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The Brightest Moon of the Century [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Meeks
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Christopher Meeks’s "The Brightest Moon of the Century," Edward, a young Minnesotan, is blessed with an abundance of “experience”—first when his mother dies and next when his father, an encyclopedia salesman, shoehorns Edward into a private boys school where he’s tortured and groomed.

Edward needs a place in the universe, but he also wants an understanding of women. He stumbles into romance in high school, careens through dorm life in college, whirls into a tornado of love problems as a mini-mart owner in a trailer park in Alabama, and aims for a film career in Los Angeles.

In nine chapters, the reader experiences Edward’s life from ages 14 to 45. This is the first novel from Christopher Meeks, which follows his highly acclaimed collections of short stories, "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea" and "Months and Seasons."


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Christopher Meeks captures life's unpredictability while retaining a message of the hope that inspires us all." -Meghan Burton, Medieval Bookworm

"In his debut novel, The Brightest Moon of the Century, Christopher Meeks chronicles one man's path to middle age and, in doing so, illustrates how choices and circumstances -- even those that seem arbitrary at the time -- have a way of irrevocably cementing a person's future." -Cherie Parker, Minnneapolis Star Tribune
  
"Charming and endlessly entertaining, The Brightest Moon of the Century is a fine read that is an excellent addition to literary fiction collections." -Midwest Book Review  

"Edward is endearingly real, and readers will be rooting for him in every situation. The Brightest Moon of the Century will appeal to readers across genders and generations." -Dawn Rennert, She Is Too Fond of Books  

"Christopher Meeks' work is joyful, funny and sensitive. The Brightest Moon of the Century is a satisfying read and one which made me hope that Meeks will continue to write novels."    -Wendy Robards, Piker Press

From the Author

I couldn't be happier with the reception to this, my first novel. Two years later, I just read Jennifer Egan's wonderful novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, and I see that her book and mine share a similar idea of a novel in stories. My book happens to go chronologically, but you'll read as my main character goes from 14 into his forties. There's a whole life there.

Recently, I was able to get the seven photos that are in the printed version of The Brightest Moon of the Century into a new Kindle version of the book. I'd been inspired by Sara Gruen's use of photos in Water for Elephants, so you can see glimpses of Edward's world in his past.

Product Details

  • File Size: 845 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: White Whisker Books; First Edition edition (November 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TG4PAO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Gem! March 8, 2009
Format:Paperback
The Brightest Moon of the Century is one of my favorite kinds of stories, it explores a large portion of one person's life, you get to see how they grow and change and the experiences that make them who they are. It's put together basically as 9 short stories from Edward's life. His teenage years to mid-adulthood. We're there for it all!

I loved all the stories, from Edward's time at a private high school to his college girlfriend to his time owning a trailer park mini-mart to his time as a film student. It was all interesting and strongly written. I couldn't pick a favorite section, it all built on itself to create a great character study! The things that he did and happened to him seemed so unique to his life, it read basically as a biography.

Another thing I really liked was that several times, characters from one part of Edward's life made a reappearance later on in the story, tying the story that much closer together. Another unique touch to an already unique story is a collection of photography that helps set the scenery for specific parts of the story. I loved that!

This book is a real gem, it's engaging and original! I loved it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it tremendously May 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was painful at times -- Edward can be so horribly insensitive and so unaware. But it was a great read and moves quickly thru various stages in his life. This was a very enjoyable book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Novel-In-Stories with Great Character June 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The Brightest Moon of the Century" by Christopher Meeks is a sweet bildungsroman that spans a several decades. The major events in the life of Edward Meopian (Myopian?) are chronicled, from his mother's untimely death at 14 to his moment of clarity in his 40's. His life ambles around, from Minnesota to LA, down Alabama, and back to LA.

In many literary, character-driven first novels, there is a justifiable criticism that "nothing happens." While this is a novel-in-stories, and thus each episode is quite self-contained, each story has some heart-stopping moments. In my opinion, Meeks became more sure of himself as he wrote the later stories because each one seems to increase in drama and action. Some lovely turns of phrase make this novel-in-stories a delightful journey.

The Southern trailer park episode has some shirt-clutching moments, especially when the thieving woman attempts to exact her revenge. The character of Sagebrush (Edward's friend from college) is damaged and, ultimately, redeemed in this episode. I wish Sagebrush had been around more, at least by phone or letters, to buffer Edward's journey. A friend who has your back is always a good addition to a story. It is in the South that Edward comes into his own, too, and his character forms deeply.

By the end, Edward seems like an old friend who you've found after a long absence, and he catches you up on his life. You're invested. He's a likeable character who I'll think about for a long time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Brightest Moon August 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was good but not great. The end seemed to drop off. Was disappointed in the ending. Others might have a different view.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read June 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Christopher Meeks is a very talented writer who weaves fascinating stories from the ordinary events of life. This "coming of age" story was a very satisfying, fast read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a hard one to review! May 26, 2013
By soleful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really did like this book yet it covered so many years of Edwards life that it at times lost me in the details. Edward is a very intersting character but seemed too flawless to believe for me.Towards the end of this book and into his 40's, it took on the feeling I get sometimes from certain authors, that they want to finish the book so it seems to just fizzle out. I feel I am being too harsh when that isn't what I mean to do. Edwards ;ife is very interesting and this book is truly woth reading. It was just the last 40 or so pages that didn't seem in synch with the rest of the book. After all of that I do think the book is very much worth reading. So I think this review will just be frustrating....sorry!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent addition to literary fiction collections February 9, 2010
Format:Paperback
The man's quest to understand women is something that may take decades. "The Brightest Moon of the Century" tells the story of Edward, as the first novel from acclaimed short story author Christopher Meeks follows Edward through his life in boarding school to the pursuit of his dreams in Hollywood and the reality of being a convenience store owner. Charming and endlessly entertaining, "The Brightest Moon of the Century" is a fine read that is an excellent addition to literary fiction collections.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Successful Stew: A Short Story Master and the Novel February 6, 2009
Format:Paperback
Christopher Meeks has produced up to now two of the finest, most intelligent, entertaining, and socially sensitive collections of short stories (THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN AND THE SEA and MONTHS AND SEASONS). For those of us who have become Meeks devotees based on these short stories, the anticipation of a full-length novel has been both exciting and a bit dubious. It is an entirely different challenge to carry a character and a few ideas, well developed as they are in Meeks' hands, along a path that justifies a complete novel. But with THE BRIGHTEST MOON OF THE CENTURY Christopher Meeks has crossed that bridge so successfully that his stance in the echelon of new important American writers seems solidly secure.

Meeks deals well with the everyday persons that populate this novel. His characters are all flawed and not afraid to share those flaws. And that is one reason this story of a young lad's journey from Minnesota through the South and to California spanning the years of his life from age 14 to age 45 reaches out to the reader in a way that offers an honest invitation to relive our own growing years. Meeks does not discard his unique gift of crafting short stories: each chapter in this novel is framed by a time span and a special growing adventure in a way that at times the reader may wonder if each chapter could stand alone. But that is where Meeks so deftly shows his craft. He sorts through his bag of ideas, dropping a few here and there only to be picked up and transformed later in the book like old memories that come to blossom or gain meaning as life goes on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Life or something like it...
This is the story of a boy growing into a man, trying to find the meaning of life. He thinks a lot, does stupid things, finds love and finds loss. Read more
Published 3 months ago by RNT
3.0 out of 5 stars A tad slow, but a good read
I'm not sure why The Brightest Moon of the Century failed to draw me in emotionally, but it left me with a bit of a bland feeling. Read more
Published 4 months ago by TwoFromTx
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and enjoyable - The Brightest Moon of the Century
Written in a light hearted & funny manner. An easy read giving an honest insight into one man's struggle to find his place in the world after enduring the loss of his mother and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jojo
4.0 out of 5 stars A real winner
I thoroughly enjoyed this humorous trip through Edward's life with all the chaos and surprises. I enjoyed Meeks' writing style and the pacing was perfect. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Patricia Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good story
You won't want to miss this book. It has that something that makes you feel like you're there, in the story with Edward. Loved it.
Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Life, Love and Change
I loved this book. The author did a great job of capturing the ups and downs of growing up and the desire to get away from home along with the unspoken fears of failing. Read more
Published 8 months ago by BirdieTracy
4.0 out of 5 stars A book you will really enjoy....
I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons, but I never thought that one reason would be the shock of seeing Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in print after having been raised there! Read more
Published 9 months ago by NY
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of time
This is a miserable, rambling, self absorbed wreck of a novel. If I could give it negative stars, I would-I don't even know why I finished it. I give it one imploding star.
Published 9 months ago by momsky1
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading and savoring
An interesting tale told by an interesting hero. His life is not a bowl of cherries but he does, ultimately, figure out what is important.
Published 12 months ago by BurghMan
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent read
Got this book free at Amazon. It held my interest. Not sure I would recommend to a friend but I'm not sorry I read it. It had it's moments.
Published 12 months ago by Nprn10
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More About the Author

Christopher Meeks was born in Minnesota, earned degrees from the University of Denver and USC, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1977. He's taught English at Santa Monica College, and creative writing at CalArts, UCLA Extension, Art Center College of Design, and USC. His fiction has appeared often in Rosebud magazine as well as other literary journals, and his books have won several awards. His short works have been collected into two volumes, "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea" and "Months and Seasons," the latter which appeared on the long list for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He's had three plays produced, and "Who Lives?: A Drama" is published. His focus is now on longer fiction. His first novel is "The Brightest Moon of the Century," and his second, "Love At Absolute Zero."

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The Brightest Moon of the Century
IF YOU'RE IN LOS ANGELES on December 1, I'll be speaking at Santa Monica College as part of the college's literary series at 11:15 a.m. in Lecture Hall HSS 165. The event is free and open to the public. The series itself has included this year author and Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin... Read More
Nov 22, 2009 by Christopher Meeks |  See all 4 posts
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