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Spooner Paperback – 1 Jan 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848873409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848873407
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"* 'One of the greatest American writers, a storyteller who cuts straight to the nerve.' Scott L. Turow 'Dexter, the gorgeous writer of hard beauties like Paris Trout, will make you laugh yourself into a fit one page and hold back tears the next... Throughout this sprawling heart-thumper of a read, the writing goes down like a feast.' Entertainment Weekly 'Pete Dexter, writing of the part played by love in the exuberant life of his hero, Spooner, and the fatal inevitability of the compromises that make life bearable, has given us a novel of picaresque vitality - outlandish, anecdotal, profuse, funny, profound.' Susanna Moore, author of In The Cut 'The best new novel I read this year' Mark Haddon on Train 'A grim and fascinating novel filled with wonderfully comic touches... A fine and engrossing work.' William Styron on Paris Trout 'A masterpiece, complex and breathtaking.' Los Angeles Times on Paris Trout 'Extraordinary... A formidable achievement... Other writers must now be measured against Pete Dexter.' San Francisco Chronicle on Train" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter Dexter won the US National Book Award for Fiction for Paris Trout, two Penn West Awards for Best Novel of the Year (Paris Trout and The Paperboy), and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Novel for his last novel, Train.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you've read Deadwood and Paris Trout, you're probably standing line right now to buy a copy of Pete Dexter's latest, Spooner. It's been far too long (how many years now?) since we've had the pleasure of hearing from Dexter, but Spooner is certainly worth the wait. There it all is - Dexter's incomparable style, what I call an exuberantly tragic way of looking at life. Plus, his unstoppable humor, a guffaw on every page, and mirth making on-target descriptions, such as when referring to his cousin Arlo's wife, probably still in her thirties: "(She) was sunshine itself, but already whiskery, and the best arm wrestler in the family." Or, when sharing a beer with and expressing high regard for the same wife, She "liked to pop off the bottle caps against the kitchen table, and sometimes the glass lip would come off with it too, and she would drink the beer anyway, right out of the bottle. Sunshine itself."

Spooner is one of the those fellows to whom whatever can happen will happen plus many unimaginable happenings, too. He seemed almost marked for tough luck from birth. Born in Milledgeville, Georgia, he was one of fraternal twins "second out the door." Unfortunately, his better-looking brother, Clifford, was dead on arrival. Nonetheless, Clifford was always to be mother Lily's favorite child. Widowed a few short years later she married Calmer Ottosson, a shy fellow who was discharged from the Navy following an unfortunate happening at an important burial at sea.

Try as he might Calmer tried to understand Spooner and help him in every way, which seemed to be an impossible task for both. Yet he perseveres. The two weather adversities (and there are many) together.

Spooner is a story of love, loyalty, and family, a brilliant story of two who keep on trying to make lemonade when life throws them tomatoes.

- Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed Deadwood, really enjoyed Paperboy and absolutely loved Spooner. Pete Dexter has got to be one of Americas foremost commentators on the quirks, highs and lows of life present and past in the good old US of A.
This, set approximately in the present, is the story of the undereducated, square peg, Spooner who blunders through life from crisis to crisis totally lacking in ambition, but achieving success in spite of his overuse of his self destruct button. We meet his family and friends anyone of whom could be the subject of their own biography. I suspect that with Spooner Dexter lets us into aspects of own life when depicting our hero's life as a journalist and best selling author.
After chortling through the first few chapters I feared that Pete Dexter could not keep up the laugh out loud humour, the captivating dialogue and gripping story lines. I was wrong as he had me happily hooked for the whole 400 plus pages. This should not be written off as simply a piece of lighthearted fun. Sure it is full of laughs and outrageous situations and even more outrageous characters, but on another level it is a clever observational piece of writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story tell of the life of a boy through to late manhood and his relationship with his adoptive father, an unlucky man who seems a bit bewildered by the world. The step father is an ex-Navy officer, so I would expect him to be somewhat more capable of dealing with life - and Spooner - than he is.

Spooner himself is what the Americans would call a f**k-up. Not actually bad, but everything he turns his hand to seems to fall apart. He lives something of a charmed existance though.

I can't say I warmed to any of the characters. I'm just not into losers like that.
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