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Regional Novels, Explained

Reader Liam sends in some pretty great literary comedy from The Toast. Here’s a sampling from Mallory Ortberg’s distillation of Every Southern Gothic Novel Ever:

5. Why, This House Represents The Last Vestige Of A Grandeur This Town Could Never Hope To Regain, And We Wouldn’t Sell It For The World

8. No One Listens To What Old Pap’s Got To Say, On Account Of This Deformity, But I Say It’s You All What Has The Deformity, In Your Souls, I Knows What I’ve Seen

12. I Drink Because This House Is Filthy And All The Servants Have Fled

13. Someone Is Going To Have To Shoot The Dog Before It Reaches The Courthouse

And here’s a selection from her list of Every New England Novel Ever:

6. Don’t Sit In That Chair, Boy; Your Mother Sat In That Chair Once And Look Where It Got Her

8. Brisk Ten-Mile Walks Are The Only Medicine Or Therapy This Family Needs

9. The Cod Have Returned

10. Not Everything In Yon Churchyard Is Asleep

17. An Outsider Is Rebuffed

Tidbits from Every Californian Novel Ever:

10. This Pool, Like L.A. Society, Is Only Reflective On The Surface And Also Lacks Depth

11. The 1960s Are Upon Us At Last

12. How Can You Develop Character In A State Without Winter?

13. Everyone Sits In Their Cars, Moving In The Same Direction But Unable To Touch: A Description Of Traffic But Also Of Life

14. The Film Industry Is Corrupt

Entries from Every Scottish Novel Ever:

8. This Rugged, Rocky Landscape Has Shaped Our Hardscrabble Souls In A Way This Soft-Handed Londoner Could Never Hope To Understand

16. In The Long-Running Battle Between Guilt And Desire, Guilt Wins Out

17. Painting Your Shutters Is For Papists And Sexual Deviants; Whitewash Is Good Enough For The Likes Of Us

My favorite of them all is the Southern Gothic line about the dog and the courthouse.

Here’s something else funny from The Toast, sent in by a reader with appalling taste in football teams (she’s from Alabama, naturellement): Dante running into Beatrice in art history.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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