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Captain Saturday: A Novel Hardcover – January 8, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At once deeply affecting and warmly humorous, this fourth novel by Inman (Dairy Queen Days) faintly echoes the bittersweet inflections of such literary forebears as Flannery O'Connor. After 20 years of minor celebrity as a TV weatherman, Will Baggett is fired when the station is sold to a conglomerate. While rushing to meet a deadline to collect his $50,000 contract buyout, he injures his knee. A photo of him on an EMS gurney winds up on the front page of the newspaper, the headline charging him with running a red light and resisting arrest; he's now not only out of a job, but also unemployable in the only professional persona he has ever known. Meanwhile, Will's marriage grows ever more shaky as his wife establishes a successful career in upscale real estate by cozying up to her boss. Retreating to the homestead of his eccentric cousins, Will (now Wilbur again) licks his wounds and contemplates both his past and future. When he returns to face the traffic charges, he unluckily wears his medical-student son's jacket to court and winds up charged with possession of marijuana a felony offense in North Carolina. Wilbur soon discovers that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Only a couple of years shy of age 50 and suddenly an unemployed ex-con after a brief stay in jail, Wilbur now has to reconstruct his identity. Peopled with vivid, endearingly quixotic characters and filled with dead-on insights into a shallow New South that defines itself by club memberships and designer labels, this richly textured epic is a paean to the vagaries of the human heart. Southern author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

As Inman's latest novel amply demonstrates, being Southern is all about family where you're from, how long your family has lived there, and who your parents and grandparents are. Will Baggett is one of the Wilmington, NC, Baggetts, but his history was snatched away at age 13 when his parents were killed in an airplane accident. Now in his forties, Will is the Channel 7 weatherman and the most recognizable face in Raleigh. He is married to a Greensboro Palmer (quite out of his league), and he is very content until circumstance, misjudgment, and bad luck strip away the facade he has lived behind for 25 years. Returning to his roots, Will discovers what it is like to belong. Inman (Dairy Queen Days) knows the ins and outs of Southern family life and the ties it imposes even on those who rebel against it. In stark contrast to Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again, Inman's novel develops the theme that the Southerner never gets away. People with strong family connections will recognize whereof he speaks. Recommended for public libraries. Thomas Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st edition (January 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316415022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316415026
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Yo Will, what's the weather?"
It's a phrase Will Baggett's used to hearing everywhere he goes. After all, he's the most popular weatherman in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In fact, he's the happiest man in the world. Great job. Happy marriage. Healthy as can be. His son's working hard to become a doctor. Yes indeed, life is wonderful for Will Baggett.
But all that's about to change.
Channel Seven's been bought and Baggett's fired after 25 years on the job as a result. His wife's real estate career is taking off and she's ready to put a for sale sign on their marriage. To top it all off, his son is completely disconnected from him.
Just when Will thinks things can't get worse, he gets pulled over by the police, is injured at his now-former TV station and has to be lugged through a crowd of gawkers, camera crews and police officers on a stretcher.
And that's going to be his best day for a while.
The life Will's worked so hard for has practically been torn down. Then cousin Wingfoot arrives and takes him back to his past so he can build a new future.
Will's journey begins with his childhood. Memories he's suppressed since he was a teenager come flooding back.
Ironically, what he's tried to outgrow his whole life is exactly who he decides he wants to be. Himself.
Robert Inman's created a fine cast of characters. Each one grows so much from beginning to end, you'll feel like you know them. Especially the main character. There's a little bit of Will Baggett in all of us.
"Captain Saturday" is nothing short of a fantastic novel, one that's worth read after read after read.
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By A Customer on August 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book quite by accident, and the timing of my reading is also a matter of fate, yet, having read Captain Saturday from cover to cover in the last two days I will be certain to look for and read Mr. Inman's other works in the very near future.
The opening pages are quite innocuous, leading the reader down a path reminiscent of out favorite sixties' television programs - Leave It To Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, Father Knows Best. However, soon we are drawn into the story of a man searching for a self he never understood was lost. This hero's journey is unsought and unwelcome and the process towards revelation difficult and very painful. Yet, in the, end Will Baggett not only reconciles with his son and past, he also finds within the answers to the schism that has distanced his emotions and relationships for the past 35 years.
The work is significant because it addresses, successfully, many of the fears that arise in middle age when we question our own choices, our own paths, and ponder what alternatives still lay before us, to which heights we can rise, and what we are willing to sacrifice in changing what appears to be a predetermined path.
The answers lie not only in our present choices but as much so in those made in the past. As Will discovers, it is only in addressing that which we have buried by time with heightened scrutiny, that we are prepared to address the future.
Well done!
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Format: Hardcover
In the hands of many modern novelists (of the John cheever ilk) this novel of a middle-aged man losing his job, wife and self-respect would be a dreary depiction of life in the "soulness" of their America. But not here.
Will Baggett, formerly lead weatherman at Raleigh's channel 7 is a man who seeks out validation and human connection in malls rather than at home, Baggett is fired when a conglomerate buys out the family-run station and decides to cut costs by hiring a younger, cheaper weather personality. Within short order Will injures himself, his wife gives him the boot, he learns that his soon is failing med school and he goes to jail for possession of marijuana.
Rather than dwelling on the failure of the protagonist, Inman goes back in time to sketch Will's goofily eccentric family and in the process lets the reader figure out the man Will has become. Upon his release from jail, Will begins to remake himself and finally finds out the person he could have been.
Peopled with wonderfully quirky Southern characters and imbued with a generous loving spirit, CAPTAIN SATURDAY is an affirmation of love, family, honor and generosity. A delghtful subplot is the romance between his cousin Wingfoot and a former basketball player now country singer. Read this book for an uplifting, yet honest, portrayal of a good man.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I picked up this book on a whim, and I was very pleasantly surprised. Although it took me several chapters to get into this book, once I settled in, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
The novel tells the story of Will Baggett, a North Carolina weatherman who has been on the job 20+ years and is loved throughout the community. When his station changes ownership, the main character is fired. The firing sets into play a stage of events that leave Will questioning the choices he has made in life and re-examining the events of his past that have led him into his choice of journalism. Will emerges from the chain of events following his firing as a better man, and it was fun to watch him grow and change during his ordeal.
The author does a great job depicting the life of a small-town TV personality and the sacrifices he is forced to make. I was cheering for Will along the way, and think you will too. As a North Carolina native, I can tell you that the author gets his geography and local flavor 100% correct. I would definitely recommend this book -- don't be discouraged by the slow start.
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