Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.99
  • Save: $3.01 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Boonville: A Novel has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Boonville: A Novel Paperback – January 7, 2003

3.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.98
$0.96 $0.01

2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
$11.98 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An eclectic knot of hippies, rednecks, marijuana growers, assorted eccentrics and Miami expatriates inhabit the California town of Boonville, pop. 715. Anderson's debut novel is a jolting journey among these misfits, occasionally witty and insightful but more often rambling, losing its way amid too many disparate pop culture references and unwieldy attempts at edgy prose ("Outside the apartment, Florida air hung as hot and tight as a sunbather's butt thong"). John Gibson leaves an empty life in sunny Miami after a tussle with his girlfriend and heads west to the house his grandmother bequeathed him in Boonville. Upon arriving, he immediately runs afoul of the locals, an odd mixture of inbred hill people and various contingents of hippies, including leftovers from the 1960s and a more contemporary crop. He's relieved when he meets commune-raised Sarah McKay, with whom he feels a connection, probably because she's remotely normal and beautiful. Sarah has her own set of issues to plow through, however, which she does in interminable fashion. The plot hinges on John's attempts to escape beatings by Sarah's ex-husband, a violence-prone redneck, and his interaction with the denizens of Boonville. Characters like the grossly fat Pensive Prairie Sunset, a counterculture holdout who spouts hackneyed lines about male patriarchy and Eastern religion, fall flat. The narrative relies so heavily on the far-out and fantastical that when it attempts to ground itself in human feeling, it scrambles for solid footing. In the end, Boonville is just another place where dreams stagnate.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"...a great first novel...(Anderson) has a language and style all his own...bracingly fresh...uproarious." -- San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 2001

"...the funniest (debut novel) since Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus...very, very funny...Anderson may be the WASP Lenny Bruce." -- Anderson Valley Advertiser November 21, 2001

"A sardonic and beautifully imagined first novel...pages of well-tuned humor...distinguished by an exemplary eye for emotional detail." -- SF Weekly, October 31-November 6, 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 57%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.


Image
Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060516216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060516215
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
(From my Zentertainment.com review):
That the strange little town of Boonville, California is an obscure target makes it no less an easy one.
And if I told you that the first word in the novel is "Boonville" and the last is "Yee-haw," you might fairly assume that Robert Mailer Anderson lets the obvious gags write themselves and adds nothing worth a second look.
Not at all. I have lived in Boonville for just over a year now myself, and in fact I only read Anderson's novel for that sad little "I can see my house from here!" thrill, but if anything, the familiar setting proved to be a mild distraction from what is otherwise a hilarious and morbidly charming book.
John Gibson inherits a cabin and a demented legacy from his grandmother and reluctantly travels from Florida to California, leaving his girlfriend of several years in the process. He arrives in town on page 11, and by page 72 he has already decided, "F**k it... F**k it all. F**k being hung over and getting beat up... Most of all, f**k Boonville."
But he doesn't quite manage to get out, and soon he meets Sarah McKay, a young "hippie by association" who is more ambitious and self-aware than her fellow dropouts at the Waterfall commune, and thus inevitably more bitter, as well. She and John share a distracted but very real attraction and interest in one another, but little comes of it in any traditional or predictable sense due to an unlikely series of obstacles, ranging from naked hippies grunting menacingly on all fours to violent rednecks whose idea of reconstructive surgery is super-glue to reattach a chopped lip.
Anderson provides (pop) cultural context without resorting to the simple name dropping of lesser writers.
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any novel that begins a chapter with the line, "John's grandma had always smelled of gin and vaginal infection," well... [shakes head]. Why didn't I put it down right then?

But it gets better. Another chapter starts, "John wondered if waking up in Boonvile was the worst thing the world had to offer. Worse than Turkish prisons, worse than being buried alive, worse than reruns of "Three's Company," fruitcakes, heavy metal, herpes, Lee Iacocca, being trapped in an elevator with Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli and Whitney Houston..." Gosh, isn't he FUNNY?!

Because I thought maybe...*maybe*...there really was something here. But there isn't. I have to agree with all those who say this is smugness on steroids. It's poorly-written--comes off like a first-shot at writing a novel in some freshman junior college creative writing class. The characters are cliches, the sentences are as well, and we're supposed to be impressed by 1) the author's know-it-all tone and 2) the eccentric band of characters in a small town, something every new novelist in the last 35 years has done to death. I have to think this only got published because of the author's social connections (read the way-too-long bio blurb to see what I mean, or look him up on Wikipedia). Also hate to say it, but it seems like many or most of the "rave" reviews are solicitations. They don't read like honest reviews, eg: "Boonville is like Carl Hiaasen crossed with Updike's Rabbit stories. Hilarious! A page turner. Energy in each sentence. Dark in it's humor, the funniest passages ring absolutely true, dealing with the human condition and the big question of why we exist. I can't remember a better first novel...
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on December 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Boonville is like Carl Hiaasen crossed with Updike's Rabbit stories. Hilarious! A page turner. Energy in each sentence. Dark in it's humor, the funniest passages ring absolutely true, dealing with the human condition and the big question of why we exist. I can't remember a better first novel, maybe Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.
1 Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on August 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in San Francisco on the way to visit the Mendocino Coast. I grew up in a small town ( We played Boonville in basketball)in the area and found this book to be a hoot and a fairly accurate portrayal of small town life in Northern California. From the "hip" alternative culture that can safely hide in a small town to the more established residents who have been there for generations, this brought a feeling of Deja vu to me. I am one of those who "escaped" and enjoyed the trip back, probably because it has been many years and was certainly temporary! Also enjoyed to references to small towns in the area, including my own, which I have never seen in print before. It is clear that the author has spent his time in Boonville. I enjoyed this book a lot.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
"Boonville" is not a great book. not at all. However, It kept me interested for a week and it had it's moments, such as the softball game and a young woman's struggle with her unborn morality. But it was kinda hokey, too; Cliche depictions of feminists, locals and ignorant yuppies sipping pinot noir.
that said, hippies, or people with new age tendancies, need not even crack open this book as Anderson has his fun with you guys....and he did make me laugh when doing so.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Boonville: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Boonville: A Novel

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?