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Elk River Paperback – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Windsor Hill Publishing (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982837674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982837672
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,931,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Growing up seems to happen much too suddenly. Seeing the world for what it it, a teenager learns the world isn't perfect and he learns much to find the truth that lies behind it all and how best to understand it. Poignant, "Elk River" is a fine coming of age novel, not to be overlooked.  --  Midwest Book Review

Living in Chicago fourteen year old Howie Smith always looks forward to the time that he and his family head to his grandparents farm for the summer. While Howie and his brother Bill who is nine and his mother Anne spend the summer at the farm his father Doug can only come up on the weekends because of his job with the Chicago Tribune. A story set during a time when things seemed much simpler, but were still complex that allows us a glimpse of family and friendships, living and dying and a look at the way things were in 1956. The author weaves a story that easily transported me back in time.The writing really pulled me in with descriptions and imagery that made me feel like I was right alongside the characters. I could just imagine Howie and his family anxious for to leave the city each summer and head back to the farm. It was always exciting and there was always something to do. The only thing that Howie and Bill didn't look forward to was spending any time with their alcoholic aunt who was often belligerent. There were plenty of interesting characters that kept the plot moving along with this one. I thought Uncle Frank, while a bit eccentric taught Howie a few life lessons.As the author provides the back stories of the characters we learn of the loss that goes along with living. The different characters added layers to the story that made the story come to life. I found it quite interesting to read about the migrant workers and how they lived and traveled from farm to farm. Overall I loved the time period and setting of this story, but strong characters and a plot that allowed me to feel as if I was a part of Howie's family really kept me reading! --Readers Favorite

In his latest, Randall, a Walnut Creek (California) resident, takes readers back to his Michigan roots during a hot and stormy summer in 1956. Set against the backdrop of nuclear war fears, tensions in the Middle East and the aftermath of WWII, this coming of age story, peppered with unique characters, follows a young man as he realizes that there is more to life than baseball. Peggy Spear --Walnut Creek Magazine Nov/Dec 2011

Have you ever wished that you could hop on a time machine and go anyplace, anytime? Greg Randall has succeeded. His novel "Elk River" took me back to Elk River, Michigan, summer 1956. Where - a cherry/Apple Orchard just outside of town. I had a wonderful time; of course I was invisible and I saw everything that happened firsthand. Only a good writer, like Greg Randall, can make that happen. I walked into that book at the beginning of the summer and stayed there invisibly until the beginning of fall. What did I see? So many wonderful things... I saw a boy and his brother almost run over by a dying stag; I saw a man drowned foolishly in town while going after the big one; I saw a boy, his brother and family having fun at a Carnival and other strange things that happened there. And I saw many other wonderful strange events. You, the reader, can decide for yourself what`s strange and what's not. But you know what else I saw, but didn't see because I felt some things that I haven't felt in a very long time. I felt what it was like to be part of a strong knit family, what it was like to eat at the kitchen table and discuss the events of the day, what it was like to visit with friends and relatives and have a good time, what it was like for an uncle to teach his nephew some things he would never forget. And the list goes on and on... I'll let you, the reade,r decide for yourself. So you see, this book is not just about Elk River in 1956 and what happened there. This book is about what it was like growing up in the 50s, the way people treated others, knowing right from wrong, doing the right thing, growing and learning from your mistakes, and learning about new love. And of course, there's oh so much more in "Elk River" by Greg Randall. I feel I must make one final comment, this book was extremely well edited and a pleasure to read. Greg Randall, please keep writing, you're doing a wonderful job. Reading your book has enriched my life. --Dennis DeRose

About the Author

Gregory C. Randall was born on a very hot Traverse City, Michigan summer day in 1949. His journalism father and housewife mother, both quite young, moved and moved around the mid-west, always bettering the family's financial condition, while adding brothers and sisters. In the early 1950's the family found Park Forest, Illinois, where Greg was raised. Dad was the quintessential Organization Man, commuting every day the thirty miles to Chicago's Loop by train. Always a drawer and sketcher, Greg Randall studied architectural and industrial design at Kent State University and completed a B.S. degree in landscape architecture, with honors, at Michigan State University. In the space of a month he graduated, married his college sweetheart, packed up the car and trailer and moved to California, vowing to never to look back. Randall lives and works in Walnut Creek, California with his wife Bonnie. He is also the author of two blogs. CogitoUrbanus is a weekly commentary on the development and planning industry, and Writing4Death is a weekly diary of his current writing projects.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DENNIS DE ROSE on October 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Have you ever wished that you could hop on a time machine and go anyplace, anytime? Greg Randall has succeeded. His novel "Elk River"took me back to Elk River Michigan, summer 1956. Where - a cherry/Apple Orchard just outside of town.

I had a wonderful time; of course I was invisible and I saw everything that happened firsthand. Only a good writer, like Greg Randall, can make that happen. I walked into that book at the beginning of the summer and stayed there invisibly until the beginning of fall. What did I see? So many wonderful things...

I saw a boy and his brother almost run over by a dying stag; I saw a man drowned foolishly in town while going after the big one; I saw a boy, his brother and family having fun at a Carnival and other strange things that happened there.
And I saw many other wonderful strange events.

You, the reader, can decide for yourself what`s strange and what's not. But you know what else I saw, but didn't see because I felt some things that I haven't felt in a very long time. I felt what it was like to be part of a strong knit family, what it was like to eat at the kitchen table and discuss the events of the day, what it was like to visit with friends and relatives and have a good time, what it was like for an uncle to teach his nephew some things he would never forget. And the list goes on and on... I'll let you, the reade,r decide for yourself.

So you see, this book is not just about Elk River in 1956 and what happened there. This book is about what it was like growing up in the 50s, the way people treated others, knowing right from wrong, doing the right thing, growing and learning from your mistakes, and learning about new love. And of course, there's oh so much more in "Elk River" by Greg Randall. I feel I must make one final comment, this book was extremely well edited and a pleasure to read. Greg Randall, please keep writing, you're doing a wonderful job. Reading your book has enriched my life.
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By Judy Baker on December 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Length: 2:38 Mins
The characters in Gregory Randall's book, Elk River, are well drawn, fully realized people. Once I got started, I was hard-pressed to put this book down. It was easy to put myself into that summer in upper Michigan as each new event revealed more and more about the characters. His pen and ink drawings are a wonderful addition to his vivid, rich writing. I am eager to read the new two books in this trilogy. The eccentricities and foibles of the characters had me inside of their world. While I enjoy reading his Sharon O'Mara Chronicles, especially his latest, "12th Man For Death: The Sharon O'Mara Chronicles (Volume 4), I am a devoted fan of "Elk River, winner of the 2013 Bay Area Independent Book Publishers Award for Young Adult Fiction.
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Format: Paperback
Even though I too spent my summers in the very same farmhouse, the stories on the pages were mesmorizing. Greg keeps you in the scene at all times and makes you also think you are there with them. Keep them coming Greg!
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More About the Author

Gregory C. Randall

Gregory C. Randall was born in summer of 1949 in Traverse City, Michigan and is a novelist and thriller writer with six books to his credit and three more in production. In the fall of 2010 his first book in the Sharon O'Mara Chronicles series Land Swap For Death was published followed by Containers For Death, Toulouse For Death and 12th Man For Death and are published by Windsor Hill Publishing. His literary novel, Elk River, has garnered praise and awards from the IBPA and the BIPA for his story of a youngster's coming of age and awareness in the summer in 1956 in Michigan.

Randall lives and works in Walnut Creek, California with his wife Bonnie. When not writing or designing cities his professional career, he devotes his time to the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek (one of the western United States best succulent and sustainable gardens).

About the Release of the Second Edition of America's Original GI Town, Park Forest, Illinois - 2010

In the early 1990's Randall began exploring the relationship of Park Forest and American community planning. He learned that the two are intricately woven into the psychic of Americans, post-World War II growth, and suburban expansion. During the early growth of his new planning and design firm he researched and wrote what has become the definitive story of the Village of Park Forest, Illinois; the seminal community in the suburban growth of baby-boom America. Originally published in 2000 by Johns Hopkins University Press, the new edition of his book, America's Original GI Town, Park Forest, Illinois, was released as a new edition in the fall of 2010 (Windsor Hill Publishing).

The initial research and work for this book was done between 1994 and 1998. Through the editorial efforts of George F. Thompson and the Center for American Places, the manuscript and artwork were published by The Johns Hopkins University Press in 2000. The release was reasonably successful for an academic book of this type and was released as a paperback edition in 2005. Significant changes have happened to the village in the twelve years since the completion of the original manuscript and the author believed that a new edition would help to tell the story of those years. The second epilogue is his attempt at placing before the interested reader those changes and concerns that the village has as it ages into the most challenging period in its history. Cities never grow up, they are never finished: they only age, react, change, and hopefully survive, so that someday a new author will recognize the value and importance of this small village on the Midwest prairie just an hour south of Chicago and continue its story.