Read This Rock by Robert Morgan Online


From the author of Gap Creek-an international best-seller and winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award-comes the gripping story of two brothers struggling against each other and the confines of their mountain world in 1920s Appalachia.The Powell brothers-Muir and Moody-are as different as Cain and Abel. Muir is an innocent, a shy young man with big dreams. Moody, tFrom the author of Gap Creek-an international best-seller and winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award-comes the gripping story of two brothers struggling against each other and the confines of their mountain world in 1920s Appalachia.The Powell brothers-Muir and Moody-are as different as Cain and Abel. Muir is an innocent, a shy young man with big dreams. Moody, the older and wilder brother-embittered by the death of his father, by years of fighting his mother, and by his jealousy of Muir's place in the family-takes to moonshine and gambling and turns his anger on his brother. Muir escapes by wandering, making his way around the country in attempts to find something-an occupation, a calling-to match his ambition.Through it all, their mother, Ginny, tries to steer her boys right, all the while remembering her own losses: her husband (whose touch still haunts her), her youth, and the fiery sense of God that once ordered her world.When Muir, in a drunken vision, decides that his purpose in life is to clear a space on a hill and build a stone church with his own hands, the consequences of his plan are far-reaching and irrevocable: a community threatens to tear itself apart, men die, and his family is forever changed. All that's left in the aftermath are the ghosts and the memories of a new man....

Title : This Rock
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743225793
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 323 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

This Rock Reviews

  • Robin
    2019-05-04 01:51

    I wanted to give this 5 stars because I love the combination of the gritty storyline blended with poetic writing. There are so few books that I read slowly - I tend to skim a lot of most books. However, I found myself re-reading passages that were written so beautifully. I will definitely read the Morgan books I have not read yet.

  • Suzanna
    2019-05-02 22:53

    I could hardly put this book down, but at times found it sad and a bit depressing. It ends well enough, but this isn't one of those books in which the main character is fully triumphant at the end, and definitely isn't a "feel good" book. It is more about the struggle to find oneself and one's calling, and the many failings we often take in doing so. I do love this author. The other couple books I read by him so far, Gap Creek and Brave Enemies, are love stories about the relationships between man and woman. This, too, is a love story, but not in the same sense. It is more about the love of family, particularly between two very different brothers and their mother. Also like the other books I have read by him, this book is about our humanness. It reaches into what it is to go through life, our relationships, our spirituality, and how we reconcile our lives at the end of each day.Morgan, like the other books I have read from him, has written this one in vernacular, which I love if well done. He clearly has a talent for it. The prose in this book are simple but evocative. The imagery is strong and clear. Morgan not only can make you see what he sees, but also summons richer responses, such as colors and sensations brought on by strong emotions, or memories kindled by scent. I can certainly recommend this book. I love the other two I've read from him more, but This Rock is another good one.

  • Ray
    2019-05-19 21:48

    This is the third historical novel I've read in the past three years from Robert Morgan, my longago undergrad creative writing professor. I began with Brave Enemies, a more recently written novel but set in Revolutionary times. I then pro/regressed to his Gap Creek, which spanned the turn of the 19th-20th century with the story of a young couple struggling to survive- at all, much less as husband and wife. And with This Rock, we skip a generation ahead in the same Carolina border region; not strictly a sequel to the prior one (though its speaking-voice character Julie and her husband Hank both appear in it, in quiet supporting roles), but it advances early century life a bit, with more modern conveniences appearing but, still, a simpler life, lived off the land and where hard work, rather than cash, is the essential currency of everyday existence.The tale is largely of a mother and two brothers, but only the mother and the brother Muir tell it, in mostly alternating chapters. They overcome obstacles of self-confidence, anger and mostly bootlegging-oriented lawlessness before Muir finally finds his place in life and builds it.Not a lot of action, but a lot of love.

  • Joan Colby
    2019-05-16 05:51

    A terrific novel by the author of Gap Creek. This one relates the story of two dissimilar brothers, more or less of the Cain/Abel genre. Muir, the good brother, constantly seeks for his identity and a way to advance in the world. Moody, the bad brother, makes moonshine, is involved with bootleggers and frequently destroys Muir's projects. Yet, Moody has his noble impulses from time to time. The story is related through the alternatng voices of Ginny, the mother, and Muir. The setting is rural North Carolina in the early 1920's. The dialog is genuine and the writing poetic and striking (Not unusual for a respected poet, which Morgan also is). Scenes of violence are vividly rendered and contrasted with the religious fervor which emboldens Muir.

  • Annabelle
    2019-05-01 03:33

    The relationship between the two brothers is what drew me to this book. I was hoping to gain some insight into my own two boys who are so different. Although it took me a while to get through the book; I am glad I kept with it. The insight I gained was about my own fears of failure and how empowering it can be to over come them. Fear paralyzes, and the fear of failure can prevent us from reaching our full potential. The FEAR is the biggest thing to over come once you've conquered that you can rise above anything. It's a perspective thing, keeping fear of failure from preventing me from pursuing my interests. I was reminded of the value of supporting our children, friends and loved ones. Sometimes the most powerful thing we can tell our dearest companions is "you can do it".

  • Jennifer Davis
    2019-05-19 03:47

    Not his best work. While Gap Creek and Greatest Pleasure were gripping and breath taking accounts of life in 1920s for young adults in North Carolina's hills, This Rock is scattered and anti-climactic.The book is written from the viewpoint of both the main character, Muir, and his mother, Ginny. Both Muir and his older brother Moody struggle toward uncertain futures after the death of their father, both making many mis-steps along the way.Morgan's writing has become formulaic and tired, much like Nicholas Sparks works. Morgan's bias toward Christianity and Pentecostal sects are well-worn and unresolved. While this telling of Morgan's theme has a somewhat gentler ending, it also seems to rush to a stop after skidding through some rather tight turns, leaving me somewhat puzzled.

  • Debby
    2019-05-21 01:41

    I started reading this book and realized I'd read it maybe 5 years ago. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a stack of book waiting to be read, I might have re-read The Rock. It's that good!I'm a big fan of Appalachian fiction and Robert Morgan is one of my favorite authors in that category. He is a phenomenal storyteller and creates really captivating characters. If you haven't read The Rock or Gap Creek, I highly recommend them.

  • Soulmuser
    2019-04-29 05:34

    A yawning plundering tale of nothingness.

  • Hlsmlane
    2019-05-05 03:56

    This is a difficult book in some ways. The author details the country and culture of western North Carolina almost lyrically. I grew up in a time and place not too far removed from this setting, and the details felt like home truth. But the story of the two boys' fractious relationship, the misunderstandings, the younger brother's haring off out of frustration with his lot was hard to follow and did not seem headed for any particular destination. If there is a symbolic lesson in the death of the elder brother, the release of the younger one's talent, and the abandonment of the unfinished church, that lesson escapes me.

  • Wendy Weber
    2019-05-20 21:28

    Classic good vs. evil as two brothers attempt to live life on each of their own terms. This author takes the time to describe scenes in such detail that I felt as if I was a part of the story. I loved Gap Creek and this novel also delivered an engrossing story. Lessons can be learned if you look beyond the words. There is profound meaning in the symbolism. This is the kind of book that will appear in my mind as I attempt to figure out my path through life.

  • Kathy
    2019-04-22 22:47

    Characters well defined, story line predictable. But the poetic prose is devine! Robert Morgan is a local author in the Hendersonville, NC. I have read several of his books. I have attended a program where he read from one of his poetry books. But this was far and away the best. Characters, plot situations or any number of situations morfed into the most wonderful poetic prose. This is not something I usually enjoy or seek out, but so enjoyable in this book.

  • Melissa
    2019-05-07 05:26

    I wasn't sure I was going to finish this book. I didn't really like any of the main characters and I was starting to get a little tired of them. It finally clicked about 2/3 of the way through and I did like the way it ended.

  • Eliza Dizzaway
    2019-04-27 01:51

    Good but ended too quickly.

  • Wendy
    2019-04-29 00:31

    Not my usual read, but good for a change.

  • Karen
    2019-05-01 05:49

    Interesting enough to finish but not to recommend to anyone!

  • Marcie
    2019-04-24 21:46

    Not as good as Gap Creek.

  • Megan Palasik
    2019-05-08 02:49

    I listened to this as an audio book, so my experience may be different that that of other readers'.The man and woman (I can't remember their names) did a very good job reading this book. They were engaging, not boring or irritating, and had good Appalachian dialects. 5/5 stars for them.I listened to Gap Creek a couple of months ago and enjoyed it for the most part (I gave it 4/5 stars) so when I saw this book at the library I thought I'd try it out. Somehow, this book didn't captivate me in the same way as Gap Creek.In Gap Creek I remember being annoyed that the author used a lot of "...he said," "...she said," lines which got old quickly. I didn't notice that nearly as much in this book. However, there were some sections where he started describing a scene that seemed to go on and on and on. Near the beginning, Muir was cutting grass and describing how much he enjoyed it even though his mom didn't deem it necessary compared to other tasks. Muir's internal monologue about grass cutting was excruciatingly long and boring. Also, from time to time, the author explained a situation/scene, added some dialogue, but then seemed to go back and reiterate the situation/scene again - not using the same exact words, but the same ideas. It just seemed redundant at times.Beyond those little times that irritated me, the story was pretty good. I liked the Appalachian setting and the early 1900s time period. The struggles between Muir and Moody and the mom were irritating at times - Moody was just a bad apple - but they did what they could at the time. This story is ultimately about the relationship between these three family members, and Muir finding his place in life. Muir likes to draw buildings, likes the church, and likes to trap animals in the woods. He tries a little bit of everything to ultimately find his place.

  • Alec
    2019-05-03 22:33

    Robert Morgan brought me into a world (rural North Carolina around 1920) that I know nothing about. The writing is from the pov of a couple of the characters, teenage Muir and his mother, Ginny. Life as it is described is not sugar-coated; it appeared real enough to me to get me engrossed in the daily vicissitudes of life for this poor family that had already suffered before the start of the book - dead husband/father and daughter/sister. The story deals with two brothers growing up in this environment that is poor materially and rich with the bigotry of religion and with the spirituality that individuals can find through day to day interactions with those around them and with nature. There are hints of the world outside where civilization appears cruel, destructive of nature, inhospitable, and inhuman in its way of "modernizing" and shaping the world according to (modern) man. This is contrasted with the cathedrals of the past that are portrayed as models which we can aspire to. The conclusion appears a bit moralizing in the sense that hard work, self-reliance, and neighborly caring and assistance are shown to be the best way to survive, a bit in the sense of a parable. The story line was pleasant to follow and had a few surprises that kept me interested in reading on.

  • Katy
    2019-05-03 05:51

    I try to listen to audio books when I drive to work because I find local radio to be inane at 6:30 AM. This is a story I wanted to finish hearing instead of reaching my destination.Set in the southern Appalachians of North Carolina in the 1920s, we follow the Powell brothers as they grow up with their widowed mothers. The brothers are as different as Cain and Abel---Moody was into whoring and bootlegging, bent on doing whatever he could to bother his brother Muir. Muir was trying to hold his mother's ideal that he was destined to do something grand. As Muir and Moody come into their manhood, they are still as different, but they learn a respect for the other and for whom they are to become. The audio was fabulous, with good readers, except for the high-pitched whiny voices of a couple females and the minister.) The background music added to the story.It's a story of choices, consequences, and redemption. I understand it's the 3rd story of the Powell family. I'd love to read the other two.

  • Frederick Bingham
    2019-05-20 01:45

    The story of Muir and Moody Powell. They are two teenage boys growing up in the mountains of western North Carolina in the 1920's. Muir is the good boy who always does what his mama says. Moody is the black sheep who is lazy, good-for-nothing and gets in with the wrong crowd. Their mother is an industrious farm woman whose husband died a few years before the story takes place.Muir is the main character and the story is told mostly through his eyes. He goes through a number of life-changing events. He almost gets caught running bootleg liquor for his brother. He watches a circus elephant kill a man, and then watches again as the elephant is killed. He attempts to go to Canada to create a new life as a trapper and ends up having to return home. He almost drowns in the Tar River.A good story, but maybe a little difficult to believe with regards to a teenage outlook on life. For example, Muir apparently has almost no sexual feeling at all, except for some small affection for a neighbor girl. His maturity and apparent wisdom do not fit his age.

  • Barb
    2019-05-09 22:39

    I am currently enjoying This Rock written by Robert Morgan, the author of Gap Creek which I really loved. The author does a good job of painting pictures with words. It is the story of two brothers (Muir and Moody) living with their mom and sister during the 1920's in rural Appalachia--North Carolina to be exact. Muir,the younger brother, is a shy, introspective dreamer while his brother Moody, (good name for him) is angry much of the time and given to gambling and moonshine whiskey. Moody's anger is often taken out on his brother. The boy's father dies prematurely and mother, Ginny is left to raise her boys and their two sisters alone--a tough assignment indeed. Each chapter is written either from Muir's or his mother Ginny's perspective--interesting that we don't know how Moody feels about anything, only how he reacts. It's a bit of a Cain and Abel story and the author has successfully drawn me in and keeps me wondering how it will end. This is a book for people who don't need complicated plots but enjoy lush, vivid, descriptive writing. I guess that would be me. :o)

  • Brian Schmidt
    2019-05-03 21:30

    Brian J SchmidtMs.GardnerEnglish29 june, 2016“The Rock” reviewIt’s the 1920s, money is scarce and no body has extra money. A boy named muir with the mindset of being a preacher in the appalachian mountains. It's a journey through his life and what he wants to do. Muir has an older brother named Moody and the don't see eye to eye. Muir and Moody are completely different in the categories of priorities and where they want to go or where they want to be. Muir is smart, shy, and he never gets into trouble, Moody on the other hand is a man with no limits he's crazy, he drinks moonshine and gambles, and when life isn't so great he gets mad and takes it out on muir.Muir is a kid without any preaching experience and will yet stop at nothing to make that his calling. And you (to whomever you are) no matter your religion or what you believe, this book is truly for anyone. This book would be most enjoyed with a glass of tea and sitting outside.

  • LadyCalico
    2019-05-02 01:34

    I am a real big Morgan fan, cannot think of any author I'd rather read. This book picks up on both The Truest Pleasure and Gap Creek, moving the characters into the 1920's. I thoroughly loved this book, but not as much as its predecessors. I think I identify primarily with the female protaganists, who were pushed to the background in this story. I think you need to read The Truest Pleasure before This Rock. If I hadn't have read Truest Pleasure so recently, I doubt I'd have gotten to know or care about Ginny much at all, but I was already seeing from her perspective when I got to This Rock. Moody never emerges fully, maybe by design since clearly no one in the family knew him or understood him, so neither did I. However, I think his shadowy portrayal lessens the impact that the story would have had, if he'd been drawn more clearly as a flesh and blood person.

  • Cathy
    2019-05-15 05:28

    "This Rock" was extremely well-written, and even though the cast was entirely different, the mood was reminiscent of Morgan's more known "Gap Creek." The characters' lives are simple, and it's almost as though that simple living is the antagonist. Muir and Moody simply don't know that they could do better. Ginny, their mother, has little ambition beyond one of her sons receiving some sort of calling, but she doesn't seem particular as to what that calling may be. Muir leaves his home, and realizes he is ill-equipped to make it on his own, because he doesn't have the wits. "This Rock" puts faces on backwoods ignorance and Bible-belt intolerance. Ironically, it's the primitive Bible-thumping church that is the Powell brother's worst enemy, but also what offers Muir his redemption in the end.

  • Bamboozlepig
    2019-04-25 23:55

    As others have pointed out, this book is depressing as hell. Nothing ever works out for Muir. It's an interesting take because usually the hero of the book winds up having good things happen to him in the end. But in "This Rock", Muir's life is a series of failures and even at the end, he faces failure. The story is told in alternative first-person viewpoints between Muir and his mother, Ginny. It works well and flows smoothly because it allows Morgan to lens Moody (Muir's brother) through two different sets of eyes. The prose in this book was beautiful and the plot was strongly written. The story kept me engaged enough that I finished it in two days.

  • Nickie
    2019-05-04 00:30

    I chose this book after reading "Gap Creek" and "Oprah bookclub" book by the same author. "This Rock" is very similar in setting (rural North Carolina in the early 1900s) and tone; although this time the story is about a mother and her two sons as told by the mother and one of the sons. There are alot of religious overtones (and undertones). This one might be good for a bookclub discussion with men as the majority of the story focuses on the sons and how they grow from teenagers into men. The book seems to end then the author tacks on a "surprise" twist to the ending that I thought was distracting and unnecessary to the story as a whole.

  • Tress Huntley
    2019-05-13 02:43

    Southern writing usually impacts me in a pretty big way. This book had all the traits that usually do it: dialect, nature worship, heavy on the biblical citation, and a bootlegging angle. Don't know what it is about that recipe that sucks me in, since none of it reflects me, but this was very well done. I just completely did not get the ending. What a crazy, unnecessary last note. I guess it echoed the equally crazy, unnecessary middle passage concerning the elephant? There must be an allegory I am not catching on to in here. If someone cares to enlighten me, that would be terrific. Otherwise, the oddity of the ending dragged down my overall impression.

  • Sonia
    2019-05-11 01:43

    Sometimes you finish a book and never think about it again. I think this one will remain in my mind forever, especially when I think of the mountain people of North Carolina. It is one of the saddest books I've ever read with a lot of misery and sorrowful goings-on. Poor Muir tries so hard to achieve his goals but has the worst luck you can imagine. You can't quite understand his character because one moment he wants to preach and build a church and the next moment his temper takes over and he wants to shoot and kill people who have crossed him.It's a powerful story but I found myself cringing and thinking "oh no, what now".Excellent voice actors.

  • Janet
    2019-05-21 00:40

    I found this book really boring. In essence the plot was fine, but Morgan droned on and on with so much detail about the mundane, such as mixing concrete, that he rarely had my attention. As this was my third book by this author, I couldn't help but feel as if I had read the story before. With the success of Gap Creek it seems that Morgan perhaps feels he has a plug and play formula, but for me it has just become too repetitive.

  • Andrew Herren
    2019-05-06 03:29

    I thought this was a good story line, a young man finding his voice after several failed attempts. Learning how to be a man when you are already the man of the house by necessity. Even though it was about Muir wanting to become a Southern Baptist minister (which I don't find interesting at all) I thought the book was really about a spiritual awakening in general.I love Robert Morgan's voice. I enjoyed Gap Creek, but thought it had a much darker feel than this one. Good book!