Life came to me at exactly the right time, and helped me understand who I was in my early twenties. Gospel was like reading The DaVinci Code, before The DaVinci Code was written, and if The DaVinci Code had wit, humanity, and a soul. Show World didn't work for me, but I'll give Ba...
  • Holly
    Wilton Barnhardt's appeal to the very basest of human nature is noted. His writing comes off with an air of self-importance, but reading his book makes me believe he is just vulgar -- and a sorry excuse for a writer. The fact that he is a professor who influences college students makes me cringe.
  • DeB MaRtEnS
    Lookaway, Lookaway is one novel which has had me mulling over what to write about it for a couple of days. I read previous reviews which condemned it as silly froth, due to its "debutante" beginning and had abandoned it and those who felt it was just another "Southern" genre book. It is neither. For me, this is the story of the Johnston/Jarvis family, the public profile it tries to maintain, the conflicted emotions over beloved family traditions ...
  • Emily
    Completely outrageous characters... completely believable if you have spent time in the South. Barnhardt perfectly nails the generations of Southern socialites. The "Christmas dinner" scene is one of my all-time favorites, and Gaston Jarvis is a character for the literary record books. The story moves along as each character gets their own POV chapter. Really fun, very funny, but also very serious. I promise, you'll know these people.
  • Joyce
    Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel by Wilton BarnhardtEdition: Hardcover Price: $17.75 4 of 5 people found the following review helpful Dazzling Satire, April 13, 2013 This review is from: Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel (Hardcover) Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?) Can you visualize the monogram JJJ in serif script adorned on the best linen and tea service? Jerene Jarvis Johnston is more than a symbol of how old Southern money...
  • Robyn
    Brilliant satire, really excellent characterization. Each chapter was from a different character, and it didn't feel like a schtick, it felt like a nuanced and multi-faceted presentation of a many-limbed and complicated family, with each chapter offering a new viewpoint or tidbit of information. Extremely funny, but at the same time a close look at the undercurrents of sexuality, race, and violence in our society. Hard to put down!
  • Maine Colonial
    This satire of the modern-day South is consciously modeled after a Victorian novel. As one of the character observes about a book he plans to write: it would be like a Sir Walter Scott or Anthony Trollope, as a great family fights to hold its fortune for a final generation before the collapse and ruin.Like a Victorian novel, this is a closely observed examination of a small group of people that illustrates the values of their time and place. The ...
  • Sarah
    I have mixed feelings about Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt and his story of the high society Johnston family of Charlotte, NC. Embracing cliche, here is my review: The Good: There are several scenes that are so funny that they rival they the hilarity of Florence King's writing. The absolute highlight is a Christmas that is your worst family nightmare brought to life.The Bad: Each chapter is the story of one of the characters. This throws ...
  • Janet
    Jerene Jarvis Johnston. Now here's a woman who could give Scarlett O'Hara a run for the money. She's the steel spine of this novel, which revolves around her family and is structured so that each section is told from the point of view of a different character. This is a fabulous novel, with many wonderful scenes (including the ultimate family Christmas dinner from hell). It operated for me on many levels. It was fantastically entertaining with se...
  • Sarah
    This is a difficult review for me to write. I won this book from Goodreads- the first book I have won. So, in the spirit of the give away, I am writing a review, but I do not have anything positive to say. The first chapter is disgusting, disturbing, perverted, and very inappropriate. I forced myself to finish the first chapter and decided to give the second chapter a chance. Well, I couldn't even finish the second chapter before giving the book ...
  • NancyL Luckey
    After slogging through the first chapter of this book (immature sorority and fraternity foolishness), it began to really get good! As expected in Southern families, each member is a Character! And each chapter gets you interested in that character - then you jump to another just as "unusual". I could identify with most of the family except Josh - whose overly descriptive chapter could have been omitted as far as I'm concerned! Love both the heads...
  • Marjorie Hudson
    Ten characters each get a chapter to uncover the inner workings of the contemporary upper crust Southern mind, from a saucy Creole lesbian college student to a bitter-about-success drunken Southern novelist, all connected by the Johnston family, denizens of high society in North Carolina's city of banks: Charlotte. It took me a while to dig into this book, as Barnhardt starts off with a young deb so silly that she joins a skanky sorority because ...
  • Lauren
    One of the greatest disappointments in my life is that I can never - and will never - know EXACTLY what is going on in a person's head: I cannot know their innermost thoughts, the motivation behind their actions, or what they really do when they are alone. Fortunately for someone as "naturally inquisitive" as me, there are stories that show me exactly that; "Lookaway, Lookaway" is such a book! It chronicles different members of an old Southern fa...
  • Bandit
    The South and its dubious charms have never had any appeal for me. Not the traditions, not the customs, not the lazy drawl, not the butter soaked cuisine, or the butter soaked culture for that matter. Naturally I don't read too many southern authors because of their proselytizing of their great land. To each their own and all that. And yet, this one is a happy exception. And actual satire of the South and all its storied sordid past and present t...
  • Keith
    Lookaway, lookaway.I came to this book already predisposed to like it. A good review in the NYT, a North Carolina setting (where I live), a promised satirical look at the NC upper crust, plus it's written by someone teaching where I used to work. How could it be bad? The novel focuses on several generations of the families of Duke and Jerene Johnston, their four children, Annie, Bo, Joshua and Jerlyn. Jerene's brother and sister, Gaston and Dilla...
  • Liz
    I received this book from Goodreads as an ARC, so there were a few issues that I don't think will be part of the final printing. We'll ignore those. I'm fairly torn on this book, I want to say I liked it, but I had enough issues with it that I didn't. First, the book is broken up into three "book" sections, then those are subdivided between the various characters in the book. The first character is the youngest Johnston daughter, was not a huge f...
  • Patty
    LookAway, LookAwaybyWilton BarnhardtMy " in a nutshell" summary...Meet the Johnstons of Charlotte, North Carolina in all of their dysfunctional glory!My thoughts after reading this book...Hmmm...I don't think I have ever read a book with as much yummy "Southern" dysfunction as this book. There is a mom/ matriarch...Jerene...who rules. There is a dad...Duke...who is obsessed with Civil War history. There is a brother...Jerene's brother Gaston...wh...
  • Susan (aka Just My Op)
    The antics of fraternity brothers in the early part of this book was so disgusting it made me sorry I had requested this book for review. Fortunately, once I got past that part, it didn't return. Unfortunately, my opinion went from “disgusting” to “boring.”The venerable Southern family was not charming, funny, or entertaining, but did live up to some solid stereotypes. I didn't care about any of the characters or their (few) redeeming qua...
  • Jill
    I wanted to love this novel--a good Southern yarn about a deeply flawed extended family? Yes please. Barnhardt is a gifted, intelligent writer and he is clearly knowledgeable about a variety of topics, history & religion being two of his favorites to expound upon. But despite his stylistic gifts as a writer, the story just doesn't flow. Maybe it's because each character gets his or her own chapter, and Barnhardt is so meticulous about telling eac...
  • Alena
    3.5 stars. There's so much to like about th book -- southern gentility, family drama, secrets, a smattering of historic fact. Alternating perspectives. But it was all just a little too much. The history lessons became preachy, even with my Civil War fascination. And the family drama began to feel forced to me in the last third of the book. Must every single character have a deep dark secret?Still, I could help but fall under the spell of the Jarv...
  • Robin Helms
    Although this is a work of fiction, it certainly must be based on some pretentious, dysfunctional family from Charlotte NC. Yes, the entire book takes place in an around Charlotte, which made for a fun read due to all of the references of local landmarks.Each character has it's own chapter, so there is quite a bit of character development, and a family tree would have been helpful. Humorous at times, but some of the Civil War history was too deta...
  • Kathy
    As a Charlottean who knows well the world Wilton Barnhardt seeks to capture I was distracted by factual inaccuracies (you can't park on Providence Rd, for example) and by tonal missteps (old families don't name girls Jerene or Jerilyn, a grand dame would never wear a Christmas sweater, the "best" neighborhood is Eastover, not Myers Park). More egregious, however, are the disjointed stories of 11 different, but not quite distinct, third person omn...