Synopses & Reviews
One of our finest chroniclers of southern life returns with a contemporary story of a man whose seemingly perfect life is turned upside down and who may discover that it's the best thing that ever happened to him.
Will Baggett, TV weatherman, is Raleigh, North Carolina's biggest celebrity. With adoring fans, a nice house, a son in medical school, and a beautiful wife who is one of the town's top real-estate brokers, Will's life is pretty much exactly the way he wants it.
But his well-ordered world comes crashing down when a heartless conglomerate buys the TV station and decides that Will is a relic of the past. Trying to get his job back, he gets himself arrested and badly injures both his knee and his pride. That's when Will starts to realize that more than just his career is in jeopardy: his marriage is coming apart and his son doesn't like him very much.
Just when he thinks he's hit bottom, the past he thought he didn't have comes calling in the form of his cousin, Wingfoot Baggett, who takes Will for some R&R back home on the Cape Fear River. There, some long-neglected accounts are waiting to be settled.
How Will comes to terms with his history, resolves his trouble with the law, gets to know his son and himself and tries to recapture the magic of his marriage is the subject of Robert Inman's graceful, comic, and poignant novel. Full of gentle satire and genuine compassion, this is also a story about how the New South, with its booming economy and newly sprawling cities, is stamping out the Old South and in the process losing a sense of tradition and identity. Sophisticated, subtle, and funny, Captain Saturday is perhaps Robert Inman's finest book yet.
"Inman is a witty, utterly charming storyteller, who portrays the human comedy with a full appreciation for its tenderness and pain....How carefully, how tenderly Inman follows the threads of these people's lives, recording the old tension between love and pride that keeps them tied to the past." Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor
"Captain Saturday is gripping, moving, and filled with insight. Robert Inman understands the complexities of relationships between sons and fathers, husbands and wives, history and the present. His novel reverberates in memory long after its last page has been read. A must-read!" Ralph Keyes, author of The Courage to Write
"Spread the word Captain Saturday is the best novel yet from one of our very best novelists. The adventures of a popular TV weatherman who runs face-first into the cold front of his own life is by turns engaging, hilarious, painful, and moving sometimes all at once. It's a measure of Robert Inman's immense skill that his characters are never less than real, and never more than human." Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama and Gone for Good
"There are some storms that not even a seasoned and popular TV weatherman can predict. Will Baggett has to lose everything before he finds out what really matters. Robert Inman once again demonstrates his talent for masterful storytelling in this midlife whirlwind adventure that uncovers old wounds and stirs up forgotten history before finally settling on love."
Lynne Hinton, author of Friendship Cake and The Things I Know Best
"Will Baggett has to go back to the Old South and recover his life to understand what we all finally understand-that we make, as well as are made by, our own history. Falling from community icon to media joke, Will is finally redeemed by two acts of heroismone private, one publiceventually saving much more than himself. Along the way, Will must juggle a supporting cast of uppity in-laws, assorted black sheep relatives, chameleon lawyers, and country singers. Told with ample humor, insight, and empathy, Captain Saturday is the latest in a long line of memorable fiction from Robert Inman."
Larry Baker, author of The Flamingo Rising
"Robert Inman has written a solid, sure-handed-yet tender-hearted-novel about finding yourself in places you never thought you'd be. The characters are so real, the story so close to home, the anxiety so intense, you just about jump out of your shoes. And you can't stop reading. Toward the end of this ultimately uplifting book, Inman writes that 'finally, it came down to this: On the surface, everything is gone; but if everything is gone, anything is possible.' Captain Saturday connects us with our deepest terrors and consolations."
Judy Goldman, author of The Slow Way Back
"Robert Inman has once again captured the Old South and the New South, and come up with the Real South. Very impressive."
John Cochran, ABC News White House Correspondent
"Robert Inman's novel, Captain Saturday, is a wonderfully written and crafted tale of Will Baggett's apparent fall from grace and his ultimate redemption in realizing who he is and what in life is truly important. Inman is a gifted writer."
Tim McLaurin, author of The River Less Run and Keeper of the Moon
"Inman's characters seem like people you know or are related to somehow... Captain Saturday is food for the soul."
"A fast-paced, often amusing tale....Inman writes with authority about the dog-eat-dog world of television news, as well as the importance of family ties and history in a rapidly changing part of America."
Elizabeth Bennett, Dallas Morning News
"While Captain Saturday is a southern novel in the geographical sense, the warm and reassuring message conveyed by the hearty, resilient, and delightfully human cast of characters is universal."
Mary Garrett, BookPage
"Inman tells his story with charm and ease....Captain Saturday will reward your time and attention and make you glad you kept that promise to yourself to read something new."
Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Now in paperback, one of the finest chroniclers of small-town Southern life tells, for the first time, an urban tale--the story of Will Baggett, Raleigh's favorite TV weatherman, whose efforts to navigate an epic mid-life crisis are at once touching and hilarious.
About the Author
Robert Inman was a television news anchor for 25 years and a Sunday columnist for the Charlotte Observer before leaving his 31-year career in journalism in June, 1996, to devote full time to writing. A novelist and screenwriter, Inman is a native of Elba, Alabama, where he began his writing career in junior high school with his hometown weekly newspaper. He is the author of three novels, all published by Little, Brown and Company: Home Fires Burning (1987), Old Dogs and Children (1991), and Dairy Queen Days (1997). His first two novels received the "Outstanding Fiction Award" from the Alabama Library Association. Home Fires Burning was named one of the best books of 1987 by the Philadelphia Enquirer. Down Home Press published a collection of his nonfiction work, Coming Home: Life, Love, and All Things Southern, in October, 2000. Inman has written screenplays for six motion pictures for television, two of which have been "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentations. His script for The Summer of Ben Tyler, a Hallmark presentation, won the Writers Guild of America Award for the best original television screenplay of 1997. His other Hallmark feature was Home Fires Burning, a 1989 adaptation of his novel. He is a member of the Authors Guild, Writers Guild of America, PEN American Center, North Carolina Writers Conference, North Carolina Writers Network, and Alabama Writers Forum. Inman and his wife, Paulette, live in Charlotte and Boone, North Carolina. They have two daughters.