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T.R. Pearson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Neely Books

A Short History of a Small Place (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Off for the Sweet Hereafter (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last of How It Was (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Call and Response (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Glad News of the Natural World (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Ray Tatum Mysteries Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Nick Reid Books

as Rick Gavin

T.R. Pearson is an American author best known for ‘A Short History of a Small Place’. The author has written novels under the Rick Gavin pseudonym.


T.R. Pearson is a child of Winston-Salem in North Carolina. Pearson was always a little conflicted about his future, and he found that he was always changing his mind. Fortunately, Pearson grew up in a small town. So while he was trying to make his mind up about his career, there was plenty to observe in his immediate vicinity, facets of life in a small town that would later prove crucial to his writing perspective.

When T.R. Pearson attended North Carolina State University, it was with the intention of pursuing something practical, a field like Economics that was likely to put food on his table. Yet, somehow, he ended up walking away with a Degree in English. And it wasn’t long before he added a Masters into the mix.

And it wasn’t like the author was gearing up to write novels at this point in his life. T.R. Pearson thought he would spend the rest of his life teaching. Instead, the author found his way to Raleigh where he worked as a carpenter and even painted houses.

It was during these years that the author wrote ‘A Short History of a Small Place’. Published in 1985, this is still one of the author’s most popular novels. It explores the citizens of a town in North Carolina and the interesting lives they live.

While he wasn’t exactly set on writing novels during those early years, by the time the early 1990s rolled around, Pearson had five novels to his name. Rather than settling down and putting his mind to pursuing a publishing career, Pearson changed direction.

First, the author took a teaching job at the University of Mississippi. However, despite his English qualifications, T.R. Pearson found that teaching didn’t appeal to him. The field was all too boring for his tastes, and this realization drove him back to writing, though not in the way his wife, who was once his agent, expected.

Because teaching was so boring, Pearson spent a lot of time at the movies, trying to keep his mind stimulated. He was surprised to realize that so many of the movies he was seeing were so bad. With nothing better to occupy his mind, even in light of his teaching career, it occurred to T.R. Pearson that Hollywood might be in need of his expertise.

What began as a simple consideration manifested into something solid when Pearson began buying screenwriting manuals. He even produced a couple of screenplays of his own. And if that wasn’t enough, Pearson’s self-taught screenwriting skills came in handy when he wrote scripts alongside John Grisham, a bestselling novelist.

The author has since written many articles about his time in the movie business and the movie industry as a whole. And anyone who knows anything about the movie business and who might be wondering why they’ve never heard of T.R. Pearson can probably guess that his time as a screenwriter never garnered any lasting success.

But by this point in time, the author had decided that he preferred writing to teaching. So returned to the keyboard and began delivering the witty fiction that made him so famous.

A lot of the books T.R. Pearson writes are set in the South, which isn’t surprising considering his roots. Common in Pearson’s fiction is the small town of Neely. Pearson has also written fiction set in Virginia, specifically the Appalachian areas.

Pearson’s strengths lie in his ability to use the written word to manifest the unique sensibilities of the South and its people. When people are tasked with describing T.R. Pearson, they often make mention of William Faulkner, Mark Twain and the like.

The author’s early attempts at writing were not particularly impressive. That was because his fiction was always a little too short and his subjects were a little too quirky to make sense to conventional readers.

+A Short History of a Small Place

This story from T.R. Pearson is narrated by Louis Benfield who explores the tale of Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew. Myra was a local spinster who had spent several years in total seclusion. In her last days, the former town belle finally comes back into the public eye, accompanied by her pet monkey.

T.R. Pearson’s first novel hit the shelves in 1985. The book is essentially a collection of stories told in a funny and evocative manner. The books are told from the first person perspective of a teenager living in a North Carolina town known as Neely.

Myra Angelique Pettigrew takes center stage as a beautiful spinster. The story essentially revolves around her. But the episodes Louis narrates are designed to reveal the town to readers.

As such, the book keeps shifting from Myra’s story as Pearson brings various side characters onboard, most of them residents of Neely. Myra still matters as a character. She kills herself at some point. Louis attempts to reveal those final days leading up to her suicide.

The residents of Neely are endlessly entertaining. They seem to be perfectly sane and sensible people until they are not. Louis is perfect as a narrator because his innocence allows him to be blunt about the situations playing out before him. He isn’t as prone to cynicism as the adults around him.

Like many T.R. Pearson books, this novel is prone to random streams of consciousness. Sometimes these streams are entertaining. But they can grow annoying.

+Off to the Sweet Hereafter

The second book from T.R. Pearson follows the adventures of Jane Elizabeth Firesheets and Raeford Benton Lynch. These star-crossed lovers are the second coming of Bonnie and Clyde as they bring Murder and Mayhem to Neely.

This book is a little slow at the start. However, once it gets going, it refuses to slow down. Filled with sex and filthy language, one cannot ignore the comparisons between this book and the ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ story, though it could be argued that T.R. Pearson’s tale surpasses its predecessors by quite the margin.

Pearson’s southern dialect is amazing. The sentences are pretty long in some places. Some effort is required to read this book. But most readers seem to agree that the effort is worth it.

Book Series In Order » Authors » T.R. Pearson

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