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Flood Summer Hardcover – 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Abe Pittenger, a young man holed up in a decrepit trailer in tiny Lockers Creek, Arkansas, considers himself a failure. He has bad knees, flat tires, a dying cat, and no plans. As incessant rain becomes a brutal storm and a flood claims the countryside, Abe meets a fierce young woman trying to start a new life. Together they're forced to reconsider their pasts—confronting secrets they'd rather not disturb.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870745050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870745058
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,479,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TRENTON LEE STEWART is author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series and the adult novel Flood Summer. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It seems silly to say that a book is for those who enjoy reading, but the distinction that I would draw is that this book is not merely a work transit time-filler. The reader who takes true enjoyment out of consuming good literature is the reader who will most appreciate this literary novel. Stewart has a large quantity of whatever it is that allows good writers to articulate cleanly the observations that we all make casually, unconsciously, every day. There is a feeling of victory when reading an author who describes something where the reader can say "Yes! Yes, it's exactly like that, I just never knew how to say so myself."

Beyond being just that, of course, the book contains a collection of compelling characters and situations that widely affect the reader, invoking sensations ranging from joy to betrayal, from heartbreak to hope, from humor to emotional (and even physical!) weariness.

I gave this book out to several friends for the holidays and have already (three days later) started hearing very positive feedback. If you truly enjoy reading and you are looking for your next book, consider this one.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By sperumal@kdsi.net on December 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While the major publishers are paying fiscal homage to the bland conglomerates by purchasing and publishing bland fiction, university presses have been picking up the aesthetic slack by publishing some of the best literature in translation and, thankfully, the best of American fiction. There is no better illustration of this phenomenon than SMU's publication of Trent Stewart's Flood Summer, a book of a quality that eighty years ago would have earned it the right to be published alongside Thomas Wolfe and hailed the advent of a fresh talent mentioned with the likes of Fitgerald, Faulkner, and the rest of the writers who left Main Street behind in order to write about it. This is a book with its own pace, without a 'hook', a real novel, with intelligent prose, acute observation that takes place naturally within the scope of event and action, and sentences the rise up like water moccasins coiled in trees above flood water evoking the best of Conrad and Cormac McCarthy.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jaime Reyes on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Unable to put Trenton Lee Stewart's feast of a debut novel down, I devoured it in three sittings. Rather than summarize Flood Summer's menu of events, I'd like to rave about the book impressionistically.

During its initial chapters, in a scene inside a neck-deep flooded house in the country, the image of a poisonous water moccasin swimming toward the main male character Abe, with its head raised like a frog's, is just one of Stewart's dozens of creepy forget-me-nots. The sheer length and audacity of Stewart's suspenseful description of Abe's swimming, slipping, and sliding around, trying to avoid snakes and free his best friend's mother from where she's wedged, drowning between her car and a tree -- this section is absolutely spellbinding. Afterward of course the novel must go on. But Flood Summer refuses to "dry up," thanks in large part to Abe, a larger than life yet one-hundred-percent three-dimensional Arkansan. Bookish, a lone wolf, he lends the novel Biblical/Lincolnian stature.

In his Appalachian Gothic thriller-cum-love story Stewart gives us Abe's parents and working-crew buddies all rendered with the sculptor Duane Hanson's tough loving care. Then, too, there's the dark, exotic newcomer in Hot Springs, Marie, equally sculpted, complete with her train of characters, including the unforgettable waitress/newlywed Laine. I was especially taken with Stewart's portrait of Marie's "single" mother, also named Marie, who has now disappeared but was once totally under the thumb of a sleazy drug dealer who had set both mother and daughter on a wild car trip to pick up moonshine from a blind treacherous redneck, "Uncle Brady.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By will33 on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent character development and realistic dialogue. A terrific read.
My kids (age 9 and 11) devoured the Mysterious Benedict Society as well.
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