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Five Smooth Stones: A Novel (Rediscovered Classics) Paperback – April 1, 2009


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In the tradition of his beloved first novel, "The Notebook", Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Rediscovered Classics
  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556528159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556528156
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A courageous novel . . . David is a marvelously well-done character."  —Library Journal



“A long and richly realized novel . . . Ann Fairbairn renders her scenes so skillfully and reveals her hero so fully that [his] qualities are transformed from desirable abstractions to a memorable identity. . . The numerous people characterized so clearly in this novel are ‘mortal humans.’ That is rare enough in any fiction dealing with one of the bone-deep issues of our time.” —The New York Times Book Review



"No matter how large Ann Fairbairn’s audience is, it won’t be large enough . . . Technically Miss Fairbairn is flawless . . . David Champlin is a great tragic hero in a memorable story."  —Denver Post



“Every so often along comes the big book that defies categorization . . . It has real size, stature . . . Above all, it rings true . . . You may put it down, but you can’t forget it. You have to come back. Such is the case with Five Smooth Stones.  —Springfield Daily News

About the Author

Ann Fairbairn was best known for Five Smooth Stones, but also published two other books: a biography of New Orleans jazz clarinetist George Lewis, whose tours she managed, and a 1970 novel, That Man Cartwright. She lived for many years in New Orleans and died in Monterey, California, in 1972.

Customer Reviews

It is such a beautiful story and so well written.
Dr. Mary E. Jackson
Even though I have read this novel more times than I can count - I still love it and laugh at all the right places and definitely cry with the characters.
Marjorie Weber
This book was hard for me to read at times because I lived this story in my own life.
Barbara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1999
Format: Library Binding
My mother read this book and recommended that I read it too. At the time I was not a person that read for pleasure... so when the monster Five Smooth Stones was plopped onto my table, you can imagine my response! For some reason I picked it up, started reading, and could not put it down until I was done! I had to have my own copy because it meant so much to me, not just because I actually finished it, but because David became a member of my family! I cried at his graduations like I was his mother and ached for his trials and suffering! I morned the loss of this book when I completed it. The book was out of print at the time, but found a copy at a rare book shop. I am thrilled that it is in reprint and available! It should be a must read for high schoolers, college students, all human kind. Because of this book, I now read like a crazy woman. And I agree, this should be a movie for all to see and to encourage all to read!
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Shannon on August 31, 2002
Format: Library Binding
In the midst of my first re-reading of this novel all I can say is that it should be in print and should be one of the top choices for reading groups everywhere!
I read this book over 30 years ago the summer before I went to college..and remembering how captivated I was by it then I sought it out on a whim and found it at the library. 32 years later it still captured my heart and most of my free time from the first page. I think this book is even more significant now When it was written the Civil Rights movement was news, now it is history. History is documented by chronological events, news impacts our day to day lives. In this book we relive the civil rights movement, and the era that preceded it through the eyes and experiences of an incredibly engaging group of characters. There are now generations who did not experience the dehumanization, indignity and brutatlity of institutionalized racism. This book shows how it affects the lives of human beings both Caucasian and African American. And you don't even know you are learning something because you are so swept away by the story. I also feel that her characters observations and experiences of racism, both overt and covert can lead a reader to face down any pockets of racism they may be unknowingly carrying and grow beyond them. This is the blessing the best fiction brings..it leads you in emotionally rather than getting in your face with cold facts and figures..and this is where the healing can begin. And although the trappings of progress may be in place we still have a lot of work to do in this area.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1998
Format: Library Binding
I read this book for a high school English assignment; it was the most enjoyable homework I have ever had! It has been a long time since characters in a book have had the kind of impact on me that those in FIVE SMOOTH STONES did. Ann Fairbairn does a magnificent job of inviting the reader into the people's lives to experience the hatred, bewilderment, or passion they each feel. Many times I wanted to jump in and yell, "It's not fair," whenever David, a lawyer from the south who fights for his people's rights, gets into trouble or others pick on him because he is black. A boy growing up in New Orleans during the depression, David faces the challenges of attending a school in the north with whites, fighting for equality, and maintaining a long-lasting love with a white girl. It is really saying something about a book when the author creates such a believable, true-to-life story and evokes such heart-rending emotion from the readers that they are appalled and stricken at the end! THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT!!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Doug Decker (doug.decker@mci2000.com on April 24, 1998
Format: Library Binding
The reading of this book in my early teens very drastically affected my outlook on life, love, and the horrible inflation of the miniscule differences between people of differing color. Our hopes, fears, and dreams are all the same. Ann Fairbairn whose real name was Dorothy Tate died on Feb.8, 1972 of a heart attack. She was 70 years old at the time of her death. Other than "Five Smooth Stones" and "That Man Cartwright" she also wrote "Call Him George" published first in London then in the US in 1969. This novel is a biography of New Orleans clarinetist George Lewis. Dorothy Tait was born in Cambridge, Mass. but spent many years in the deep South. Later she was a reporter and editor in print, radio, and TV in California. (she died in Monterey CA). For many years she managed the bookings of George Lewis and his band. Miss Tait was working on her third novel for Crown Publishers at the time of her death in '72.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Kendrick on November 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those stories that will stick with me for a lifetime. Lengthy and at times a bit wordy but every bit of material draws a complete picture of the people and times. I do believe that this is one of the truly great books I have EVER read. This book was loaned to me first and I had to buy a copy for a friend in another state so he could share in this also. She, the author, has such a feel for the subject matter. Myself, being southern of about the same age as the lead character, only not of the same race, I can identify with so many levels of the story. I feel this is a must read book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 23, 2003
Format: Library Binding
I picked this book up not sure of how I would enjoy it. At first I was a bit offended by the racial slurs towards the whites but as I explored the book further I was appalled at the bigotry of (especially) the southern whites. I never realized the deep chasm between our cultures and my heart cried as I read the plight of the black people only trying to get HUMAN rights in this country. This is one of the most well written books I have read and it has given me an insight into the black community that I would otherwise never have seen nor learned. This should be a must-read for our young people.
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