Book Heaven / Book Hell: Wiley Cash

Article published on April 2, 2012.

Book Heaven

When I think of books I’d like to spend an eternity reading, I think of food I’d like to spend an eternity eating: rich, filling complex dishes like pastas, curries, and gumbo. If these dishes were books they’d be big, complicated novels full of interesting characters and beautiful writing like Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and William Faulkner’s Light in August.

Book Hell

When I think of books I’d hate to spend an eternity reading, I think of food I’d hate to spend an eternity eating: sweet, sugary food like ice cream, cake, and pie. Don’t get me wrong; I like a little cake and ice cream every now and then, but I don’t want to eat it every day. I feel the same way about books that are full of slick writing, high emotion, and predictable plots. Those books have their place, and I often enjoy picking them up and reading them once. But they’re not getting stuffed into the suitcase I’m packing for eternity. There’s not enough room.


A Land More Kind Than Home is a southern noir set in an isolated community in North Carolina. Wiley Cash has gone back to his roots in the deep south of America to reveal how religious faith can permeate a community, have a powerful effect on the families within that community and also tear them apart. Inspired by the true story of a boy smothered during a healing service in Chicago, Wiley shows how evil this influence can be on a tight knit community. Wiley grew up in North Carolina and explored his own experiences of orthodox Christianity as a child in this, his first novel.


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