A Scarecrow's Bible

by Martin Hyatt | Gay & Lesbian |
ISBN: 097634114x Global Overview for this book
Registered by rem_XDP-320934 on 4/19/2007
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by rem_XDP-320934 on Thursday, April 19, 2007
currently reading

Journal Entry 2 by rem_XDP-320934 on Friday, April 20, 2007
Rarely does a book bring me to tears- this one stunned me. It took me a few pages to adjust myself to Martin Hyatt's writing style but I was quickly hooked.

From the book cover-
Gary, a married Vietnam veteran, addicted to drugs, haunted by memories of the past is on the brink of collapse. Just when he thinks the dream of another life is over, the unspeakable happens. He falls in love with a frail, ghostly younger man who reminds him of youth, beauty, and the possibility of a life beyond the prison he has created for himself. A Scarecrow's Bible is about what happens when love occurs at the most unexpected moment. It is the story of how working-class men and women in a small town adapt to changes that somehow seem impossible. It is a novel of hope and transformation that challenges our ideas about diversity and social change, breaking your heart all the way.

Journal Entry 3 by rem_XDP-320934 on Friday, May 11, 2007
Bookring List-

1. ealasaidmae- WV (USA)
2. passiontoread - PA (USA) -book is here 6/1/07
3. GateGypsy - Canada
4. Triggerfish - UK
5. KateKintail - Virginia (USA)
6. nmreader - NM (USA)
7. back to me (USA)

Please journal upon receiving and when mailing to the next person and try to keep it moving in a timely manner. Thanks everybody.

Released 16 yrs ago (5/12/2007 UTC) at A fellow bookcrosser in By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



bookring on its way to ealasaidmae

Journal Entry 5 by ealasaidmae from New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Arrived today. Thank you for sharing, S-b!

Journal Entry 6 by ealasaidmae from New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Monday, May 28, 2007
This is a good book that could be a great book. It's a fascinating story, one that is, unfortunately, all too real. Martin Hyatt handles it very well, draws his characters well. Some of the language is quite beautiful. But - I had a real problem with the second-person narrative. The constant repetition of "You did this. You did that," kept dragging me into the story, so that I could never get lost in it, never forget myself and just wander through letting the story unfurl around me. Because of that, I wasn't nearly as moved by this as I could've been. As I should've been, probably.

Journal Entry 7 by ealasaidmae from New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Tuesday, May 29, 2007
mailed today to passiontoread

Journal Entry 8 by passiontoread from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania USA on Friday, June 1, 2007
Got this in the mail today. Am currently reading another bookring but will read this in a timely manner and get it traveling. Thanks for mailing.

Journal Entry 9 by passiontoread from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania USA on Friday, June 22, 2007
I really enjoyed this book. I have been inundated with bookring books and once I started this, I was done in a day and a half. I agree with ealasaidmae in that it was a fascinating story and makes you wonder if, in fact, it didn't actually happen. Already have Gategypsy's address and will be passing along within a few days. Thanks for sharing this book.

Journal Entry 10 by passiontoread from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, June 28, 2007
Mailed to Gategypsy yesterday via priority mail. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 11 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, July 12, 2007
Arrived in the post today. Looks like a quick read, so it'll be a nice change up from some of the heavier books I've got with me right now (like Grapes of Wrath!) I do have a sizeable stack of bookring books ahead of this, though, so I may need closer to 6-8 weeks to get through to it.

Journal Entry 12 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, August 28, 2007
This was an interesting read. I agree with ealasaidmae that the second-person narrative was odd (it's a really difficult device to use! I'm not that brave!)... perhaps it would have struck closer to home for a man to read? I don't know. Hyatt is lyrical, yes, but I really did get tired of his sentence fragments! I enjoyed the depth to which he exposed his main characters. I liked that there was redemption in Gina's character in the end: that she wasn't the good guy Gary felt her to be at the beginning, nor was she the bad guy she revealed herself to be, but that she was just a woman, after all. Gary's flashbacks were wonderfully spun in, and it was often hard to tell what was really going on, which is no doubt exactly how we were meant to feel, since we were experiencing the story from Gary's point of view, more or less. Sure it was a "quick read" but not necessarily less emotionally impacting than a hefty number like Grapes of Wrath. I liked how New Orleans was in the South but not "of" the South, and how Petulia was. I was so pleased to see Lula sparkle. The people in this book were well painted, even the minor characters like Organic.

Thank you for sharing this book with us Scoobs-buddy, and being patient with me taking so long to get to it. I'm PMing Triggerfish as soon as I've finished this review, and hope to get to the post office after this coming payday (Friday this week) because the stack of books that need to be sent away is getting bigger!

Journal Entry 13 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Sunday, September 23, 2007
Got this in the post to Triggerfish on Sept 22. Thanks for your patience!

Journal Entry 14 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, October 1, 2007
Safely arrived in Edinburgh on this sunny and warm October's day! Thank you GateGypsy and Scoobs-buddy!

Journal Entry 15 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Although I didn't enjoy the second person narrative, I thought this was a beautifully written book, rather poetic in fact. Although there was sadness in the story, this is not a down-spirited novel.
I figured that the story was set in the 1990s and I did wonder how likely it was that a small town in rural Mississippi would have a gay bar! As a result, I was expecting a lot more violence than there actually was in the story - e.g. local yobs waiting in the carpark to beat up the customers...

I have Katekintail's address and will post book on, once postal strike here is over.

Journal Entry 16 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Posted by surface mail today.

Journal Entry 17 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Sunday, December 2, 2007
Just received this. Thanks for including me in the ring! I'll start on it ASAP!

Journal Entry 18 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, February 29, 2008
I'm sorry it took me so long to get through this. I was ill for most of Dec, our annual conference came up in Jan, and then there was a death in my family this month. So the book went with me from Virginia up to New York and back, then to Iowa and back.

At first, the use of the second person was very strange- especially when the character is so troubled and depressed- it was difficult to want to to crawl into his skin with him. But by the end I totally didn't notice it, which was a surprise. I was much more wrapped up in the lives of the characters and their fates. It was well written (though I noticed a couple mistakes editing missed) and definitely delivered quite the emotional impact. I probably had people in the airport terminal staring at me because I KNOW my jaw dropped at a certain point near the end! The book is a dark sort of beautiful, which I don't usually go for, but the characters were so alive and compelling that I couldn't help but feel attached. I'm glad I got a chance to read this. Thank you so much for the bookring!

Journal Entry 19 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, February 29, 2008
Mailing out to nmreader, next in line in the ring. Enjoy!

Delivery Confirmation Number: 0307 3330 0000 9084 9113

Journal Entry 20 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Sunday, March 9, 2008
was in my mailbox - looking forward to reading - heard it was wonderful

Journal Entry 21 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Friday, June 6, 2008
Scoobs-buddy was telling me about this book as he was reading it. He made it sound so engaging that I had to read it.

As I started to read, I felt like I knew Gary and that he lived just around the corner. I thought of the pain and pressure that a gay man would have experienced at the time the novel was taking place and in the location.

It was classified as Gay fiction and I suppose that is ok but it is really a novel about finding a way out of pain and to love.

Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 22 by NMReader at on Monday, June 16, 2008

Released 15 yrs ago (6/17/2008 UTC) at



Returning to Scoobs-buddy. Mailed first class

Journal Entry 23 by rem_XDP-320934 on Friday, June 20, 2008
huge thanks everybody!!!

Released 14 yrs ago (7/9/2009 UTC) at Controlled Release, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases



Adding to the Scoobs-buddy GLBT July '09 Bookbox-- to be sent out sometime this month

Journal Entry 25 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, August 15, 2009
Taken from Scoobs-buddy's GLBT bookbox.

The title of this one first caught my attention, and then when I saw all the JEs I figured I had to read it!

Journal Entry 26 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, September 26, 2009
I had a little trouble getting into this book, but not because of the second-person narrative; I found that to be rather more involving, putting me almost literally into the main character's shoes. But his shoes were not a very comfortable place to be, were they? Here's a guy in an unhappy marriage, living in a ramshackle mobile home that's falling apart, suffering from post-traumatic stress and fielding a huge drug and alcohol problem - and if you throw in a mid-life crisis and being in the closet in a small Southern town, he's got troubles enough for several people. [Realizing that a lot of people live with many of the same problems all the time was a bit - pardon the expression - sobering...]

Being inside his head made it easier to sympathize with him even while cringing at the abuse he was putting his body through. I don't think I've read any book in which people used so many drugs so often; trying to imagine coping with the blackouts and flashbacks and hallucinations was terrifying. And I didn't want to imagine what that trailer must have smelled like after yet another binge... But I'm glad I stayed with it.

[Some spoilers follow:]

When Gary first encountered Zachary and began to - well, to wake up - the story became easier for me to stick with, even though I was dreading what would happen to them; even without their own self-destructive behaviors, the setting seemed primed for tragedy. And, yes, there was tragedy - but the circumstances, and the fallout, were not at all what I'd been expecting. I'd gotten quite paranoid on Gary's behalf when his 'Nam flashbacks seemed to coincide with actual passers-by - he lived quite near a fairly well-traveled road, with little or no privacy - but I still wasn't prepared for what actually happened. And I'm not quite sure if I'm pleased that it seemed to be the necessary catalyst to turn the survivor's life around (though Gary and Zachary had been well on the way to reclaiming each other, I thought); but would I have believed a less traumatic event? I don't know... I was left feeling relieved for the characters, saddened yet at peace about the loss - and indignant that justice did not seem to have been done (though the author left that a tad ambiguous).

After the relationship between Gary and Zachary, Gary's relationship with his daughter - and her ability to leave her surroundings and make a new life for herself - were among the high points of the book for me. And it'd be lovely to hope that people who were wounded as badly as Zachary and Gary could find each other and help to heal the wounds. Fascinating book.

Notable quote: At one point, Gary is telling his psychiatrist about Zachary, and how he strides through their small town even after someone put anti-gay graffiti on the trailer: "He looks like we did back in the war, terrified, always surrounded by the enemy, but he keeps going." That line really got to me...

Edited to add: in some ways the storyline reminded me of Trebor Healey's Through It Came Bright Colors; very different characters and settings, but with some common themes.

Released 14 yrs ago (10/1/2009 UTC) at Post Office Bookswap Shelf (UBCZ), 353 Middlesex Rd. in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts USA



I left this book on the book-swap shelf in the Tyngsboro post office lobby at about 1. Hope the finder enjoys it!

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