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Comment: Paperback in Good condition: unmarked pages, strong, but creased, binding. Some pages dog eared. Cover art different than depicted. Corner of back cover clipped slightly. A good reading copy. All books cleaned prior to shipping. Shipped directly from Amazon! Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. Your satisfaction guaranteed.
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Hick Paperback – April 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Unbridled Books; 1st edition (April 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932961321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932961324
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Portes's chilling debut tracks a 13-year-old Nebraska girl's hard-going life on the road. Young Luli knows losers—her "aging Brigitte Bardot" mother, Tammy, and her father, Nick, go at each other every night at the Alibi, the watering hole in hometown Palmyra, Neb. Tammy runs away one morning, and Nick soon follows, leaving Luli alone at home with the Smith and Wesson .45 her Uncle Nipper gave her. Pistol in tow, she hitches rides heading west to Vegas. A crooked man (literally; he "looks like an italic," says smart-alecky Luli) named Eddie picks her up briefly before throwing her out of the car. Next comes cocaine-snorting grifter Glenda, who enlists Luli as an accessory to a robbery that goes awry. Glenda takes Luli under her wing. The two cross paths again with Eddie, who rapes Luli and ties her up in a secluded motel. Glenda comes to her rescue, but the confrontation with Eddie ends badly. Luli's flippant narration makes for a love-it or hate-it read. (May)
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Review


“[A] knockout…[a] bold, brash, up-yours coming-of-age story rubbed raw with gritty sexual awakening.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“In her debut novel, Portes paints a poignant picture of a teenage girl fleeing her past and landing in Vegas, where she’s forced to grow up fast.”—OK MAGAZINE

“A bracing drama, a study in tenacity against the gnarled teeth of domestic storms.” —The Los Angeles Times

“Portes is an edgy writer whose talent is apparent on every page. Her honest, raw portrayal of Luli is harrowing, yet Portes also punctuates many of her observations with a keen and jaded humor. Hick announces the arrival of an exciting young voice. Portes’ snappy prose shines through despite the disturbing plight of young Luli…”—The Rocky Mountain News

“Portes' writing and Luli's courage make this book a standout and, at times, beautiful novel.” —The Omaha World-Herald

“A terrific and addicting read. It just barrels along, fueled by the adrenaline and enthusiasm of its youthful narrator.”—The Kansas City Star

“[A] smart and sassy tale.”—The Oregonian

“Her approach is so subtle and non-preachy that Hick‘s cinematic equivalent would be more indie drama than after-school special...Through Luli’s eyes, Portes expertly captures the loneliness of poverty and the harsh monotony of being a child with no one to take care of you...She’s the antithesis of the modern American teenager; she has grit. Her story is especially interesting as it is based on the real-life experiences of Hick‘s author, Portes...Eccentric and wild, her characters are larger than life, but they never become unreal...Luli’s endurance...can only inspire.”–Popmatters.com

“Compelling.”—Library Journal

“Wonderful, touching.”—The Nougat Magazine

“There probably was a time in the U.S. when parents read books to their kids at night; a time when people really cared about their neighbors and acted appropriately. Luli is America gone wrong personified. Hick is the coming of age novel for our twisted times.”—Jeffrey A. Tipton, author of Surviving the City

“[C]ompletely blew me away…It's the best novel I've read this year…do not not read this book. this is a spectacular debut.”—Tony Dushane, Drinks with Tony radio show

“Luli’s road trip makes Holden Caulfield’s experiences in “The Catcher in the Rye” and Huck’s in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” seem almost quaint. It is truly a coming-of-age story for today… Portes tells a fast-paced story and has created a memorable character in Luli.” —Lincoln Journal-Star

“Impressive…Luli is so well-drawn and her voice so original and authentic that the reader can't help but get caught up in her story…engrossing...” —Dallas Morning News

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Customer Reviews

Incredible narrative and gut-wrenching story.
Eric Anderson
The resonance of Luli's voice will take you by surprise, the world she describes seen through her eyes darkly yet steely with wit.
Rose Stanton
I couldn't put it down once I started... Def a good read if you are into twisted reads..
Cristina Alexander

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Landow on May 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It's dark and gives you a lot to think about, even months after finishing it. Portes is a gifted writer and I can't wait to read more. Perfect for book groups--that is, book groups who like darker reads. If you like Virgin Suicides (the book, not the movie), read "Hick."
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Format: Paperback
To be the child of two drunks at thirteen is to be an adult, aged by the need to survive the very parents charged with your well-being. Luli McMullen knows this drama inside-out, tired of being caught in the middle as her parents slowly self-destruct. In this paean to lost-between-the-cracks children, Luli tries to make sense of a chaotic life, her circumstances weighing heavily on too-slender shoulders. When both parents descend into the madness of alcoholism in a tortured marriage, the child exists on small fantasies and macaroni and cheese. And those are the good days. Everything is measured by the number of drinks consumed, violence escalating by the hour, until one day, her father driving into the sunset and her mother gone with yet another man, Luli takes their example and heads for the road. What she finds on her journey isn't much better than what she left behind, the world outside her door just as cold and uncaring.

Leaving Nebraska with her thumb in the air, the first ride Luli accepts is a challenge. Acting tough and provocative, the teen is soon booted to the curb, thinking it just as well, the driver, Eddie Kreezer, too close to crazy for comfort. Next Luli hitches a ride with the world-weary Glenda, a coke-sniffing hustler on a mission and a deadline she doesn't care to explain. While Glenda appears trustworthy, at least not as dangerous as other options, Luli becomes more wary with each passing day, unable to trust this woman's motives any more than her own mother's inconsistencies. Holding herself together with street-smart dignity, the child watches and waits, adapting to the needs of the moment; unfortunately, her best interests are never the issue, as Eddie Kreezer comes back into the picture, an associate of the enigmatic and blustery Glenda.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tony Dushane on May 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
i read about 6 - 12 novels per month depending on how many authors i need to interview....and then there are those precious moments when i can read a couple of novels for pleasure.

i was contacted by the publicist and sent this novel. i agreed to interview andrea, but only skimmed the synopsis of the book before agreeing to the interview since i like to read the book a couple of days before interviews to have it fresh in my mind.

the book completely blew me away. i'm so happy i wasn't too cool for school and blew off the interview or i never would've read this book. it's the best novel i've read this year.

i don't want to give any storyline away, but the voice of the pubescent female is nailed. flawless. it reads poetic, almost like a song.

i finished my novel where the narrator is a pubescent boy, and there were passages in here so amazing i seethed with jealousy for not thinking of them first.

do not not read this book. this is a spectacular debut.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Effie Mayhew on April 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Make sure you give yourself plenty of quiet time to read this one, you won't be able to put it down once you start. You'll think about this little girl and wonder about her long after you put the book down. A great read. I recommend 100%.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rose Stanton on April 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a novel you can't put down. It drives you to follow it even when you can no longer breathe. The resonance of Luli's voice will take you by surprise, the world she describes seen through her eyes darkly yet steely with wit. Luli will set up camp in your heart. A mirror for our times. A tragic, courageous and indomitable pursuit of the America just on the other side.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Word Nerd on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm about to read this black diamond of a novel again. However, my first review stands:

James Joyce meets Toni Morrison meets Charles Bukowski meets Dorothy Allison meets Hubert Selby Jr. meets Will Self meets Andrea Portes.

They all rumble in a dark alley and something wonderful stalks out.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Tipton on April 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
There probably was a time in the U.S. when parents read books to their kids at night; a time when people really cared about their neighbors and children said their prayers before bed. Luli is America gone wrong personified; hanging in there, but the thread is getting weaker everyday. Hick is the coming of age novel for our twisted times and is a spirited read.

Jeffrey Tipton
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Simon eldon-edington on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
forms the back-drop to this impressively honest and frightenly emotive first novel. Both brutally jarring and captivatingly funny, full of hope and horror, it is simply impossible to put this book down once started. I read it in one long night, then sat back in wonder. Wonder as to how any first time novelist could look deep into the darkest part of her soul and calmly let us all in.

So if you like your novels tearing, hopeful,laugh-out loud funny, and raw, Hick is for you. But be warned: once you finish it you can put it down:

but it'll still stay with you..
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