The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg

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In this final volume of the beloved American saga that began with All Over but the Shoutin’ and continued with Ava’s Man, Rick Bragg closes his circle of family stories with an unforgettable tale about fathers and sons inspired by his own relationship with his ten-year-old stepson.

He learns, right from the start, that a man who chases a woman with a child is like a dog who chases a car and wins. He discovers that he is unsuited to fatherhood, unsuited to fathering this boy in particular, a boy who does not know how to throw a punch and doesn’t need to; a boy accustomed to love and affection rather than violence and neglect; in short, a boy wholly unlike the child Rick once was, and who longs for a relationship with Rick that Rick hasn’t the first inkling of how to embark on. With the weight of this new boy tugging at his clothes, Rick sets out to understand his father, his son, and himself.

The Prince of Frogtown documents a mesmerizing journey back in time to the lush Alabama landscape of Rick’s youth, to Jacksonville’s one-hundred-year-old mill, the town’s blight and salvation; and to a troubled, charismatic hustler coming of age in its shadow, Rick’s father, a man bound to bring harm even to those he truly loves. And the book documents the unexpected corollary to it, the marvelous journey of Rick’s later life: a journey into fatherhood, and toward a child for whom he comes to feel a devotion that staggers him. With candor, insight, tremendous humor, and the remarkable gift for descriptive storytelling on which he made his name, Rick Bragg delivers a brilliant and moving rumination on the lives of boys and men, a poignant reflection on what it means to be a father and a son.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Rick Bragg

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Rick Bragg is a national correspondent for the New York Times. He is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Published May 13, 2008 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Prince of Frogtown

The New York Times

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Facing the memories of a father’s short life of hard drinking, cruelty and the circumstances that helped push him to those extremes.

Jul 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Prince of Frogtown

BC Books

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There's a gospel song entitled, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," and Rick Bragg tries to answer that question in the last book in his family history, The Prince of Frogtown.

Apr 28 2008 | Read Full Review of The Prince of Frogtown


THE PRINCE OF FROGTOWN joins Bragg's other two books to complete a remarkable trilogy.

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Bookin With Sunny.

Bragg began his journey to reclaim his father when he “got a boy of my own.” Every chapter in the book has a section entitled, “The Boy.” It’s like a seed that gets watered with each chapter until Rick Bragg, his father, Charles Bragg, and his own “boy” are full-​​grown.

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