Burning Bright by Ron Rash

Burning Bright

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Ron Rash is "a storyteller of the highest rank" (Jeffrey Lent) and has won comparisons to John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy, and Gabriel García Márquez. It is rare that an author can capture the complexities of a place as though it were a person, and rarer still that one can reveal a land as dichotomous and fractious as Appalachia—a muse; a siren; a rugged, brutal landscape of exceptional beau...

Details Burning Bright

TitleBurning Bright
Release DateMar 9th, 2010
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Literary Fiction, American, Southern, Gothic, Southern Gothic, Contemporary, Literature, The United States Of America, Short Story Collection

Reviews Burning Bright

  • Will Byrnes
    Rash’s fourth book of short stories returns us to his Appalachia, covering a wide swath of time, from the Civil War to the present day. Rash has a gift for story-telling and the dozen tales here will do no harm to his sterling reputation. His characters tend to be at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder and their struggles tend toward the existential. A young Union soldier’s wife is threatened by a hostile Confederate. A family’s life...
  • karen
    chris wilson owes me some child support.and it looked bigger on the internet; like an actual baby, i was surprised at just how tiny it was. it is wonderful wonderful, and i have no complaints about my book-son, but i just wish it had about a hundred more stories in it. i read it in a day, despite all efforts to "hold back" a little. but for a tiny book, it rocked my world in a huge way.my favorite story was "the woman who believed in jaguars", mo...
  • Brian
    Ron Rash takes poverty, holds it before the Reader in clarion brilliance, and states "Watch what I can do with this shit."Sure, Christ opines You'll always have the poor among you but what difference does it make unless we can be among them? Why meth? Why live in a trailer with windows painted black, scratching out a meaningless existence playing "Freebird" once an hour to equally poor and drunk rednecks? What does it mean to be middle-aged and ...
  • Chris
    I am thankful that this book has a gorgeous cover. If it didn't, I probably wouldn't have noticed it among the hundreds of other books available through Goodreads' First Reads Giveaways and I wouldn't be sitting here trying to tell you a little something about it. After I won Burning Bright and added it to my to-read list (I wasn't planning to read this book had I not won it), Karen Brissette (known to most of you as karen brissette) called me a ...
  • Toby
    What I want to say about this collection is that I liked it. The first section more than the last. It seemed to have more atmosphere and emotion, to hold my interest with it's narrative and location. But that doesn't make for a good review.Rash is most certainly a literary craftsman, forming tiny slice of life stories set in what is repeatedly called Appalachia in the blurb. I've recently read Pollock and Franklin and McCarthy and Woodrell, I thi...
  • Larry Bassett
    I read the first story of Burning Bright and wondered, “Why would I want to read more stories like this?” It was about what abject poverty did to some hillbillies and their children. It was about meanness and pride. I was demoralized. Then I immediately picked up the book again and read the second story. The second story weren’t much better: a community in the mountains used up by meth. Recently I read a book The Life You Can Save that co...
  • Diane S ☔
    Spanning time from the Civil War through to the present, divided into two sections these short stories are gritty and real. All the people are going through some type of adversity, while through their own fault or just life's circumstances. Many are trying to recover something they have lost, trying to find a new path or have taken something that do not belong to them.Rash's rendering of time and place is nothing short of astonishing. The details...
  • Sheldon Compton
    Rash is a short story warrior. He will take the top of your head plumb off with some of these. And the others, they'll break your damn heart and quicken your blood. I'm telling you, Rash gets out the broad sword with this collection. My favorite book of his so far.
  • LeAnne: GeezerMom
    Ron Rash regularly uses lush, poetic descriptions of clear mountain streams where spotted trout sip mayflies off the surface. He also has a knack for introducing troubled souls who make questionable choices - truly, no character is painted in a single shade of good or bad. Although the writing here is a 4.5, I just cannot connect strongly enough to short-story characters quickly enough to love them. All his tales are set in the Carolinas, and I h...
  • Patty
    Quoting from a short story collection cannot give even a glimpse into all the tales, let alone the feel of the book. Rash’s collection has a definite feel, one that I am struggling to describe.The first story is set during the Depression, in Appalachia. The next is also in Appalachia, but contemporary times rather than historical. This pairing is not an accident. The two stories add so much to each other. I had to go back and reread parts of ...
  • Lou
    There was some good stories here. I have briefly gone over a few here in this review. The quality of storytelling was good, there was a few that lacked originality and hook. I give it 3.5 stars.Hard timesJacob and Edna are farmers they sell corn and cabbage due to the depression they'd re facing hard times they have a hen and a case of missing eggs. Jacob goes out and asked in the local area inquiring if possibly any stray dogs responsible. Money...
  • Laura
    These magnificent short stories center around tough choices in limited circumstances. Rash once again captures the voice of the Appalachians in stunning prose. The first two stories (Hard Times, The Back of Beyond)alone and in juxtapostion are worthy of discussion. Two men taking different approaches to "ridding the snake from the henhouse"; the first of which turns out to be a harmless young girl, the second a meth-addicted nephew who is selling...
  • Eh?Eh!
    Short story capsules of poverty, choices, epiphany.
  • Rose
    When you finish reading a book & are loathe to put it away on one of your many bookshelves & instead opt to keep it by your bedside table so it can be close to you for just a little while longer... well then you know you've found a gem. This book is probably my favorite read this year. Ron Rash is a fantastic writer. I loved every single one of these stories. There was a sadness in every single one, a deep loneliness laced throughout all the diff...
  • Kevin
    A lot of the 2 & 3 star reviews here are mainly down to the dark subject matter, and generally depressing air that these stories carry. Neither of these things bothered me; if it's dark and depressing you want Daniel Woodrell can out-dark Rash with his eyes closed, and I four-starred his Outlaw Album stories just recently. No, the problem here is that these stories although well written and easily read, lacked a certain edginess, a quirkiness, a ...
  • Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎
    Mix bag with some real gems.Hard times - 5 starsBack of beyond – 4 starsDead confederates – 4.5 starsThe ascent – 2 starsThe woman who believed in jaguars – 2 starsBurning bright – 5 starsReturn – 3 starsInto the gorge – 3 starsFalling star – 4.5 starsThe corpse bird – 2 starsWaiting for the end of the world – 1 starLincolnites – 3.5 stars
  • Lancelot du Lac
    It's true that a book is not to be judged by its cover, but when I saw that shoddy barn with a strap-chair outside and a rooster on its window, I somehow knew what it was all about. While this book turned out to be a real page-turner, it also helped me release the stress & strain accumulated over the hectic day. Appalachia is truly a land of great contrasts, harsh realities and eccentric people as has been portrayed in this book. Seemingly endles...
  • JoAnn/QuAppelle
    I think Ron Rash is such a fine writer, with an elegance that belies the grittiness of his stories. He obviously knows his subject matter well and is able to make us feel his characters' pain and the toughness of their lives. His stories all have a strong sense of place and show his years of Appalachian heritage. Imbued with a quiet beauty, each story paints a complete picture. His beautiful and lyrical language just grabs the reader and does not...
  • Albert
    So I had just finished a read that was painful and went on forever. I needed something to get me back in balance. A book of short stories would be the thing. Something that I knew would be good. I grabbed Burning Bright by Ron Rash. I had never read anything by Ron Rash before but I had read enough about his ability to write a good short story that I was confident it would be the answer I needed. I read it in three days. Could have read it in one...
  • Beth
    The stories in "Burning Bright" nearly all take place in the same starkly beautiful patch of Appalachia near Boone, North Carolina. Life there has always been hard--these stories take place during the Civil War, the Depression, World War II and the present day---when home grown meth labs and wrecked personal jets dot the landscape. I am usually not a fan of historical fiction in a short story format, but every one of these stories works perhaps b...
  • Shaun
    This was a my first experience with Ron Rash and I am happy to say it was a good one. Skillfully written short stories with well developed and interesting characters. Definitely satisfying for a fan of Southern Gothic fiction.Would recommend to those who enjoy both the short story format and SGF.
  • Cheryl
    Tight stories set in the rural poverty of Appalachia, capturing the voices, the despair, the apathy and the weak struggles to overcome.
  • David Joy
    He may be renowned as a novelist, but his short stories are where I think he shines. Ron Rash might just be the finest short story writer alive.
  • Susanne Carter
    This review is included on my blog: www.shortstoryinsights.comIf Eudora Welty were alive today she would undoubtedly be a member of Ron Rash’s Facebook Fan Club. The Mississippi novelist and short story writer believed that a “sense of place is as essential to good and honest writing as a logical mind; surely they are somewhere related,” she wrote: “It is by knowing where you stand that you grow able to judge where you are." (http://nbu.b...
  • Claudiu Mihail
    "Lincolnites" was fantastic.
  • Paul
    An excellent collection of short stories by a powerful voice from Appalachia.Ron Rash was an author new to me, but now I know that I'd like to read anything else by him as his simple, spare, and penetrating style really appeals to me.These twelve stories open a window on life in a part of the world not too often looked at. One of my favourites - "Dead Confederates" - is about two labourers, one trying to exploit the other in a search for lucrativ...
  • JBedient
    This book came as a big surprise to me. I never heard of this Ron Rash fellow, but after reading this fine collection of stories, I'll definitely be reading more of his work. Upon first holding the book in my hand I had some reservations. I feared it may be like 'Cold Mountain' or something, the cover could easily be stamped with the infamous 'O' stamp and look none the more worse for it. I disliked the artwork - it gave off an air that made me t...
  • Cheryl
    Burning Bright is a short story collection by Ron Rash. All are good and it's hard to pick any favorites, but the stories that stand out to me are: "Hard Times"--which I first read in a workshop, "Back of Beyond," "The Ascent," which I first read in The Best American Short Stories, I think it was the 2010 edition, and "Lincolnites." In "Hard Times," eggs go missing out of Jacob and Edna's hen house. Jacob sets a trap to catch the snake he's sure ...
  • Lex
    I'm not a fan of short stories, but I really did enjoy these!! My favorites were the last one, "Licolnites," and I think it was the third one... "The Ascent?" I apologize, I already returned the book to the library, so I don't have it in front of me. I'm referring to the story about the young boy who finds the airplane crash. That story took a completely different turn than what I was expecting. I thought it was about a young boy who was part of ...
  • Sandy
    No, I'm not a fan of short stories. I want more time to get to know my characters and I want a clear resolution that most short stories don't seem to deliver. No, I don't relish stories about abject poverty and what it can do to families and children. But...yes, I love what Ron Rash does with his Appalachian region. His beautiful prose put me right in the middle of a slice of Appalachian life, then he extracted me and left his people to their liv...