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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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Fourth of July Creek

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Fourth of July Creek Cover

ISBN13: 9780062286444
ISBN10: 0062286447
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

An enjoyable summer read — deeply textured story, characters that bear out their frail existence, and great writing.
Recommended by Adrienne, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times.

But as Pete's own family spins out of control, Pearl's activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.

In this shattering and iconic American novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion, and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation's disquieting and violent contradictions. Fourth of July Creek is an unforgettable, unflinching debut that marks the arrival of a major literary talent.

Review:

"This uneven debut, set in 1980 Montana, isn't always able to sustain the interest of its opening sections. The first chapter introduces us to social worker Pete Snow, who has been called by the police to defuse a domestic dispute between a 15-year-old boy, who has been in trouble with the law repeatedly, and his speed-addicted mother. The situation is grim, but Snow goes above and beyond the call of duty to place the teenager in a stable and supportive environment. His greater challenge comes with his next case: a boy who shows up on the playground of the local school dirty and reeking. The child, Benjamin Pearl, is reticent about revealing the circumstances at home, and Snow finds trying to help him difficult; Benjamin's reclusive and angry father is opposed to assistance, even making the boy strip naked rather than wear the clean clothes Snow has provided. Snow's efforts to help the Pearls despite the father's hostility are the focus of the book, which is too long and features an unsatisfying ending. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power…Fourth of July Creek is a masterful achievement and Smith Henderson is certain to end up a household name.” Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son

Review:

Fourth of July Creek knocked me flat. This gorgeous, full-bodied novel seems to contain all of America at what was, in retrospect, a pivotal moment in its history....Smith Henderson has delivered nothing less than a masterpiece of a novel.” Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Review:

Fourth of July Creek cannot possibly be Smith Henderson's first book. Its scope is audacious, its range virtuosic, its gaze steady and true. A riveting story written in a seductive and relentlessly authentic rural American vernacular, this is the kind of novel I wish I'd written.” Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn

Review:

Fourth of July Creek is an astonishing read. The writing is energetic and precise. Henderson has a mastery of scale that allows this particular place and these particular people to illuminate who we are as Americans....I could not recommend this book more highly.” Kevin Powers, bestselling author of The Yellow Birds

Review:

“Tremendously satisfying — think Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone...or Jimmy McNulty...set...in...another kind of violent American wilderness...[a] mesmerizing accomplishment. I cannot think of a finer first novel; it's hard, in fact, to think of a finer second, third, or fourth one, either.” Antonya Nelson

About the Author

Smith Henderson is the recipient of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award in fiction. He was a 2011 Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University, a 2011 Pushcart Prize winner, and a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He currently works at the Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, One Story, New Orleans Review, Makeout Creek, and Witness. Born and raised in Montana, he now lives in Portland, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

efuggetta, August 15, 2014 (view all comments by efuggetta)
By the time I finished Publisher's Weekly review, I was scowling in defensive annoyance because I ADORED this book. I was mourning its end before I even finished it. Pete might be my favorite character in a recent novel, and nearly everyone in the book was likeable, even those causing all the trouble. If this book has caught your attention enough to scroll to the reviews, do yourself a favor and just read it already.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Laney F, July 14, 2014 (view all comments by Laney F)
Fantastic book. I kept reading about Fourth of July Creek before it came out and eagerly bought a copy when it became available. The chatter was not hype or hyperbole. This is a terrific book; good story, great character development, researched nuances throughout, and no wasted words...everything works here. Fourth of July Creek is one of those rare books that, when you recommend it to a friend, you have no doubt they will love it.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062286444
Author:
Henderson, Smith
Publisher:
Ecco Press
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20140631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.53 in 22.8 oz

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Fourth of July Creek Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.50 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Ecco Press - English 9780062286444 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

An enjoyable summer read — deeply textured story, characters that bear out their frail existence, and great writing.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This uneven debut, set in 1980 Montana, isn't always able to sustain the interest of its opening sections. The first chapter introduces us to social worker Pete Snow, who has been called by the police to defuse a domestic dispute between a 15-year-old boy, who has been in trouble with the law repeatedly, and his speed-addicted mother. The situation is grim, but Snow goes above and beyond the call of duty to place the teenager in a stable and supportive environment. His greater challenge comes with his next case: a boy who shows up on the playground of the local school dirty and reeking. The child, Benjamin Pearl, is reticent about revealing the circumstances at home, and Snow finds trying to help him difficult; Benjamin's reclusive and angry father is opposed to assistance, even making the boy strip naked rather than wear the clean clothes Snow has provided. Snow's efforts to help the Pearls despite the father's hostility are the focus of the book, which is too long and features an unsatisfying ending. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power…Fourth of July Creek is a masterful achievement and Smith Henderson is certain to end up a household name.”
"Review" by , Fourth of July Creek knocked me flat. This gorgeous, full-bodied novel seems to contain all of America at what was, in retrospect, a pivotal moment in its history....Smith Henderson has delivered nothing less than a masterpiece of a novel.”
"Review" by , Fourth of July Creek cannot possibly be Smith Henderson's first book. Its scope is audacious, its range virtuosic, its gaze steady and true. A riveting story written in a seductive and relentlessly authentic rural American vernacular, this is the kind of novel I wish I'd written.”
"Review" by , Fourth of July Creek is an astonishing read. The writing is energetic and precise. Henderson has a mastery of scale that allows this particular place and these particular people to illuminate who we are as Americans....I could not recommend this book more highly.”
"Review" by , “Tremendously satisfying — think Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone...or Jimmy McNulty...set...in...another kind of violent American wilderness...[a] mesmerizing accomplishment. I cannot think of a finer first novel; it's hard, in fact, to think of a finer second, third, or fourth one, either.”
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