A poet and also writer of many quick stories, consisting of the ones making use of the “Flim Flam Yarn” title, man Owen to be launched into fame v comical and also popular The Ballad that the Flim-Flam Man.

The backdrop because that this novel is fictitious Cape fear County, a place similar to Owen’s childhood experience in Bladen County, north Carolina. Like countless Southern writers, Owen uses his very own past and also surroundings to carry out material because that his fiction. Recall wilhelm Faulkner’s use of Yoknapatawpha County, a fictitious location based on the genuine Lafayette County, Mississippi. The result is the the fiction has actually a neighborhood flavor, describing the sights, sounds, and also folkways the a certain place. However authors comment on issues through moral intricacy that transcend regions. Periodically to write about the abstract, one should be familiar with the particular.

The 1965 novel to be my arrival to Owen. An ext exactly, it to be the 1967 movie of the exact same name starring George C. Scott. (In the movie, over there is one unforgettable and zany auto chase that wreaks destruction on a small, north Carolina town.)

The key character, Mordecai Jones, M.B.S., C.S., D.D., brags about his self-styled, advanced degrees that stand for “Master that Back-Stabbing, Cork-Screwing, and also Dirty-Dealing.” simply put, he is a con-artist. The enlarge drifter travel the Southeast, swindling human being out of your cash via various gamings of chance and stealing — pardon me — borrowing cars.

Although Jones insurance claims to have once circulated among big-time and also influential people, “dukes and bookies,” to name 2 examples, the nickel-and-dime swindler mentors an AWOL serviceman and aspiring country singer, Curley Treadaway, and tells him beforehand on: “You can’t cheat an ethical man.” A slick talker can only attain so much, Jones advises; it takes 2 to negotiate a deal. One should tap into mankind’s organic greediness: “Greed’s my line, lad” and also fourteen-carat ignorance,” he tells Curley. “You could say I’m one who puts his to trust in the taint the corruption in the human heart.” v that in mind, Mordecai lures others right into thinking that they have the right to cheat that or Curley, and also then that dupes the locals and also moves on come his next target. As they avoid catch from the law and retaliation from previous victims all across eastern north Carolina, Curley at some point reveals the there is some great in people.

Owen has received worship for the folksy narrative of 2 bungling con-artists travel to and also fro in rural north Carolina. Although the work-related is storage of a note Twain novel, other reviews declare that Owen to be unable to do the characters believable. Still others have actually criticized the usage or overuse that dialect. Those parts, however, are what makes the novel charming.

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i get it Ebert, “The Flim-Flam Man,” http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-flim-flam-man-1967 (accessed June 6, 2015); Kirkus Review, “The Ballad of the Flim-Flam male https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/guy-owen-2/the-ballad-of-the-flim-flam-man/ (accessed June 6, 2015); male Owen, The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man (reprint, 2000) and Flim-Flam male Yarns and Other Cape are afraid Stories: A collection of quick Stories (Durham, 1980); page Turners type the Past: Bob’s publication Reviews, “The Ballad that the Flim-Flam Man” http://bobsbookreviews.com/?p=82 (accessed June 6, 2015).