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Witches on the Road Tonight

Witches on the Road Tonight

Written by Sheri Holman

Narrated by Dick Hill and Christina Traister


Witches on the Road Tonight

Written by Sheri Holman

Narrated by Dick Hill and Christina Traister

ratings:
4/5 (8 ratings)
Length:
11 hours
Released:
Mar 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781455801305
Format:
Audiobook

Description

By the bestselling author of The Dress Lodger, Witches on the Road Tonight uncovers the secrets and lies that echo through three generations of one Appalachian family. It is a deeply human, urgent exploration of America's doomed love affair with fear.

On the eve of World War II, eight-year-old Eddie Alley lies in bed watching his first horror movie, hand-cranked and flickering on the bare wall of a backwoods cabin. In 2011, Eddie's daughter, Wallis, an anchorwoman for a twenty-four-hour news channel, lies in bed with a stranger, spinning ghost stories. Between these two nights winds the story of the Alley family-Eddie's mother, Cora, an Appalachian mountain witch who slips out of her skin after nightfall; Captain Casket, Eddie's alter ego, a campy 1970s TV horror-movie host; and Jasper, the orphaned boy Eddie brings home, who is determined to destroy Eddie's illusions even if it means destroying himself.

Deftly moving from the rural, Depression-era South to modern New York City, Holman teases out the dark compulsions and desperate longings that can blur the line between love and betrayal. Witches on the Road Tonight is an unflinching story that digs at the roots of myth-both familial and societal-and beautifully renders our perpetual yearning to make sense of the past in our present.

Released:
Mar 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781455801305
Format:
Audiobook

About the author


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Reviews

What people think about Witches on the Road Tonight

4.0
8 ratings / 6 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    surprisingly well written literary occult page turner based, it seems, on real-life personalities: Margaret Bourke-White, the photojournalist, and Erskine Caldwell (they were married)--and the 1970's Ohio show Ghoulardi (hosted by Ernie Anderson), which influenced the bands Pere Ubu and The Cramps.
  • (4/5)
    Sheri Holman's latest is an odd, complex novel of family secrets and yes, witchcraft. Eddie is a former late night horror show host (I can certainly remember the one from my childhood on our local independent tv station) who has cancer and is reaching out to his unhappy news-anchor daughter. Through flashbacks they tell 2 stories: Eddie of his boyhood in the mountains with his strange mother, and Wallis, his daughter, of the time a fosterchild stayed with the family and wrecked havoc. The scenes set in an Appalachian hollow (pronounced holler) are the best. Eddie's mother is a fascinating witch, with the ability to ... (well, I won't spoil it, but it's unlike anything I've read before!) Sheri Holman is best known as the author of The Dress Lodger, which I love, and The Mammoth Cheese, which I also thought was good. She's wonderfully descriptive--for example Eddie's cancer is described as tumors that grow like a stalk of brussel sprouts, and the mother's beauty compared to a tin can rusted down to tetanus lace. Here though, I think she just does too much. I would have preferred the novel without the intrusion of the modern timeframes. The supernatural elements are strong and the book has a wonderful carnal, very erotic feel to it. Do I recommend this?...oh, yeah
  • (4/5)
    In Witches on the Road Tonight, we glimpse significant moments in the life of Eddie Alley. As a young boy growing up in the Appalachian Mountains during the Depression, Eddie and his mother Cora are visited by a writer and a photographer who are being paid to write about the area through a government-funded program. The writer shows Eddie his first horror movie, but what he learns about Cora Alley is even more shocking than the content of a horror movie.We revisit Eddie again as an adult when he is the host of horror movies on TV, and several times as he is fighting cancer in his old age. These sections of the book are also filled with uncomfortable relationships that come from an underlying sense of longing coupled with suspicion. Holman is amazing at creating atmosphere, and she does this best when she is writing about Eddie's childhood home in the Appalachian Mountains. The dark, uncomfortable feeling in the mountains permeates every page. However, the tension lessens in the other sections of the book, and the story loses some of its momentum because of the frequent shifts in time and place. I kept turning pages as Holman filled in gaps in the storyline, but found some parts of the book more engaging than others.
  • (3/5)
    Another mystical realism novel - I am on a tear! They have all been good, this one was by the author of The Dress Lodger, a book I read for the Robert Adams lectures and enjoyed. This novel is VERY different! I enjoyed it, but found somethings vague and unclear. Sometimes mysterious is just confusing.
  • (5/5)
    Well, this was unexpected.

    So I thought this was going to be about witches and such. In a way, it is, but really, it's as non-witchy as a book about some people who may be witches gets. What do I mean? I mean, if you LOVE witch stuff like some people LOVE vampire stuff, I don't think this book is for you. Instead, it's a book for those who like multi-generational family sagas, old horror flicks, coming-of-age stories...

    The story does skip around between 1940, when a couple on a government project to write a travel guide-like book with photos accidentally meet a boy and his mother, who live up in the woods. The 1980s are told mostly by the teenage daughter of this boy, who is now a grown man, in fact, a TV host for a horror-film show. And in some recent past (say the 2000s) the grown up daughter as well as her ailing father remember the good old days. So there are roughly 3 times the story takes place (there are some others, like when the girl's mother, Ann, talks about when she met her husband and when his mother died, etc)

    The whole family saga is well done. Characters are all extremely well developed. Holman takes her time with descriptions of people and places. Some of her language is haunting. Towards the end, there are bits where it gets a bit too preachy for my taste, but this is not unrealistic. This is confession time for some of the characters, so it is expected and it is not out of place.

    Perhaps the most surprising thing about the book is that it is ultimately very sad. Not in that make-you-cry kind of sad, but more like that's-the-way-life-is kind of way. A simple girl crush can seem childish just a few days after some things happen in a teenagers life. An old shack in the woods, which meant the whole world to a little boy, can seem like a hell-hole to his new bride many years later. You grow up, get married to a woman who's set on helping you climb out of the dirt you come from, have a child, and then one day, a young man shows you what other desires you might have crawling under your skin. And in the end, we're on our own, together but separate, longing to understand yet never succeeding. And sometimes, guilt and blame, the self-afflicted pain is what makes us feel alive.

    All in all, Witches on the Road Tonight is a well-written, complex, and multi-layered book. Holman writes well and keeps the story rolling as she builds characters bit by bit. And regarding the witches, she's caught the narrative exactly where it should be, happily trotting at the edge of the enlightened new millennium and the magical and ignorant past.
  • (3/5)
    Just finished ‘Witches on the Road Tonight’ by Sheri Holman. It was interesting. Not exactly what I thought it would be. The story jumps from the past to the present and sometimes in between. It is the tale of a dying weather man, Eddie, who also hosts a weekly horror movie night on a local television station. He grew up in the Appalachians in a place called Panther Gap. It’s the 40′s and his mother is a reputed witch. He is ostracized by the local kids and while running away from a beating runs into a car driven by a man and a woman who have been hired by the Federal government to map the state and write stories with photos of different locations. They stop to help Eddie who refuses to go to the hospital, so they take him home. They should have dropped him off and ran as far and as fast as they could. But of course they don’t.It is a tangled story about those people and Eddie and his own family in the future. I finished it because curiosity about what was really happening kept me going. I can’t say I really liked the characters. None of them were really likable. All of them seemed to have a death wish. I was hoping it would have more mountain lore and less fantasy. I never really understood what the witch was doing, or why. I guess I never really understood that character’s motivation, other than she wanted to fly. Endings don’t always have to be satisfactory but when everything was tied up at the end, it left me wanting further explanation. I was left too unsure about some of the story lines so felt unsatisfied. I do think this author is a good writer. She is able to tell a story and weave the story lines. This one just felt like it ended with too many knots going no where.I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those who like a little fantasy with their mystery.