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Cliff Walking: A Novel Paperback – September 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Ledge Publishing (September 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615493629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615493626
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Russell Payne is a fourth-generation Vermonter. A lifelong writer, he has published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in publications including Vermont Life magazine, The Tufts Review, The Vermont Literary Review, Livin’ the Vermont Way magazine, and Route 7—Vermont Literary Journal. Payne studied pre-med and English at Tufts University, receiving his master’s in English before entering medical school at the University of Vermont. Since 1988 he has practiced general surgery in northern Vermont and taught at UVM as a clinical assistant professor of surgery. Over the years, he has been mentored by poets X. J. Kennedy, Galway Kinnell, and Denise Levertov, as well as by novelists Howard Frank Mosher, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Chris Bohjalian. Much of the inspiration for Cliff Walking came from Payne's experiences helping victims of spousal and child abuse both as a physician and, previously, as a police officer. Payne lives on a northern Vermont farm with his family where their land is managed by a local organic farmer. Payne loves cutting his own firewood and spends much of his free time in the woods, where he often comes up with and develops story ideas. He and his family spend as much time as possible on Lake Champlain where they are avid Hobie Cat sailors and strong supporters of both the Lake Champlain Land Trust and the Vermont Land Trust.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 43 customer reviews
It has well developed characters and an interesting plot line.
Reader
When I had to put the book down, I kept thinking of the characters, wanting to know more about them and what the next turn would be.
elowell
I would highly recommend it to anyone and can't wait to read more of his material.
wradz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By WynnfromWestchester on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The ideals which have lighted my way and time after time have given me the energy to face life have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth." - Albert Einstein

These are the words that Stephen Russell Payne chose to introduce his first novel, Cliff Walking, a powerful glimpse not only into kindness, beauty and truth but also cruelty, ugliness and deceit and how these affect the lives of three lost souls, each struggling with their own demons.

Payne deals with the worst life has to offer and also the best, filling each page with human emotions and how they can create or destroy relationships. Cliff Walking is beautifully crafted, touching on some of life's most challenging hurdles in uncommonly sensitive and emotional ways. This is a touching love story and a fast-paced mystery that lifts the social elephants out of the middle of the living room and exposes them so they can be understood.

Cliff Walking is a must-read novel because it is a poignant love story and a view of life both at its worst and at its best. Seldom have the powers of love and hope been more creatively expressed. Stephen Russell Payne has mastered the art of imagery and symbolism in the written word and raised it to an art form.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Uppity Wmyn on October 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
It isn't easy to write about domestic violence and child abuse in a thoughtful and engaging story. This is a genuine love story that grabs your attention from the first sentence and holds it until the last word. It you are looking for a tightly written story with an interesting story line and a beautiful location (the coast of Maine) then you will not be disappointed. This should be on a best seller list!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cch on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the very start I loved this book! My emotions ran the gamut from happiness to sadness to extreme anger! The portrayal of the characters was realistic and made me love them from the start. I really felt like I knew them and the town they lived in. This novel is a definite must read! I had a hard time putting it down. It put a face on domestic abuse and how our society can turn a blind eye to what goes on behind closed doors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John T on October 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Cliff Walking
Stephen Payne has written a novel of loss and regeneration. It's main character, an artist at a time when he needs to move on with his life, encounters a boy and mother on the run. The story revolves around the difficult subjects of spousal and child abuse in a very touching way, producing an embracing story with intrigue and twists of plot smoothly acquired. In the process the author touches retrospectively on an element of a good marriage that most of us aren't able or are afraid to recognize. Beautifully set in coastal Maine, with its vistas breaking out past small town politics and power, the prose is powerfully visual. It's a New England story that's well worth the read... with the right production it would likely make a good small movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By elowell on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have never written a review before but thought this book certainly deserves one. This was an amazing read. I could not but the book down. The characters are very intriguing and pull you in. There was just never and good time to stop reading, I just kept wanting to know more. When I had to put the book down, I kept thinking of the characters, wanting to know more about them and what the next turn would be. I highly recommend this book, you will not be disappointed and it may just leave you in tears like myself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Georgeharp on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This first novel takes an visual artist wedded to a dead style and adds in a fresh world
with characters bringing their own complex realities that include abuse, misunderstanding by
the local police and the warped thinking of a town toward outsiders. I found it a compelling read
during one long, sleepless night as profound loss stretched and grew into awakenings.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Don Coughlin on November 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Stephen Russell Payne's novel Cliff Walking is fictional it tells an intertwining story of humanness, that parts are very real in some peoples lives. It reaches deep into your heart and touches our deepest emotions. The characters come alive like you could reach out and touch them. The story brings to light some very real challenges we face in society , but the underlying theme is of Love and the power of connectedness , compassion and forgiveness ! Open your heart and allow vulnerability in and you will be amazed how this book touches you! I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it difficult to put down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Essex, Vermont reader :-) on October 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
A young friend of mine has said,"if you're not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space." Indeed, "Cliff Walking" will take you to the edge of your internal "cliffs" again and again. Character development, word pictures and each chapter's unfolding story keep the reader gripped with a kind of curious wonder about what is to come! Laughter, tears and sighs are just a few of the sensations which will present themselves as the story unfolds. Please remember to breath. Time stood still as I read this unforgettable novel. Speaking to my heart, mind and soul, it awakened recesses of my mind that have gone into hibernation. Thank you to Stephen Russell Payne for his gifted and extremely talented work of literary art!
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