Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nothing could be finer...
than this darling jewel of a book! Having actually been on Edisto, and around Simon's age, in the early 70's, I can say PP has captured the place's essence and lyricism of the times. It is laugh-out-loud funny in places, and the characters interesting but the unique style of writing itself is so enjoyable: his economy is remarkable. For example, the only physical...
Published on September 6, 2000

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Star for the Reader, Five for the Author ...
... 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...
Published on July 14, 2010 by Giordano Bruno


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nothing could be finer..., September 6, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (Paperback)
than this darling jewel of a book! Having actually been on Edisto, and around Simon's age, in the early 70's, I can say PP has captured the place's essence and lyricism of the times. It is laugh-out-loud funny in places, and the characters interesting but the unique style of writing itself is so enjoyable: his economy is remarkable. For example, the only physical description of one of the main characters is this: "he was as shimmery as an islander's god, and solid as a butcher". And yet he paints so vivid a picture of the man, solely through action and dialogue. This is a warm, thoroughly entertaining, thoroughly unique story, with great writing. Full of wit and heart in equal measure. Pretty soon you'll be peppering your talk with unique words and phrases, and be up on the social cache inherent in being a "double Jenkins" in Charleston, but don't let it "hyper you out".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully told coming-of-age story, December 8, 1999
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (Paperback)
Padgett Powell has succeeded where so many other authors have failed... he writes from the point of view of a young boy, Simons Manigault, with ease and skill. Many times, when a story is told from the point of view of a child, it comes off as hokey, even fake. And even if it is good, it can rarely be maintained for an entire full-length novel. Powell can do it. Simons is a classic character, young and naive, yet inquisitive to the world of crazyness around him. I heard somewhere that this might become a movie... please do not! Why ruin a great thing? Funny, poignant, and thoughtful... this book must not be passed over!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice work, October 4, 2000
By 
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a funny and sophisticated coming-of-age story. The author has an impressive command of both dialogue and unusual and telling descriptions. Simons is a remarkable, unusual, and alive boy-man. The story sparkles with youthful enthusiasm in spite of its sophistication, and despite its irony never lapses into easy cynicism. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable book. This one goes on my re-read shelf., November 18, 1997
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (Paperback)
"Edisto is a truly remarkable first novel, both as a narrative and in its extrodinary use of lanquage. It reminds one of 'The Catcher In the Rye', but it's better- sharper, funnier, more poignant. - Walker Percy - On the basis of this review alone I decided to give this book a try since I am a great Fan of Percy. I agree with him that it reminds one of "The Catcher in The Rye", but where Holden Caufield is a lost sole in need of salvation, Simons Manigault is a young pillar of sanity in the midst of absurdity. I am a little surprised that Percy finds this book superior to "The Catcher in the Rye" since Simons Manigault shows no signs of seeking salvation or being as confused as Percy's own William Barrett. If you think "The Catcher in the Rye" deserves its reputation as an American Classic, and if you are a Walker Percy fan, then we have similar taste. You will love this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Star for the Reader, Five for the Author ..., July 14, 2010
By 
Giordano Bruno (Here, There, and Everywhere) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (FSG Classics) (Paperback)
... 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic Coming-of-Age Story, June 30, 2000
By 
d.a. rogers (Aurora, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Edisto (Paperback)
Padgett Powell has created an unforgettable character in Simons ("...it's pronounced Sim-mons. I'm a rare one-m Simons") Manigault, a 13-year-old smartass whose tenuously divorced parents want different things from him: Dad, in self-exile on Hilton Head, wants him to play baseball; Mom, a college professor the locals call The Dutchess, lets him sweat out a public school career in Edisto during the day and sneak into black roadhouses at night, all to gain "material" to become a writer. Then a mulatto process server arrives looking for the household maid's daughter, and all hell breaks loose. The maid skips and The Dutchess assigns Simons to the process server's temporary male-role-model custody. Read the rest. A great, entertaining, funny romp through the New South. Buy it or be a loser.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive, smart, and hilariously funny at times -- highly recommended!, September 8, 2012
By 
Meg Brunner (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (FSG Classics) (Paperback)
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. Calmly recognizing this, the two friends head out for one last day together, a day that features Simons's first kiss and first crush (not on the same girl -- and oh, don't we all know how that goes), and then Taurus hits the road again, leaving Simons behind to forge his own way in a new life with a new-again family.

The story is pretty straight-forward, but the thing that makes this novel truly great and utterly addictive, for me anyway, was the language. Powell not only has a masterful grasp of the nuances of childhood thinking, something that shines through even while disguised by Simons's precocious speech, but the language of the locals -- the dialect of the Doctor, Theenie, and the other characters we meet in the story -- is brilliantly, sharply captured. This is a simple coming-of-age story, but one with an intensely emotional sense of place and time. It's inventive, smart, hilariously funny at times, and absolutely on fire with the author's obvious love for both his characters and his craft.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry/prose, July 22, 2012
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Edisto, July 9, 2013
By 
Betty A. Scherrman "Iowa Reader" (Dyersville, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Liked it....young people angst.....life very different style than mine....but,,,engrossing,,,and loved the language...the use,,the placement...the thoughts....and appreciated the intelligence of the reader was considered,,,(not having to explain everything),,,,do not think I will recommend to my young and preteen grandsons....but,,,,will talk of it to the older kids.... and,,,promptnes and delivery were great...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars read for a reading group, January 4, 2013
By 
Jeannie Forrest (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Edisto: A Novel (FSG Classics) (Paperback)
I was surprised by the depth of this book and how long the characters stuck with me. It's not fair to compare this to Mockingbird, but you can't help it, really. The narrator has the same kind of wry, self-aware savvy that Scout has and as the reader, it's fun to watch his growth and development with compassion and a sense of identification.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0x9dc1f72c)

This product

Edisto: A Novel (FSG Classics)
Edisto: A Novel (FSG Classics) by Padgett Powell (Paperback - February 3, 2009)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.