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Wild Oranges

Joseph Hergesheimer

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .They approached the dwelling from behind the orange grove; and, coming suddenly to the porch, surprised an incredibly thin, grey man in the act of lighting a small stone pipe with a reed stem. He was sitting, but, seeing Woolfolk, he started sharply to his feet, and the pipe fell, shattering the bowl.

“My father,” the woman pronounced: “Lichfield Stope.”

“Millie,” he stuttered painfully, “you know—I—strangers—”

John Woolfolk thought, as he presented himself, that he had never before seen such an immaterial living figure. Lichfield Stope was like the shadow of a man draped with unsubstantial, dusty linen. Into his waxen face beat a pale infusion of blood, as if a diluted wine had been poured into a semi-opaque goblet; his sunken lips puffed out and collapsed; his fingers, dust-colored like his garb, opened and shut with a rapid, mechanical rigidity.

“Father,” Mill. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Haunting. Very languid and stark prose. The characters seem to materialize out of a mist. A weird thing to say, I know. I can see why this author was compared to Fitzgerald back in the day. The main character in this book is sort of a cross of Jay Gatsby and Fitzgerald himself. I will have to go bac

This long short story or short novel is overwrought but I've read it several times with pleasure. It's a mix of RL Stevenson/duMaurier type romance with a touch of Conrad and of Faulkner. Then add in a dash of the thriller like Night of the Hunter. The theme is rescuing the princess from a terrible