The Neon Bible
By John Kennedy Toole
(Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802132079, 176pp.)
Publication Date: January 1994
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John Kennedy Toolewho won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling comic masterpiece A Confederacy of DunceswroteThe Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of sixteen. The manuscript languished in a drawer and became the subject of a legal battle among Toole’s heirs. It was only in 1989, thirty-five years after it was written and twenty years after Toole’s suicide at thirty-one, that this amazingly accomplished and evocative novel was freed for publication.
Heartfelt emotion, communicated in clean direct prose . . . a remarkable achievement.”Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
A powerful novel that belongs on the shelf with the works of Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty. It is a moving evocation of the small-town South in the mid-twentieth century, and it is an expertly crafted tale of an adolescent boy finding the courage to make the decisions to change his life.”William McKeen, Orlando Sentinel
John Kennedy Toole’s tender, nostalgic side is as brilliantly effective as his corrosive satire. If you liked To Kill A Mockingbird you will love The Neon Bible.”Florence King
Shockingly mature. . . . Even at sixteen, Toole knew that the way to write about complex emotions is to express them simply.”Kerry Luft, Chicago Tribune