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A Death On The Wolf [Kindle Edition]

G. M. Frazier
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)

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Book Description

WINNER of the Kindle Book Review's 2012 "Best Indie Books" contest for Literary Fiction.

UPDATED now with a Discussion Guide for readers and an
Afterword by the author.

"The summer I turned sixteen I shot a man."  With that simple declaration, Nelson Gody begins his story of the summer of 1969 and the events that would change his life forever.

Nelson lives with his widower father and his five-year-old sister on their small farm outside Bells Ferry, Mississippi.  It's an idyllic world grounded in family and friendship, a world full of farm chores and lazy afternoons swimming in the Wolf River with Frankie, his best friend.

Things begin to change when Nelson finds himself falling in love with Mary Alice, the orphan from a children's home who is spending the summer with his aunt.  While dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of first love, Nelson learns the secret his best friend has been harboring (he's gay) and nearly trashes his life-long friendship with Frankie.  Just when it seems the two boys have worked it all out, saving their friendship, a mysterious stranger comes to town on an exotic motorcycle and interjects himself into their world, giving Frankie the chance to explore his burgeoning sexuality--with horrific consequences.  Capped by the devastation of Hurricane Camille, no one escapes unscathed from those six weeks in the summer of '69.

Told with narrative drive that pulls you completely into the story, A Death on the Wolf is an uncompromising coming of age tale full of hard-hitting issues which are tackled head-on with courage; not only by the author, but by the characters he's created.  "Real, gritty, heartwarming, with characters and a setting you can see, feel, and taste" (The Kindle Book Review), Nelson's unvarnished fictional memoir will introduce you to a time and place that is no more--and yet shows how courage, love, and friendship are timeless concepts in the face of life's trials and tribulations.

Editorial Reviews


The term "coming of age" is often overused -- but not here. This novel explores the bittersweet pleasure and agonizing distress of teen-age friendship and first love -- and the unfathomable menace of pure evil. I found the characterizations to be nothing short of astonishing. Until I read this story, I thought that only Charles Dickens had the seemingly magical gift of letting the reader, in a scant handful of words, seem actually to see the scene almost like a photograph, and of consistently presenting dialog so true to life that you'd think you were actually hearing the characters speak. ... Seldom have I encountered fictional characters who took on such vivid, three-dimensional life that, even without detailed descriptions, I felt I actually knew them. That's what happened in reading this book. Two or three times the exquisite exactness of Mr. Frazier's word choice actually left me breathless, with a "Yes! That's exactly right" reaction. The story itself is sometimes funny, often heart-rending, and just about impossible to put down. The descriptions of daily life are so bullseye perfect that time and again they took me back to my own childhood and teen years, now way over a half century past. I don't mind a bit saying that this book moved me to tears a dozen times. I hated like anything to leave some of the characters behind: I felt they were my friends by the book's end. I will definitely be reading A Death on the Wolf again. It is not apt to leave my mind--ever. It's simply a wonder, and, I think, a great gift from a very talented writer. ... I cannot recommend it highly enough.  --Jon Rutherford [Goodreads]

From the Author

The updated version of the text has corrected some formatting issues and a few typos.  Discussion questions suggested by readers have been included which you may find useful in reflecting on the story, or discussing it with others.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2635 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Epicea Books (November 9, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064X5KUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,325 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend this one highly enough! February 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was free when I got it; and I (wrongly) didn't hold out much hope for it to be better than average. I was very much pleasantly surprised, though; this is a *fantastic* book; one of the better ones I've read this winter.

Although the subject of race is (very!) lightly touched on, this book is about the summer in which a 15-year old boy confronts the issues of love, loyalty, courage, friendship, and inner moral character, while leaving boyhood behind and laying the groundwork for the man he will become.

There's an epilogue, too, to tell "how things all worked out," and in this case I thought it added a nice touch.

Can't recommend this one highly enough. 4.5 / 5, IMO. A great read!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could be a good movie! November 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is one of the best coming-of-age stories I've ever read. The synopsis at tells what the book contains. I'll tell you how much I loved it.

Gary Frazier has outdone himself this time. I was bowled over by this book. I rarely give five stars to a book, but I did for this one
because, for books in its genre, it covers so many issues and handles them with dignity.

The story takes place long before the use of the word "gay" in it's present day connotation. The only terms used for a homosexual
individual were derogatory and inflammatory.

This book deals with physical disabilities, homosexuality, physical abuse of children, a teen with high morals and love for his family.

I could go on and on. I'd love to see this made into a movie.

I urge you to give it a try. I don't think you'll regret it.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Fiction? March 25, 2012
By Rhouse
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Death on the Wolf deals with a variety of issues, all from a 1969 teen boy's point of view. Physical abuse, being gay (before it was "gay"), physical handicaps, dysfunctional homes, and life in 1960s Mississippi.

I KNOW that all sounds very depressing, but the author manages to make the characters so POSITIVE that when you're finished, you are smiling.

It isn't labeled as such, but this would be an excellent novel for young adults. I recommend this realistic coming of age book to teens as well as adults!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age in the South October 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
"A Death on the Wolf", by G.M. Frazier is a coming of age tale with danger and suspense thrown into the mix. It is the story of Nelson Gody, who is sixteen in the summer of 1969. He is living in Bells Ferry, Mississippi with his father and younger sister, Sachet. His Aunt Charity lives in the house next door on the family land.

What begins as a routine summer for Nelson, working at the gas station and hanging out with his friend Frankie on the Wolf river, quickly changes when Aunt Charity brings 14 year old Mary Alice to stay with her for the summer. Mary Alice is a blind orphan who normally resides at the orphanage. Nelson is smitten the moment he lays eyes on her.

As the summer progresses and love blooms, Nelson learns that Frankie has been harboring a secret that impacts both their lives. When a mysterious stranger arrives in town on a sleek black motorcycle danger arrives with him.

This is a wonderful story set in a time and place that is a story in itself. Bells Ferry is still working through the civil rights movement and Hurricane Camille is on her way. Nothing will be the same.

Frazier has created wonderful characters with many layers to them. They are well developed and I felt I knew each of them intimately. The story is well paced and compelling. I couldn't stop reading because I needed to know what would happen next. The suspense builds and holds you in it's grips. A fantastic read!

5 stars - Kate Farrell, The Kindle Book Review
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading again...and again... May 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a 17 year old in 1969, the author brought the memories of that time back to the forefront of my mind. The writing was so well done that it felt like I was actually a member of the family. I'm not sure exactly how G.M. Frazier was able to make me feel as if I was experiencing the thoughts and emotions of Lem as a young man so convincingly as I am female, but that is what happened. I became so involved while reading the book that when "reality" intruded, it sometimes took me a moment or two to switch my mind back to the present. The portrayal of the southern locale was also done in such a way that, having never been further east or south than Colorado, I felt like I had been there. I rarely re-read any book, so after having just finished, I can't believe that I want to put it right back in my "to be read" list.
I will not hesitate to 1-click any other books I find by this author.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed But Enjoyable Coming of Age Tale June 5, 2012
First the bad news. The writing is can be clumsy and overly descriptive - a good editor would have really helped. A few of the good characters - especially Nelson's first love, Mary Alice, and his father - are a little too perfect. Mr. Gody's Good Man status almost reaches an Atticus Finch kind of level, only without the nuances of Harper Lee's protrayal of the ultimate good father. And the friendship between Nelson and Frankie, which supposedly reached back to their early childhood, didn't ring true to me - given the time and place, I could buy that he might not have guessed Frankie's secret, but I couldn't get past his total ignorance of Frankie's father's drinking problem and abuse of his family. And in the end, things wrap up a little too neatly.

I did enjoy Nelson's story, in large part because Nelson is such a real, believable and fully realized main character. I do think he would have struggled a bit more to become comfortable with Frankie's secret, but to me he really read as a teenaged boy, a good, responsible kid who wants to do the right thing and is bewildered by chaos that unexpectedly swirls around him the summer he turns 16.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Southern Literature
I enjoyed the narrator, who was the main character. Frazier's novel had good descriptions of characters, believable dialogue, mystery, and action even though the main action takes... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Reba Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars Death on the Wolf - A Great Read
Death on the Wolf (a local river) is set in Mississippi. Its about a young boy who lives with his widowed father, sister and next door to his aunt, who serves as a surrogate mother... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Natkincat
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great coming of age story
Published 26 days ago by Robert Paxton
4.0 out of 5 stars A warm night
Just felt true. Real. Being from the Deep South I appreciated the complexities of racism being able to exist among good people And good people being racist Yet perhaps non... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Craig W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring.
A story guaranteed to take you back, mind, body and soul, to the time you lost your own innocence. Be prepared to reunite with memories, feelings and emotions you may not have... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sue
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I really enjoyed this book. Only one warning-don't start it if you have anything to accomplish because you won't be able to put it down!!!
Published 1 month ago by KrisJon
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good coming of age story
I was Leary about reading this book because of some topics that are addressed in it. I was pleasantly surprised and did enjoy the book very much. Read more
Published 1 month ago by songbirdsue
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming coming of age tale
This is the book for you if you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn. I read it all in less than a day. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kris
1.0 out of 5 stars a flat trite book
Thought the book lacked any depth, flat and one dimensional and found characters light weight, the story wasn't boring but close to it. poorly written. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Smock
4.0 out of 5 stars gets better.-- keep reading
StEta off slow. But really gets better. Great characters,
Good for a travel - airplane book
Published 1 month ago by Amy
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More About the Author

I have been writing fiction for the last twenty years. The writers who have influenced me the most are Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Walker Percy, and Pat Conroy. My stories run the gamut from the supernatural to the sublimely real. The Taking of Trevor Ward is a mystery and suspense novella about a PI with a unique "gift." A Death on the Wolf is a coming of age story set in Mississippi in 1969. Gerard is a novella about a ten-year-old vampire. Brian's Wish is about a rich businessman who, through his "make-a-wish" foundation, comes to know a youngster who is dying of cancer. Return to Innocence is a dark and disturbing tale of a therapist whose life is ruined when he is falsely accused of child abuse. And Summer Solstice is a story about a grief stricken widower who learns to love again.

From 1998 to 2000 I was Managing Editor at Genesis Press. I currently spend my time writing, editing, and practicing Family Law in the Upstate of South Carolina.

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