INSIDE NEW ENGLAND by Judson D. Hale

INSIDE NEW ENGLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The editor of Yankee Magazine--a veteran also of the Old Farmer's Almanac--discourses on sundry matters concerning the six northeastern states. There is the matter of small-town living: from the outsider/native contretemps, to institutions and officialdom, to the town's more important, unofficial business. Hale's town rester includes the Historian (elderly and long-winded), the Good Cook (always a native), the Mystery Man (of unknown derivation), and the Voice (given to singing ""louder than is called for"" on public occasions). There is the matter of food--with the obligatory explanation that there ain't no such fish as a ""scrod."" And humor--featuring classic models of the Upcountry tourist set-up: ""Does it matter which road I take to Portland?"" ""Net to me it doesn't."" And weather--approached via an appreciation of essential weather conversations (e.g., ""Hot enough for you?""). Hale, in fact, has a fine ear for rich regional speech: see the rundown of regional speech patterns and the many manifestations of ""Ayuh""--plus three dazzling dialogues between Natives and Outsiders. (included too is an intricate test, the work of a local academic, which can pinpoint a speaker's region and state of origin.) Hale also presents legends, myths, and misconceptions (widow's walks were not made for walking widows), anecdotes, yarns, and tales of evil doings (like Lizzie Borden's Sunday morning lark). A yeasty diversion for old-time New Englanders and fascinated Outsiders.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1982
Publisher: Harper & Row