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The Cooter Farm

Jones, Matthew F.

ISBN 10: 1562829912 / ISBN 13: 9781562829919
Published by New York: Hyperion, 1991
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
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About this Item

Signed by the author on the title page, not on a tipped-in sheet or bookplate. No inscriptions, personalizations, or remainder marks. Bookseller Inventory # 135-16

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Cooter Farm

Publisher: New York: Hyperion

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title


"The Cooter Farm will remind readers of John Irving one minute, Joyce Carol Oates the next. An altogether remarkable debut." - Gene Lyons, Entertainment Weekly
"Dickens and Irving are high standards against which to measure any novel, let alone a debut. It's a tribute to The Cooter Farm that those are exactly the comparisons invokes." - Steven Kane, Los Angeles Daily News
"'The Cooter Farm' is a novel that defies categorization.  It brings together elements as diverse as the black humor of Flannery O'Connor, the rude hilarity of Kurt Vonnegut, and the nostalgia for childhood of Harper Lee.  A truly amazing first novel." - Sharon Lloyd Stratton, Richmond Times Dispatch
When young Ollie Cooter tries to come to grips with the often crazy, sometimes sinister, world of his family's dairy farm in upstate New York, he gradually learns the complexities of human nature. Bewildered by his mother's flight from the confines of the farm and the exaggerated hypochondria of her bull-semen-selling husband, Ollie seeks respite and comfort from the only member of the Cooter clan he trusts, his aunt, Mary Jean, three years his senior.
Bound to her by blood, admiration, and love, Ollie joins in her determined attempts to exorcise the evil she believes controls the Cooter world.  As the two explore and expand their knowledge of each other - and of the lives of other members of this rural community - Ollie leaves childhood behind. The terrifying chain of events he witnesses during his eleventh year irrevocably alter him and his family forever.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Incest, infidelity, and artificial insemination play major roles in this backwoods melodrama set in upstate New York--a first novel in the rural gothic tradition by a writer with a weird sense of humor. The trouble with the Cooter family farm lies less in its hilly Devon County location, where the soil has ``the consistency of chicken and dumplings,'' than with the eldest son and acting patriarch, Hooter Cooter--so called in honor of his peculiar laugh- -who rules the roost with utter ruthlessness and fury. The servile objects of Hooter's contempt include Mother Cooter, who adores him; Looter Cooter, Hooter's thieving younger brother; and Mary Jean, a pubescent sister with whom Hooter is carrying on an incestuous affair. Middle brother Scooter has ducked out in favor of a job with Century Semen, Inc., selling bull semen to farmers across the state. This act of betrayal irks Hooter no end, and he retaliates by ridiculing Scooter in front of the family, threatening Scooter's townie wife, Nora Anne, and scaring the daylights out of their kids--Craig, an overweight genius, and Ollie, the half-forgotten younger brother who narrates this tale. Soon, Scooter runs away, and in his father's absence Ollie is forced to confront the family's appalling demons on his own. While Ollie's mother commences an affair with the school psychologist, Hooter climbs into bed with a member of the church choir; Craig fires off scathing letters of protest to the local newspaper; and Ollie and Mary Jean hold voodoo sessions in a deserted farmhouse in an attempt to will Hooter's death. Tampering with the forces of darkness results in more destruction than Ollie bargained for, however--leaving the Cooter family in a shambles and a shell- shocked Ollie stumbling, more bewildered than ever, toward adolescence. Hooter, Scooter, and Looter will remind some readers of Carolyn Chute's The Beans of Egypt, Main--though this backwoods family is of a decidedly darker variety. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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