Examination of the storying which took place during two New Year's Eve parties in Scipio, Indiana. And examination of the communities master teller, Spiv Helt. Attention to performance style and the part the audience plays in these events.
"An exceptionally straightforward, lucid introduction to conversational analysis with interesting insights into performance dynamics"...American Anthropologist
"I am delighted to see the expertise of a folklorist combined with the skill of an active storyteller used fruitfully in the discussion of stories which are not presented as mere entertainments, and of people who are not presented as mere resources."...Barre Toelken, Utah State University
"This work demonstrates the important fact that stories are not disembodied texts that spring full-blown from the human imagination, but rather that stories arise organically in the process of creating and maintaining community."...John McDowell, Folklore Institute, Indiana University
"The author aptly calls this type of storytelling performance more a form of group play than a monologue. The book succeeds in detecting and presenting the underlying rules governing these storytelling sessions."...Western Folklore
"MacDonald demonstrates that these are live and effective events which help to form and uphold the communal values and norms of these rural folk."...Folklore, Annual 1999