Terry Southern Texas Summer

ISBN 13: 9781559702157

Texas Summer

3.44 avg rating
( 72 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781559702157: Texas Summer

An evocative, poignant coming-of-age novel set in rural Texas in the 1930s.

Through events small and large, 13-year-old Harold Stevens grows up during a pivotal summer in the red-dirt backcountry of West Texas. With his friend C.K. Crow, the black field hand who works for Harold’s father, he shoots deer and quail, fishes for catfish, mends fences, grows and learns about marijuana, and tests his emerging manhood against bullies, bulls, and the irresistible charms of his horse-riding older cousin. During a hysterical trip to a circus sideshow, Harold and a buddy sneak backstage to see "The Great Hermaphrodite" and the "funny little old Monkey Man," whom they try to buy a beer. But danger waits on the fringe of this innocent time. When C.K.’s brother, Big Nail, appears after escaping from a chain gang, an inevitable and violent confrontation between the brothers is set in motion - a confrontation that will mark the end of Harold’s childhood.

This inside view of Southern’s roots in Alvarado, Texas, where pastoral innocence belied an undercurrent of racism and violence, brings this novel of a boy’s transition to maturity vividly alive.

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About the Author:

Terry Southern (1924-1995) was an American author and screenwriter. His novels--including the bestselling cult classics Candy (1958) and The Magic Christian (1959)--established Southern as a literary and pop culture icon. He was also nominated for Academy Awards for his screenplays of Dr. Strangelove (written with Stanley Kubrick and Peter George) and Easy Rider (written with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper). His other books include Flash and Filigree (1958), Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes (1967), Blue Movie (1970), and Texas Summer (1991). In later years, he wrote for Saturday Night Live and lectured on screenwriting at New York University and Columbia University.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A lazy valedictory to Harold Stevens's 13th summer in backwoods Texas, by the author of Candy and The Magic Christian. Together with his family's black hired hand, C. K. Crow, Harold shoots birds and angles for a legendary catfish; he buys his first bullcalf and finds a cow enjoying her first snort of red-dirt marijuana (a double-barreled discovery for him and C. K., who have plans of their own for the locoweed); he recalls his first treehouse, his first taste of deer blood, and the winter that froze the chickens on their roosts; he hells around with his friend Big Lawrence, who likes to kill things and play chicken with freight trains; he looks up his cousin Caddy's dress--with her full cooperation, it turns out; and he and Big Lawrence visit a circus sideshow, carry off the Monkey Man, and take him out for a beer. Meanwhile, C. K.'s homicidal brother Big Nail escapes from a chain gang and makes a beeline for Harold's neighboring town, where a crapshoot between the brothers will erupt in a long-awaited violent climax that doesn't quite pull this rambling, attractive tale together. Despite echoes of Go Down, Moses and the Nick Adams stories, Southern is no Faulkner or Hemingway; Harold is never more than the sum of his adventures. But this coming-of-age valentine to the 50's Texas landscape has an understated, flat-spoken charm of its own. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Southern, Terry
Published by Arcade Publishing (1993)
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Terry Southern
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