Jon Hassler / Mar 02, 2021

Staggerford A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction THE NEW YORK TIMESIt is only a week in the life of a year old bachelor school teacher in a small Minnesota town But it is an extraodinary week

  • Title: Staggerford
  • Author: Jon Hassler
  • ISBN: 9780345418241
  • Page: 257
  • Format: Paperback
  • A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction THE NEW YORK TIMESIt is only a week in the life of a 35 year old bachelor school teacher in a small Minnesota town But it is an extraodinary week, filled with the poetry of living, the sweetness of expectation, and the glory of surprise that can change a life forever Absolutely smashing.An altogether successfu A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction THE NEW YORK TIMESIt is only a week in the life of a 35 year old bachelor school teacher in a small Minnesota town But it is an extraodinary week, filled with the poetry of living, the sweetness of expectation, and the glory of surprise that can change a life forever Absolutely smashing.An altogether successful work, witty, intelligent, compassionate THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALERFrom the Paperback edition.

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      Published :2020-012-17T04:52:30+00:00

    About "Jon Hassler"

      • Jon Hassler

        Jon Hassler was born in Minneapolis, but spent his formative years in the small Minnesota towns of Staples and Plainview, where he graduated from high school He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from St John s University in 1955 While teaching English at three different Minnesota high schools, he received his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of North Dakota in 1960 He continued to teach at the high school level until 1965, when he began his collegiate teaching career first at Bemidji State University, then Brainerd Community College now called Central Lakes College , and finally at Saint John s, where he became the Writer in Residence in 1980.During his high school teaching years, Hassler married and fathered three children His first marriage lasted 25 years He had two marriages the last was to Gretchen Kresl Hassler.In 1994, Hassler was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, a disease similar to Parkinson s It caused vision and speech problems, as well as difficulty walking, but he was able to continue writing He was reported to have finished a novel just days before his death Hassler died in 2008, at the age of 74, at Methodist Hospital in St Louis Park, Minnesota 1 The Jon Hassler Theater in Plainview, Minnesota, is named for him.


    1. The worlds Jon Hassler paints are ugly. Something in me recoils from the unprettiness of the scenery - the messiness of the characters' lives. Jane Austen, on the other hand, enthralls me. Her worlds are succinct, neat, tidy orderly. Even the chaos in her novels is well-framed by virtue, and never becomes too unhinged. In contrast, Hassler plays with the dark side of each mind. You never are allowed fully to escape from the fact of chaos. The situations in this book are - messy. The main charact [...]

    2. This is more of a confession than a review. A few weeks ago I was overnighting with my next-of-kin, and I had trouble sleeping. So I went out into the basement living space and curled up on the sofa with a book called "Staggerford" by Jon Hassler that I found on a bookshelf in another room. I had read Hassler before, but never any of the Staggerford stuff. I was intrigued. And when I packed up to leave next morning, I packed up Staggerford and too it along. Without asking. It came to me as I rea [...]

    3. My description of this novel: A week in the life of small-town high school teacher Miles Pruitt. There wasn't a fast moving plot. In fact, I'd have trouble explaining what the plot actually was. The only thing that seemed to push this novel forward was time itself. I enjoyed it immensely, right up until the ending. I thought about it for a couple of days but am unable to convince myself that this ending isn't out of place or that it has a larger worthwhile point.Yet, like I said, I really liked [...]

    4. I would characterize this novel as a (then: 1974) modern day tragedy. I kept imagining how it would be rewritten today. The writing was fine, but the book truly embraced the time in which it was written, and much of the subject matter no longer applies today. On the other hand, some of the subject matter was timeless, and one of the passages spoke to me.Nadine said, "I think Gone With the Wind has the stupidest ending I've ever read." "Oh, no. It's inspiring. 'Tomorrow is another day,' says Scar [...]

    5. Somewhere North of the Twin Cities and probably not too far from Lake Wobegone is John Hassler’s fictitious town of Staggerford, Minn.At the center of Staggerford is one Miles Pruitt, a thirty-something, overweight school teacher. He’s also one of the better and more believable characters I’ve come across in some time. Pruitt is a live-and-let-live sort who rents a room in town, laments the loss of his childhood love to his older brother, and is currently in love with his boss’s wife. Bu [...]

    6. Funny. I read this when I was in my early 20s and Miles Pruett seemed like an old man, skimming reviews and I now realize he's only in his mid-30s & young! This is another small town book that I loved. Found it a fast and amusing read. Hassler knows rural Minnesota well & his characters are true, perhaps a bit exaggerated or quirky, but still loveable on the edges. If you've ever spent time in the northern half of Minnesota you've known these people. Nosy, yet guarded. Conservative on th [...]

    7. Had a hard time with this book, and also a hard time deciding on a rating. Not sure what I expected the book to be, but as I got into it I decided it was one of those quirky, glimpse-of-small-town-life books, with lots of wry, tongue-in-cheek humor and a fairly plotless, meandering style. This all changed drastically in the last 15% or so of the book, catching me off guard. No spoilers, since I don't believe in doing that. Still, in spite of some amusing moments along the way, I don't think I'll [...]

    8. I have read all of Hassler's works and genuinely mourned his death some three years ago. To me, he remains a largely undiscovered treasure of American literature. His books are wonderfully written and shine with the innocence of a time long gone. Staggerford is probably his best work, though all his small-town tales are well worth reading. If had six stars, I'd give them all to this phenomenal author.

    9. This was a book that gave me a book hangover as I read it. I found myself in Staggerford at odd times of the day. I wondered how a week in the life of Miles Pruitt would end. In otherwords, it was an engrossing book. Not only was it engrossing, it was well-written. A review I read mentioned a plot and as I sat here I also wondered about a plot. Does your life have a plot? Seven days in the life of one man. Seven days filled with ordinary, everyday things like everyone's lives are. Seven days fil [...]

    10. I feel a little guilty giving Jon Hassler's debut only four stars. I suppose the knockdown from five is for scale. Yeah, it's a small novel in some ways, but this tale of a week in the life of a bachelor school teacher and other small-town Midwesterners is by turns funny as hell and quite moving. Regional writing doesn't get a whole lot better. For me, Hassler finds just the right mix of darkness and light in the hearts of his characters, and as his first venture into 10-plus novels of the explo [...]

    11. The story of a week in the life of a thirty-five year old school teacher in the small town of Staggerford, Minnesota. The New York Times said, "A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction." That's what got me to read this book. It's an old book. It's been around a few decades, so your sure to find it on your library's shelves. This was a book filled with rich descriptions, hilarious scenarios, and an engrossing story. I don't want to give away too much, but if you want a great read, yo [...]

    12. Going to send this to a good friend who's a high school English teacher when I've finished it. She has been in my mind the whole time I've been reading and sometimes I've laughed aloud at the thought of how hard she'll laugh at some of the passages describing the protagonist's life as a high school English teacher. She will *so* relate! Great book. Thoroughly enjoying it. Thinking of putting Jon Hassler on my "read anything by this author" list.

    13. Well, wow. Thoroughly enjoyed this, though it took an unexpected turn. Frankly, I'm not sure I've been more surprised by a twist, but the book still held together marvelously. Endearingly human characters who do grow and evolve throughout the book, which is always a surefire hook for me. Looking forward to reading additional stories about the town of Staggerford.

    14. Found this at a book giveaway, and read it for the second time after maybe 35 years. I've given it 5 stars not necessarily for literary merit, but because it has stayed in my mind as a favorite book for all this time, and I still chuckled out loud at Miles' descriptions of faculty meetings, costume parties, small town personalities, etc and ached at the tragedies involved.

    15. What a charming trip down memory lane with a return to Staggerford. I first read an excerpt from this book in Mr. Christiansen's senior lit class - the chapter where Miles recalls his first love, Carla.I quickly found and devoured the entire book and its sequels. Now I return with a re-read for a book group. There is much I forgot, but much I discover influenced me over the years. The ending shocked me as much now as the first time I read it. I admit, I did not recall the details so it was like [...]

    16. Well, I don't know what to say, really. It's well written. I lived in MN for a while and I can see the regional influence. Maybe it's just that I grew up in a similar kind of town surrounded by teachers. Despite the wry humor of the teachers I knew, it was stifling and claustrophobic and the book felt the same. DNF, but I confess I skipped to the end and was relieved I hadn't read the whole thing. I kind of liked Miles.

    17. Reread this to decide if I should recommend it for book club. Read it 25 years ago. It holds up. Still a great book, great characters, great writing. However ai read it this time on Kindle, and I have never seen so many typos in my life. Spent an inordinate amount or time translating. sure let's you what books they don't care about!

    18. Good enough. But after having read it, I am having trouble remember it. Clearly didn't make much of an impression.

    19. This was the January book club read; it was actually my recommendation. I first encountered this book during my first year teaching; Hassler is Minnesotan and the Minnesota high school I taught at used this novel in the College Prep Writing class.This book covers one week in the life of Miles Pruitt. Take a middle-aged English teacher feeling in a bit of a rut, add in the elderly friend Agatha McGee whose house he lives in, as well as interactions with students, colleagues and administrators, an [...]

    20. I'm often drawn to books about people, often living in small towns, whose lives are bigger than may seem to the eye of the casual observer. And while I'm drawn to them I'm also often disappointed (Sherwood Anderson, anyone?) and like I could do better (well, duh). Staggerford is one of those books.On the outside it has great potential. Miles Pruitt is a 35-year-old teacher in Staggerford, Minnesota, a small town with a supposedly big heart, if you can just get past the neuroses of the characters [...]

    21. This was the fourth Jon Hassler novel I read but the first he wrote. In it, he introduces us to Staggerford, a northern Minnesota town that we discover is a two-hour drive from Duluth. It appears at first blush to be a dull town full of dull people, and "Staggerford" the book is dull in places as well. But we learn that there is more to the people, and the novel, than at first meets the eye.My favorite among these people is Miss Agatha McGee, who like me is a traditionalist. She is a Catholic sc [...]

    22. This book has much to entertain, especially for teachers, since it's excellent at capturing the inanities of school administration and students and colleagues, as well as other comedies of small town life. The characters are vivid, although much of this relies on long, not terribly realistic (but very funny) dialogue. The comic elements are stellar. BUT the Kindle version I read is absolutely riddled with typos. For example, the word "die" -- which appears pretty often, a theme of the book -- h [...]

    23. Slaggerford, written by Jon Hassler, was a bit of fresh air for me. A relatively inexpensive book I purchased on my Nook turned out to be worth its weight in gold. I can’t really say it was one of those books that you can’t put down and yet there was something about it that kept me coming back at every spare moment for yet another glimpse into small town life in Staggerford. Part drama, part mystery and (for me), part comedy, I somehow felt connected to each character. Miles Pruitt is a high [...]

    24. Hi! My name is Plot and I think the writer overlooked me in this book. That makes me so sad because I am really necessary for any book to be, you know, GOOD. I am a trick thing to nail down, aren't I? The writer sniffer around me a few times. Was I supposed to be the saving of Beverly the chain smoker? Was I supposed to be the big blow out that wasn't between the white man and the Native Americans? What? At any rate, I am so sad to be left out of this book. I am going to cry now. Love, PlotPatti [...]

    25. This book was, and will always remain, the first experience I can remember as an "adult" with horrible writing. I was assigned it in advanced English, though why it should be considered appropriate for such a course is beyond me. I was told mostly that we were reading it because Hassler was a rarity in Minnesota, a successful native author. Well apparently, F. Scott Fitzgerald he wasn't. This book, set in a small Minnesota town, as all Hassler books are, is abysmally shoddy. Firstly, let's deal [...]

    26. Like so many people have said before, I wish there were halves to the rating system. I would rather give "Staggerford" 3.5 stars than 3, because there was much to enjoy in this book, but alas, 3 stars, it is (although 3 stars is still a good, worthwhile read in my book). Spot-on descriptions of northern Minnesota life and the daily tedium and drama experienced by small-town high school teachers (primarily English teacher Miles Pruitt) -- grading theme papers, the distinct personalities of class [...]

    27. A book that kept me smiling with its gentle humor. At times I laughed out loud. Miles is a teacher in a small MN town. He boards with an old maid teacher Miss McGee and they have a neat, funny relationship. The principal is a jerk married to Miles' old girlfriend who is a sweetheart (also a teacher). So many characters that I have actually "known". Trying to get the Indians to stay in school. Confrontation when an Indian youth threatens a white boy and the white kid beats up the Indian. The whol [...]

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