Charlie Smith Crystal River: Three Novellas

ISBN 13: 9780671705305

Crystal River: Three Novellas

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9780671705305: Crystal River: Three Novellas
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A man abandoned by his friends reaches out to a woman who has given up on herself; two friends embark on a harrowing winter canoe trip; and four people, members of the same family, create their own world of questionable normalcy on a jungle island in thePacific

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Three novellas from Southern stylist Smith (The Lives of the Dead, Shine Hawk), whose palmetto-fringed tales of northern Florida's Gulf Coast are inhabited by twisted families and grim relationships tinged with madness. Redolent with Faulknerian fragrances, ``Storyville'' plunges two despairing people--a drunken small-town lawyer and the mysterious woman whose estate he's trying to unravel--into a search for his long-vanished father and her lost child, a tale that recounts her pregnancy and isolation at 14 after being raped by her father. ``Tinian'' proposes another fantastic search, as the members of a family pursue each other to the South Seas, one fleeing her husband's cruelty and sick manipulations--only to be followed there by him, his mother, and finally by his brother--and finding that his mother has become a stripper and that relations between the other two have resumed a murderous tension. ``Crystal River'' builds to a similarly bleak prospect as two men decide to drift downriver in their canoe in winter, discovering a shotgun- toting, cruel woman en route who leads them from adventure to robbery and violence before leaving them to face the consequences alone. Hard-edged and harrowing, each story studies sex and sanity with a clinical eye, paring marriages, families, and chance encounters alike down to a common astringent essence. Vividly focused on life beyond the pale of respectability, these are brash but repetitive, stuck in a quirky groove involving absent partners and desperate liaisons. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Escape artists, wayward travelers, misfits and adventurers stalk through these three spellbinding novellas, written in prose as lush as the Florida backwaters they frequently evoke. In "Storyville," a bored lawyer steals his brother's boat and, together with an unbalanced female client, embarks on a foredoomed voyage in search of his father, missing for 14 years and presumed dead. "Crystal River" is about two redneck buddies, part-time lovers, whose winter canoe trip turns into a kinky criminal misadventure after they team up with an Annie Oakley-ish desperado who seduces them at gunpoint. In "Tinian," a dark tale of suicide, incest and violence, a half-crazed poet pursues the wife who deserted him, following her to a remote Pacific island; hard on his heels are his solicitous brother, who had slept with the missing woman, and their mother, who becomes an erotic dancer on Guam. Quirky, haunted by obsession, Smith's ( Shine Hawk ) novellas tap hidden wellsprings of motivation and desire.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Charlie Smith
Published by Linden Pub (1991)
ISBN 10: 067170530X ISBN 13: 9780671705305
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Charlie Smith
Published by Linden Pub (1991)
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