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Blue Hole Hardcover – August 10, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It is the summer of 1969 in Barrington, Ga., and Charley Selkirk, a 17-year-old white Southerner, is at a critical point in his life in reporter and columnist Gearino's third novel (after the popular What the Deaf Mute Heard; Counting Coup). During the first year of school integration, Charley is booted out of school just weeks before his graduation because he aggressively tackles the team's star quarterback, after the quarterback bullies a new black player during spring drills. Also abandoned by his longtime girlfriend, Charley lives with his withdrawn mother in a house haunted by the drowning death of his younger brother years ago. Then, by chance, Charley meets Tallasee, a Barrington native who is back in town after years as a model and photographer and a brief, unhappy marriage to a rock musician. Tallasee hires Charley as an assistant while she completes a book of portraits of mountain women, but it is as partners that they undertake a search for a missing boy, the grandson of one of the elderly women. Their quest takes them to a squalid commune set in the hills near Barrington, where Lucas, a Vietnam vet tortured by flashback memories, befriended the missing boy. When it becomes clear that the boy is dead, everyone is convinced that Lucas is guilty, but Charley thinks otherwise, and he sets a trap for a killer whose unmasking sends shock waves through the little town. Though his pacing is sometimes uneven, Gearino strongly but subtly evokes the turbulent summer of '69 in small-town Georgia, coming at racial tension, the counterculture and the legacy of Vietnam from unexpected angles and finding redemption in Charley and Tallasee's unusual friendship, the unburdening of family secrets and the bittersweet triumph of truth and justice. 7-city author tour. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Its 1969, Charleys Southern high school is integrating, and hes just gotten himself expelled. Then he and a friend start looking for a missing boy, and Charley realizes that things are not what they seem in his little town. Gearinos successful What the Deaf Mute Saw has already been made into a TV movie.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (August 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684837277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684837277
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,494,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is his latest novel, peopled with some of the characters from What the Deaf Mute Heard. Story of Charley Selkirk who gets kicked out of school for dealing with prejudice in his own way. He meets up with and works for Tallasee Tynan, a photographer who needs a hand with organizing her studio. They stumble onto a missing person. In the process of unraveling the mystery, the reader gets to know both characters pretty well and is privy to some of Gearino's dry and witty insights into life in the South and other matters. Don't read it too fast to find out how things are resolved because you will miss the humor. Well worth reading. Can't wait to see who he writes about next.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was really disappointed in this book. I found many of the plot points contrived (out of the blue, Tallasee just HAPPENS to have a friend in the attorney general's office!), and too much of what we learn about the BIG MYSTERY we have to learn by way of explanation as opposed to action. Similarly, the author relies too much on digression and background information to form his characters and to explain their motivations. The end result is that I felt distanced from the characters and the plot, such that it was difficult for me to care about what happened.
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Format: Hardcover
G. D. Gearino, Blue Hole (Simon and Schuster, 1999)

Gearino returns with his third novel about small-town life in Georgia, this one a mystery about a missing teenager, a Utopian commune, and a well-meaning high school boy who tries to connect the dots.

Charley Selkirk finds himself kicked out of high school and girlfriendless after defending a black football player with his own brand of off-the-cuff justice. Faced with a lifetime of nothing to do ahead of him, he hires on as temporary help for town photographer (and Gearino regular character) Tallassee Tynan. The two of them, while visiting one of Tynan's subjects, are told the woman's grandson is missing. Tynan wants to drop it; Selkirk (probably still staring that lifetime of nothing to do in the face) wants to investigate. He wins; complications ensue.

The plot gets stretched pretty thin in places in this book (having not read Gearino's previous work, I'm not sure exactly how thin it is; some things that look like major coincidences here may have popped up in his two previous novels), but the plot should be taking second seat to the characters and descriptions in this one. Blue Hole is peopled with the kinds of characters one always hopes to find in real life, but never quite does-- they look like stereotypes on the surface, but there's a level beneath that makes them anything but. The good-ole-boy sherriff has a collection of oddities he's come across during his time in office; the paranoid vet may have very good reasons to be paranoid. Etc. When the book slips in place A, it's always made up for in place B. That leads to inconsistency, but doesn't make the book any less worth reading. *** 1/2
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Format: Hardcover
I just got done reading this very long-winded tale of "who-done-it" and I have to say this is one of those books that you really have to stick with in order to get into it. This is the first time that I have read this author, and I am not sure the presentation of this novel and the way that it was written, that I would jump for joy to read his material again...very slow moving story, with very little action...what does this novel have going for it?? I do like the way that the author ended everything on an even keel...I enjoyed how he took one character (Frances, main character's mother) and made her realize she had made some major mistakes in her life, and was now turning her life around.
This is not a bad book by any means, but if you are looking for a story that has lots of non-stop action, that leaves you on the edge of your seat...this is not the story for you! As I soon found out!!!! :)
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