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Skookum Summer: A Novel of the Pacific Northwest

by Jack Hart

Skookum Summer: A Novel of the Pacific Northwest Cover

ISBN13: 9780295993478
ISBN10: 0295993472
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As Skookum Summer begins, the year is 1981, and reporter Tom Dawson slinks back to his tiny Puget Sound hometown after making a disastrous mistake at the LA Times. Working reluctantly at the local weekly, the Big Skookum Echo, Tom is drawn into investigating a powerful logger's murder.

As the mystery deepens, the murder exposes the strains on the community as pollution, development, and global change threaten traditional Northwest livelihoods. It also forces Tom to confront his own past and discover what home really means to him. Hart weaves together a gripping and suspenseful plot with richly observed Pacific Northwest history and a vivid picture of a community on the brink of change.

Review:

"After a scandal led to his departure from a dream job as an investigative journalist at the Los Angeles Times, Tom Dawson has returned home to Big Skookum, a tiny logging town near Puget Sound in Washington State, in this heartfelt and rewarding debut set in 1981. Now on the staff of the Big Skookum Echo, Dawson is 'back in the boonies where women's softball rated as a page-one story.' He longs to return to 'real' journalism and gets the chance at a big story when local logger Hal Mayfield is murdered, and both the murderer and the motive remain unknown. Hart paints a vivid picture of the times: the impact of the contemporary recession on small towns like Big Skookum, the challenge to traditional local industries like logging from environmentalists, and the rise of illegal drug production in the boonies. These elements provide plenty of motives for Mayfield's murder, but they also stir up memories for author Hart, a former newspaperman from the Pacific Northwest. His sense of place and time is evocative and powerful (and may particularly appeal to readers familiar with Puget Sound or interested in the area), but often the book feels more like a heartfelt memoir, with all that genre's earnestness and surfeit of description, than a bildungsroman or a mystery." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"A highly skilled writer with a love of the Northwest, Hart paints a strong and vivid portrait of an important era in Northwest history, when we went from logging and fishing to software and finance." William Dietrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Seattle Times and author of The Final Forest

Review:

"Hart's debut is both a compelling mystery and a serious work of literature about coming of age, the dying newspaper business, and changes sweeping the Pacific Northwest forests. The writing is lyrical and the landscape is so expertly drawn that readers will be transported there even if they never leave their houses." Bruce DeSilva, former Associate Press senior editor and author of Providence Rag.

Review:

"Skookum is a Pacific Northwest Indian word that translates to 'powerful,' 'splendid,' or 'memorable.' Jack Hart's prose is skookum. So is this novel." Richard Hoyt, author of Darwin's Secret

Review:

"Skookum Summer has the pleasing rhythm of an old fashioned movie and serves as an engaging ode to the dark and charming twilight of Northwest logging towns. In Jack Hart's capable hands, his novel somehow juggles murder and romance, meth labs and fly fishing, journalistic ethics and small-town ethos, all with aplomb." Jim Lynch, author of Truth Like the Sun

Review:

"Jack Hart knows the Pacific Northwest waters and woods and characters as if he grew up on Puget Sound and still lives there, which he did and does. Skookum Summer features a hotshot young newshound stalking the bad guys — log rustlers and meth cookers — but it's even more a book about place. Hart nails it." Robin Cody, author of Ricochet River

About the Author

Jack Hart is a former managing editor and writing coach at the Oregonian and the author of Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

okharif, June 11, 2014 (view all comments by okharif)
Interesting, beautifully-crafted characters come to life in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. This book is a mystery, a love story, a review of the environmental issues gripping the region, and a loving portrait of local nature rolled into one. It's beautifully written, and a joy to read.
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ed putka, May 5, 2014 (view all comments by ed putka)
You really can smell the sawdust and hear the chainsaws in Jack Hart's murder mystery set in a dying Puget Sound logging town. The characters ring smartly true as Hart captures a changing landscape where dope and economic hard-times stir violence and cause a disgraced journalist to re-examine his values. A compelling story --fresh out of the Northwest woods.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780295993478
Subtitle:
A Novel of the Pacific Northwest
Author:
Hart, Jack
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Publication Date:
20140401
Binding:
Hardback
Pages:
309
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Skookum Summer: A Novel of the Pacific Northwest Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.00 In Stock
Product details 309 pages University of Washington Press - English 9780295993478 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "After a scandal led to his departure from a dream job as an investigative journalist at the Los Angeles Times, Tom Dawson has returned home to Big Skookum, a tiny logging town near Puget Sound in Washington State, in this heartfelt and rewarding debut set in 1981. Now on the staff of the Big Skookum Echo, Dawson is 'back in the boonies where women's softball rated as a page-one story.' He longs to return to 'real' journalism and gets the chance at a big story when local logger Hal Mayfield is murdered, and both the murderer and the motive remain unknown. Hart paints a vivid picture of the times: the impact of the contemporary recession on small towns like Big Skookum, the challenge to traditional local industries like logging from environmentalists, and the rise of illegal drug production in the boonies. These elements provide plenty of motives for Mayfield's murder, but they also stir up memories for author Hart, a former newspaperman from the Pacific Northwest. His sense of place and time is evocative and powerful (and may particularly appeal to readers familiar with Puget Sound or interested in the area), but often the book feels more like a heartfelt memoir, with all that genre's earnestness and surfeit of description, than a bildungsroman or a mystery." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "A highly skilled writer with a love of the Northwest, Hart paints a strong and vivid portrait of an important era in Northwest history, when we went from logging and fishing to software and finance." William Dietrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Seattle Times and author of The Final Forest
"Review" by , "Hart's debut is both a compelling mystery and a serious work of literature about coming of age, the dying newspaper business, and changes sweeping the Pacific Northwest forests. The writing is lyrical and the landscape is so expertly drawn that readers will be transported there even if they never leave their houses." Bruce DeSilva, former Associate Press senior editor and author of Providence Rag.
"Review" by , "Skookum is a Pacific Northwest Indian word that translates to 'powerful,' 'splendid,' or 'memorable.' Jack Hart's prose is skookum. So is this novel."
"Review" by , "Skookum Summer has the pleasing rhythm of an old fashioned movie and serves as an engaging ode to the dark and charming twilight of Northwest logging towns. In Jack Hart's capable hands, his novel somehow juggles murder and romance, meth labs and fly fishing, journalistic ethics and small-town ethos, all with aplomb."
"Review" by , "Jack Hart knows the Pacific Northwest waters and woods and characters as if he grew up on Puget Sound and still lives there, which he did and does. Skookum Summer features a hotshot young newshound stalking the bad guys — log rustlers and meth cookers — but it's even more a book about place. Hart nails it."
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