Southern Xposure

Fiction - Southern
262 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in the heart of the Shenandoah, moved up to north to work as a chaplain, counselor, and crisis mental health professional. I am probably one of the larger people you'll meet, but I don't take up much room, and value getting to know folks, and sharing in the day-to-day. I think dogs are some of the best parts to God's creation, and motorcycles make me smile. I love life, and wish good things for all living creatures. Reading, and writing - could anything ever be finer? It is such a special thing to write my heart, and then be able to share it with others.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

Southern Xposure by Sam Knupp is an unusual, comic, and sad love story of two disabled people who met for the first time on the day they both lost their jobs. Poppy Virginia Diamond's bright future as a runner with a full track scholarship to UVA was darkened when an accident claimed her parents, her brother, and her right leg. Turner is a constant loser who has lost his parents, his teeth, a thousand jobs, and his sobriety several times. Follow Poppy and Turner as they impress and disappoint each other, partake in races, get a taste of stardom, go through traumatic experiences (one of which is as a result of a suicide attempt), and encounter criminals in Weyer’s Cave: Home to America's Space Program and Home to the Cyclorama.

Sam Knupp's bizarrely ingenious, profound, and humorous book is hard to forget. It has several striking features, especially the wordplay and the notable perceptions like how death is preferable to divorce because divorces are more expensive than funerals. As stated by Sam Knupp, the story is purposely written differently: the shifts in viewpoints are sporadic and the narrator, who is different from the protagonists, has a prominent voice. Throughout the story, I was looking forward to the next shocking, hysterical statement or turn of events. Readers should be aware that there are instances of rape, self-mutilation, and other disturbing phenomena. If you are tired of reading the same type of stories or wish to read a brilliant work that will make you laugh and also meditate, you should definitely read Southern Xposure.

Rabia Tanveer

Southern Xposure by Sam Knupp is an intriguing and eclectic mix of different genres that explore love, acceptance, and more. As the story begins, readers come face to face with God and the Devil as they decide to experiment with a place called Vi Barrs Luncheonette in Virginia. They decide to test free will and see how far people will take it and explore it. There is a host of characters who will welcome you into their colorful lives as they practice their free will and try to make the best decisions. We have a waitress with a wooden leg, a cook who has an obsession with salmonella, a man with six fingers on each hand who can’t seem to keep a job, and more. Each of them has a story to tell, and they know how to make their stories exciting.

Southern Xposure embodies human beings exceptionally well. Each character at Vi Barrs Luncheonette is as unique as their lives. Out of all of them, Poppy’s story and her character stood out to me the most. She struggles the most with herself, maybe because she has the most visible disability out of all the characters, but she does not let that rule her life. She makes her decisions and stands by them, even if she struggles to find a purpose now that she is disabled. Harry’s story is the most harrowing for me, but he is resistant and a little too stubborn to give up easily. The narrative is unique; it flows beautifully and connects all the individual character stories together. Sam Knupp has done a fantastic job of not only expressing human behavior incredibly well, but he has also encapsulated what it means to be human. Reading this story is an emotional experience.

Ruffina Oserio

Southern Xposure by Sam Knupp is a good read that explores southern themes. It features a variety of characters thrust into different situations and allows readers to follow them as they evolve through the story. It reads more like the story of a place and the people than a novel that focuses on an individual protagonist. The author takes readers on a journey to the Shenandoah Valley and introduces them to a President’s experience of war, a puzzling visit the Devil pays God and their intriguing conversation, the place called “Jiffi Lube” and what it signifies to the characters, especially Vi. The characters in this book are pulled from different backgrounds, including lovers, a dishwasher, and more. It is a book that features a love story, a sophisticated character dealing with alcohol addiction, the importance of having a job, racing, and a lot more.

This book is a real and immersive treat that plunges the reader into the lives of people. It is littered with wisdom and insights about love and life. The characters are well-developed and they are quirky, the kind of quirkiness that captures the spirit of a place and the way of life of the people. The author writes in a style that is very observant. Southern Xposure is hilarious and the characters are interesting to follow, from Vi to Turner Ashby, the alcoholic Arby ‘RB’ Keller, Marty, Poppy Virginia Diamond, and many others. Sam Knupp has a unique way with words and comes across as one of those writers who never waste a word; the writing is thoughtful, sprinkled with insightful sayings and idioms that kept me entertained as I raced from page to page. While this book does not present explosive action, it has characters that are interesting and that reflect the soul of the south. The world-building is impeccable. A fresh and compelling voice that unveils the southern feel to readers, filled with musings about life and what punctuates it.

Divine Zape

Southern Xposure by Sam Knupp features a variety of characters set against the backdrop of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a place known for its caverns. It begins with a tale of war, featuring interesting characters, the President and Colonel Ashby, with the latter returning home where the enemy least expects him to be. Then a visit from the Devil to God and a surprising lesson to learn, and most importantly, the fact that God never gets surprised. Then it takes the reader to Vi Barr's Luncheonette where readers encounter eccentric characters and wisdom that will stay with them, the wisdom that real learning is done the hard way and it is known for how it hurts. In this book, the author brings alive a Southern town and its characters, allowing its wisdom to shine through the stories, weaving a long history and tradition into stories that are as entertaining as they are thought-provoking.

While it is hard to offer a quick summary of Southern Xposure for it doesn’t present a linear plot and contains a variety of plotlines with compelling characters, it is important to highlight the literary quality of the writing. It is highly descriptive and captures elements of the culture brilliantly while generously offering words of wisdom that have a universal appeal. The characters are elaborately developed from Miss Flossie, Doc Henry, Poppy Virginia, Turner Ashby to Marty the dishwasher, and many more. These characters are real and I enjoyed following them against the backdrop of a culturally and socially rich setting and through situations that are intriguing and hilarious in nature. The setting takes center stage in this book, with places like the Jiffi Lube having a life of their own. The book features strong themes from war to love to endearing work. The entertainment quality of the stories is augmented by the deft use of witticism. Sam Knupp writes in a voice that is compelling, offering musings that prompt readers to reflect on life and existence while keeping them engaged with the sharp sense of humor that punctuates the narration.

K.C. Finn

Southern Xposure is a work of fiction in the southern fiction, interpersonal drama, and quirky fiction sub-genres, and was penned by author Sam Knupp. The work is intended for the adult reading audience and contains mature content such as explicit language, violence, and sexual references. Set in the small Virginia town of Weyer's Cave, all seems calm as we meet our cast of characters with their charms and quirks. But just beneath the surface, a surreal and incredible experience awaits, and it is one that will bring those pertinent questions of morality and free will to mind for both the central characters and the reader too.

Author Sam Knupp has crafted an engrossing and intriguing work of fiction with plenty of food for thought, charming dialogue, and cinematic description to offer its readers. Whilst the stylistic choices and scene jumping will not be for every reader, those who ‘get it’ from the off will enjoy a showcase of masterful characterization, witty dialogue, and fascinating surrealist touches that mesh with the gorgeous landscape and attitudes of Virginia living well. I felt as though I was people watching and exploring different psyches and ideas, and was drawn deeper and deeper into the tapestry of big questions being revealed as the tale continued. Beyond this, the writing style is also elegant and confidently penned, and a genuinely enjoyable experience to read for its wordplay alone. Overall, I would highly recommend Southern Xposure to fans of literary style writing, sweeping narratives with rich ensemble casts, and southern fiction enthusiasts everywhere.