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Edisto: A Novel (FSG Classics) Paperback – February 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: FSG Classics
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; New edition edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374531684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374531683
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Padgett Powell is the author of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s Men, among other novels.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... I guess. Is that a fair compromise? This title was urged upon me by a face-to-face friend whom I respect a lot; I'm willing to suppose that it's a fine book since many articulate people say so. Me, I couldn't get past page 20, though I'm willing to take the blame for being an unresponsive reader. I found the boy narrator insufferable, or rather I would have found him insufferable if I could have found him plausible. Possibly I'm just sick of the genre of atro/preco-cious adolescents with colorful dysfunctionality in their parentage. But the narrative syntax is annoyingly coy and artificial, and I have no intuition that the story will take me anywhere where I haven't been before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meg Brunner on September 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simons ("You say it `Simmons.' I'm a rare one-m Simons") Everson Manigault is a 12 year-old boy who lives in Edisto, South Carolina, a sleepy little seaside town, some time in the late-60′s, I would guess. He's a boy with a vocabulary far beyond his years, having grown up with a mother (whom he calls "the Doctor") who pushed books on him before he could stand. But though he talks big, Simons is every bit as little a boy as all little boys are: as confused about the world, the people around him, girls in particular, sex in specific, and himself most especially.

One summer, a young African American man comes to the Manigault house to serve a subpoena, promptly scaring away the family maid, an elderly African American woman named Theenie who believes the man is her long-lost grandson, come to punish her for her daughter's transgressions. The Doctor sees something interesting in the man (in more ways than one, we suspect) and offers to let him stay in Theenie's cabin on the beach as long as he'll help out with Simons and teach him a few things. Simons and the man, nicknamed "Taurus," quickly become close friends. Taurus is laid-back and thoughtful, Simons a bit more on the manic side, and the two spend the summer philosophizing, hanging out at a local juke joint called "Marvins R.O. Sweet Shop & Baby Grand," and swapping lessons in the best ways to embrace life to the fullest.

This lazy, easy rowboat ride gets the tip when the Doctor's ex-husband, Simons's father ("the Progenitor"), comes back into the picture. Though the two parents fight incessantly, usually over the laissez-faire mothering techniques employed by the Doctor, it gradually becomes clear to both Simons and Taurus that a reconciliation is in the works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sarahshak on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Extraordinary writing telling the simple/complicated story of a boy growing up with warring parents, diverse friends and freedoms of sea island life. As a sea islander growing up in the 50s, the parallells to my own upbringing were striking, but I still think anyone would love the story and the way you are "in" Sims head as he tries to puzzle out life, friendships, parents, girls and changes. As I read, I did marvel at the most accurate discriptions the sea islands on both the wilder ones and the ones that have been paved, mowed and purified. I also said, "wow" a lot under my breath as I read passages that flowed like cool water under a bridge and fascinated with accurate feelings of growing up. It can be read in a sitting and you will be glad you sat.
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Format: Paperback
Although I first bought the current Interrogatory Mood, I wanted to start with his first novel, a classic. The language Mr. Powell uses is magical in that he can evoke the picture of Edisto as accurately as I remember from my visits. I also wanted to take a short diversion from the non-fiction I have been reading. The language he uses is rich and satisfying. And the evocative images he creates thoroughly enrich the story.
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