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10 thoughts on “Addie Pray

  1. says:

    This is an amazing and nostalgic thrill ride of a book, full of 1970 s psychedelic spirit and unforgettable characters Definitely a book I d recommend D


  2. says:

    After eleven year old Addie Pray s mother dies, she travels around the South with Moses Long Boy Pray, the man who might be her biological father He s a con man who tricks widows into buying Bibles and photographs of their deceased husbands The sassy, smart Addie proves to be a good accomplice They soon move on to sophisticated swindles as they travel from Alabama to Tennessee and Louisiana.I soon found myself cheering on Addie and Long Boy even though they were cheating people out of money during the Depression of the 1930s They never try to swindle the very poor Addie needs to feel that she s part of a family, and she has a vulnerability that tugs at the heart Long Boy takes good care of Addie in his own way, although he is introducing her to a life of crime Both Addie and Long Boy have quick minds and are fast talkers so they make a good team Several other people also act as substitute family members that show her a part of the world that she has not experienced.The book is written in a conversational tone in a Southern voice with Addie looking back at her younger days The first part of the story was made into the movie Paper Moon Joe David Brown is a great storyteller with a good sense of humor.


  3. says:

    The basis of the memorable BW Academy Award film 1973 starring Ryan O Neal and his daughter Tatum who won an Oscar award for her performance at age 8 , this 2002 edition re titled from the original Addie Pray has a forward that explains the book movie connection Set mostly in depression era Alabama and narrated by spunky 11 year old Addie Pray this book follows her adventures as the adorable and adept accomplice to the many money making hijinks pulled by charismatic shyster Moses Long Boy Pray who is possibly her father Written in a manner reminiscent of Steinbeck with a young heroine given Huck Finn like pluck , this was an enjoyable selection by my Southern Literary club 4 stars


  4. says:

    This was a re read for me, but the first time must have been at least 35 40 years ago I remembered some parts and particulars, but the ending not at all A very satisfactory ending, I must say Addie joins Scout Finch and Ellen Foster as one of my favorite child narrators Even with the con games and swindling, Addie and Long Boy had their own kind of morality and code of ethics.My favorite quote from the book that sums it all up nicely Everyone is better off with some class, Major Lee said once, but if you re phony, it s absolutely mandatory.


  5. says:

    I have forever been a fan of the flimflammer, the con artist, the charming swindler It is a subject I have long admired as my own personal approach is so distinctly the opposite I can not recall ever having gained anything worthwhile with a lie, and thus my skills of charm and deceit remain terribly undeveloped I save myself a lot of time with a simple approach, but I do have huge respect for the con They are a world apart and I am thrilled to live vicariously through books like this


  6. says:

    Oh the delights of just plain reading for pleasure And this book was just that First published as Addie Pray in 1971, it was made into the movie Paper Moon in 1973 I remember that, too, as being a delightful little film, though it s been 40 years For those of you unfamiliar with the film it starred Ryan O Neal and his daughter Tatum as Addie Pray, who absolutely charmed me Now the fictional character Addie Pray has done it again This charm almost feels subversive because of the hucksters that Addie and her daddy Long Boy are Now Long Boy may or not be her real Daddy, but he s the one that takes her into his life after her mother dies And that life is one spent traveling the south scamming people out of money, in small and ever growing ways They begin with selling personally engraved Bibles and framed pictures of recently deceased husbands and grow from there At first this is a day to day existence but it quickly evolves into lucrative and complicated schemes providing them money for expensive cars and stays in good hotels It doesn t take Long Boy long to realize that Addie is an asset to his way of life And despite his hucksterism, he s good to her and they compliment each other like two peas in a pod I ll segue from that little clich d metaphor to one of my favorite aspects of this book aside from characterization, masterful storytelling, and uniqueness of concept , that of language Addie provides the most color through the kinds of metaphors one could only find in the American South, and Long Boy is a master of dialect It is a dialect that changes depending upon who he is conversing with their class or status, region Even if you ve seen the film and know the story, you may want to read the book if only because less than half of their escapades are contained in the film Author Joe David Brown must have had one ingenious mind to think up all of their schemes The entire last third of the book takes place in New Orleans where Addie poses as the lost granddaughter of a dying and supposedly wealthy woman I just realized that my last 5 star read, Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans had a plot similar to this Only it was a not so bright woman who takes in a boy, who is a whip smart WWII evacuee, and together they, too, go door to door scamming people Not sure what that says about me or my reading, but I read them for different reasons and highly recommend them both.


  7. says:

    Second reading The movie adaptation was titled Paper Moon The novel was later re issued under that title.


  8. says:

    I have seen the movie that was made based on this novel than once I have always loved it I thought Tatum O Neal was the coolest little kid ever and I loved Addie The movie changed quite a few things from the book For one thing, the title used to be Addie Pray, but when they re printed the book, they switched it to match the title of the movie To be honest, I like this title better, so that s okay with me I wish they had been able to add some of the things that happened near the end of the novel into the movie it would have been some great scenes, but I get why some of it wasn t in there It would have been hard, and very long Addie tells you a lot, and the timeline covers a few years, they chose to simplify the film, and it worked The novel however, is fantastic Addie is all you could hope for in a narrator She is tough, feisty, charming, funny, sweet and really pays attention to the people and world around her Her relationship with Long Boy Moze in the film is brilliant They get on with each other much better and quicker in the novel Their cons and travels are interesting and fun to read about, Addie is smart and I have always enjoyed novels set near the 1920s and 30s and this is a great look at the depression era For Addie alone, this is one of my favorite novels, but the story is rich and very much worth a read.


  9. says:

    When he was wound up right he could sell doodle bugs for doorknobs Long Boy was a con man in the hardscrabble days of the Great Depression Addie Pray was his eleven year old accomplice and sidekick Together young Addie and her daddy combed the Southern United States looking for their next big swindle.To say I enjoyed this book is a understatement It is funny, warm and clever and just as good as the movie named for it called Paper Moon Joe David Brown created some unforgettable characters in this book as well as some very creative swindles You have to wonder if those slippery deals were researched or of Brown s own imagination.


  10. says:

    One of the best books I have ever read It is a happy collection of scams, stings and adventures by a depression era con artist and his possibly illegitimate daughter The story is told from the perspective of 12 year old Addie Pray who takes us through the life of a pair of grifters They start out small, tricking widows into buying bibles and photos of their departed loved ones, but gradually expands to doing business on much bigger victims They have run ins with bootleggers, the bonded cotton buyers market and the wealthy nephew of a bitter old widow The book was originally titled Addie Pray , the name was changed after the 1973 film came out and is now known as Paper Moon You will not find a reference to Paper Moon in the book That name came about because the director of the movie liked the sound of it and inserted a scene in the film with Addie having her picture taken in a paper moon set at a carnival.


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