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Dead Low Tide: A Novel Hardcover – January 17, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400063752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400063758
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Advance praise for Dead Low Tide

“[A] critique of class distinctions and outmoded laws… [with a] particular noirish kick."--The New York Times Book Review
“The best book Bret Lott has ever written—by far. He creates a Charleston that has never been written about in the history of that remarkable city. It is a literary thriller of the highest order—like something John Le Carré would write. I couldn’t put it down.”—Pat Conroy, author of South of Broad
Dead Low Tide should be retitled High Water Mark. Bret Lott is a combination of James Lee Burke and Elmore Leonard but with the grace and poise of Pat Conroy. Not a word is out of place. Reading this book is like listening to good music—as you reach the end, you want to start all over again. Dead Low Tide has made me a Bret Lott lifer. I’m going back and reading everything he’s written, and I’ll be first in line when the next comes out.”—Ridley Pearson, author of In Harm’s Way
“Bret Lott has done it again: linked a small family drama to a matter of national importance. Though he tells his tale, as always, with a lyric sweetness, terror—both private and public—is the subject here.”—Nicholas Delbanco, author of Lastingness: The Art of Old Age

"This literary thriller of the first order grippingly deals with current events while revealing the secrets, ambitions, loves, and fears of a family that readers grow to cherish."--Library Journal
Praise for Bret Lott’s The Hunt Club
“I turned the pages so insistently that, had there been pictures on the pages instead of print, it would have made a movie. It’s that suspenseful.”—Wally Lamb
“A nerve-jangling thriller.”—Boston Sunday Globe

About the Author

Bret Lott is the author of the novels Ancient Highway, A Song I Knew by Heart, Jewel (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), The Hunt Club, Reed’s Beach, A Stranger’s House, and The Man Who Owned Vermont; and the story collections A Dream of Old Leaves, How to Get Home, and The Difference Between Women and Men; the memoir Fathers, Sons, and Brothers; and the writing guide Before We Get Started. Formerly editor of The Southern Review, he was appointed to the National Council on the Arts in 2006. Bret Lott lives with his wife, Melanie, in Hanahan, South Carolina.

More About the Author

Bret Lott is the bestselling author of fourteen books, most recently the nonfiction collection Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian (Crossway 2013) and the novel Dead Low Tide (Random House 2012). Other books include the story collection The Difference Between Women and Men, the nonfiction book Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer's Life, and the novels Jewel, an Oprah Book Club pick, and A Song I Knew by Heart. His work has appeared in, among other places, The Yale Review, The New York Times, The Georgia Review and in dozens of anthologies.
Born in Los Angeles, he received his BA in English from Cal State Long Beach in 1981, and his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1984, where he studied under James Baldwin. From 1986 to 2004 he was writer-in-residence and professor of English at The College of Charleston, leaving to take the position of editor and director of the journal The Southern Review at Louisiana State University. Three years later, in the fall of 2007, he returned to The College of Charleston and the job he most loves: teaching.
His honors include being named Fulbright Senior American Scholar and writer-in-residence to Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel; speaking on Flannery O'Connor at The White House; and having served as a member of the National Council on the Arts from 2006 to 2012. Currently he is nonfiction editor of the journal Crazyhorse. He and his wife, Melanie, live in Hanahan, South Carolina.

Customer Reviews

It reads kind of like a dead low tide.
Lott's ability to create believable characters woven into a plot that draws the reader in from the opening makes Dead Low Tide a great read.
Too wordy that had nothing to do with a plot.
L. Brammer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Lott possesses the true storyteller's gift: familiarity of character, the universality of flawed humanity and the inevitability of the unknown. Lott's hook is sunk in the first chapter with sympathetic protagonist Huger Dillard's harrowing discovery of a body in the water bordering Landgrave Hall, one of the original South Carolina Lowcountry, a landscape dotted with the "cottages" of the region's heirs. Gliding quietly in a jon boat with his blind father, Unc, to the property's pristine golf course in the middle of the night (there's a whole other story in this relationship), Unc's pole makes contact with a submerged body in a shallow finger of the creek.

What follows is a circus of competing jurisdictions, local law enforcement, state police and two rigid representatives of the Naval Weapons Station across the marsh from Landgrave Hall, an escalating verbal standoff between Unc and the Navy personnel only diffused by the arrival of an officer of the department of Natural Resources. In a drama weighted with contemporary realities- a crumbling real estate market, the encroachment of civilization (undesirables), terrorism and increased military presence- the shadows of history loom equally large, battle between Indians and settlers, North and South, the recovered body "yet more history being poured out on these grounds that has known so much of it." The world has changed in ways even the most prescient could not have anticipated, Huger and Unc on the cusp of trouble foreign to their way of life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scottso on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like The Hunt Club, you will love Dead Low Tide. Lott's ability to create believable characters woven into a plot that draws the reader in from the opening makes Dead Low Tide a great read. Highly recommend.

Dead Low Tide: A Novel
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Much has changed in the intervening 12-plus years between the publication of THE HUNT CLUB by Bret Lott and its nominal sequel, DEAD LOW TIDE. The 15-year-old Huger (pronounced "YOU-gee") Dillard of THE HUNT CLUB is now a somewhat passive and aimless 27, proof that 30 is apparently the new 20.

The reason for that aimlessness is two-fold. The first is that Huger, his biological father Unc, and his mother have come into a fortune. This is the result of a shrewd real estate transaction that Unc engineered at the right time and place --- just before the bubble burst --- so that they now reside in Landgrave Hall, a gated community in Charleston, South Carolina, which is the home to many of the rich and powerful landed gentry to whom Huger and Unc used to hire themselves out as hunting guides. The other reason for Huger's passiveness is the loss of Tabitha, the love of his life, whose ambition has taken her to advanced studies in California.

The more things change, though, the more they stay the same. And so it is that DEAD LOW TIDE commences with the discovery by Unc and Huger of the mutilated body of a young woman on an evening that was supposed to be nothing more or less than a clandestine outing for a bit of midnight (and illegal) golf on the Landgrave Hall course. This attracts the attention of the nearby military base, and, with one thing leading to another, an important and hidden part of the past comes calling in the person of Commander Prendergast, a naval officer with ties to the community, specifically to Unc and Huger's mother. And when another body is found several miles away that is seemingly unconnected to the one discovered by Unc and Huger, it sets a series of events in motion, the machinations of which are not revealed until the book's conclusion.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Valueminded on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you like clumsy writing and alot of whining, then this novel is for you. The main characters are an old, pain in the ass blind man and his unemployed, whiny little brat of a son. The two head out into the swamp in the dead of night so the old man can hit 8 or 9 golf balls from a tee at the golf course- a golf course they belong to, thanks to their newly found wealth. They totally seem very much out of place in society, but instead of the Clampetts in Beverly Hills, think Swamp People at Augusta National. Anyway, in the middle of a practice stroke, the father (called Uncle by his son, of course) decides that the bump they felt in the jon boat as they pulled ashore wasn't a gator after was a dead body. The next thing you know, the golf course is full of people, starting with the Shore Patrol (that course must have some nasty water hazards to be patrolled by the Navy) and ending with the Dept of Natural Resources (out there to check your what, frog-gigging license?)- all standing on the 9th tee at 3 am and arguing as if it were an episode of Jerry Springer. Did I mention that there was a dead body? That seems the last thing on the author's mind as he gets bogged down in dreary personal details of the character's lives, and lost in complaints about the inequities of society. As it is written, this novel is unreadable.
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