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Self-pitying, alcoholic widower Peter Jernigan, unable to communicate with his confused teenage son and emotionally distanced from his live-in lover, narrates this depressing first novel. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Well conceived and well written, this book examines the tragedy of a man whose life epitomizes failure on every level. A victim of circumstances, Peter Jernigan is now emotionally crippled and psychologically impoverished. His already distorted personal relationships, skewed further by a dependency on alcohol, sweep him forward, with horrifying swiftness, into a nightmarish cycle of failure, loss, and spiritual death. Bright but unsuccessful, Jernigan drifts through a bleak life that only becomes worse. He has lost his father and wife in successive accidents and now must deal with the adolescent traumas of his only son. His encounter with the divorced mother of his son's girlfriend promises to lighten his life but instead complicates it even further. A disturbing first novel, Jernigan will cause readers, especially men, to shake their complacency and perhaps reevaluate their own circumstances.
- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Jernigan has stayed with me long after I read the last page. The prose is spare and gorgeous and immediate. The story is harrowing and hilarious. David Gates is a true master.Published 8 months ago by Kimberly Chisholm
Not an easy read, tough to follow the story of addiction. Recommended on NPR, worth the read.Published 9 months ago by Harry Brown
This book is mildly entertaining, although very dated. I guess one of the reasons I purchased it was because of the NJ setting, but it doesn't figure in much. Read morePublished 11 months ago by mountainmama
This book was recommended to me personally by the author Gary Schteyngart. A very dark book, about the lengthy collapse of a husband/father's life, Jernigan nevertheless shines... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Peter J. Maerz
The beauty of this debut work of David Gates in 1991 is the wholesale "don't give a damn" attitude that many American men today instinctively adopt as they adapt to the high stress... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Thomas Moody
The book was set in the middle west during the fifties. My experience of the fifties was much different. Perhaps life in California was a bit more relaxed.Published 20 months ago by P.A.W.
David Gates' Jernigan worms his way in and out of your heart with a distinctive voice that's impossible to forget. This novel churns with wit and pain like nothing I've ever read.Published on August 24, 2013 by rsmccarthy
A lovely romp, filled with romance and adventure, wonderfully witty and wise by late 20th century standards in which achievement shares the same first letter with alcohol,... Read morePublished on April 24, 2011 by M. Greenberg
Captures consciousness like few books do. Ripped through this in a day--couldn't help it. Should be on the shortlist of best novels of the past 25 years.Published on October 26, 2010 by M