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Skipped Parts: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573228397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573228398
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,695,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Confirming the promise of Sex and Sunsets and Western Swing , Sandlin has created a lighthearted, amusing and tender story of preteen wisdom, adult immaturity and the fine line between. It's 1963 when 13-year-old Sam Callahan and his tart-tongued, divorced, misbehaving mother, Lydia, are banished to the hick town of GroVont, Wyo., by Lydia's Southern-gentleman father, Casper. The only other intelligent sixth-grader in GroVont is spirited, pretty Maurey Pierce. Sharing their books, Sam and Maurey set out to discover what happens in the lost paragraphs between the first kiss and the happily ever after. With some coaching from liberated Lydia, the kids begin practicing for their first real sexual experience. Complications arise when Sam--envisioning romantic futures in the humorous, perceptive short stories he writes--finds himself in love with Maurey. Strong-willed Maurey, however, insists that they pair off with others for "normal" dating, even after she discovers she's pregnant. Hilarious teenage dating scenes are neatly contrasted with Lydia's unwise romantic entanglements and the pathetic snobbery of small-town social cliques. Narrated in Sam's adolescent voice--authentic in its tone and use of the vernacular--this offbeat, engaging novel elicits nonstop chuckles and, sometimes, a tear or two.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Sandlin ( Western Swing, LJ 4/1/88) continues his quirky brand of humor in a Western setting, but unfortunately with less originality and freshness. Thirteen- year-old Sam Callahan's wild mother Lydia has displeased her father (who controls the purse strings) and so is banished from South Carolina to the quiet town of GroVont, Wyoming. She spends most of her time sitting around being disdainfully witty and drinking gin while son Sam writes short stories. Along comes precocious adolescent Maurey Pierce, who decides it's time she lost her virginity. Sam and Maurey experiment under liberal Lydia's roof; then Maurey gets pregnant. When she goes for an abortion and finds her mother there, all hell breaks loose. Though wittily told (sometimes to the point of being too cutesy), this is reminiscent of Larry McMurtry's The Last Pic ture Show , but kinkier, in its depiction of the decay and hypocrisy behind the seemingly benign facade of small-town life. Basically, it's been done before. A marginal purchase.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Seaside, Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are engaging and well written, even if they're not likeable.
KL
As my friend Cory said, "I cannot recommend this to everyone," but this book is good for someone who enjoys reading dark and well-written literature.
Sarah D.
I also read the other 2 books in this trilogy but I think that this one is the best of the 3.
Kurt Granzow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
The worst thing about this book was that I didn't own its sequel, so I could start reading it immediately after finishing SKIPPED PARTS. This book's main character, Sam Callahan, is a sexually active Holden Caufield. It satirizes hick life, but no more than it mocks the people who deem them hicks. Tim Sandlin captures the curious voice of a thirteen-year-old, frightfully perfectly. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. But don't buy only one of the trilogy's books, buy all three of you'll be aching for more without any thing to appease your craving
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By JT on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wow! That's the best way to describe Tim Sandlin's SKIPPED PARTS. I had heard nothing of the book or its author When i grabbed it off the shelf in a flurry of book buying a couple months ago. Boy, what a treat it turned out to be! I quickly went out and bought the remaining 2 books in the GroVont trilogy and they were ALL outstanding. I've read a good share of books, and i haven't seen characters with this much depth and who were so likealbe (even when they do stupid things)in any other novel in recent memory. Cheers to Sandlin and his great work!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Granzow on February 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim and I am very glad that I did. I also read the other 2 books in this trilogy but I think that this one is the best of the 3. It deals with coming of age in a humorous and often poignant way. All the characters here are well-drawn and very engaging. I loved getting to know them. For all the humor in the book, it also manages to be sad sometimes as it deals with issues we all face in life. Life is hard sometimes, and it can also be fun, as Tim Sandlin teaches us.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Goldfarb on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is not for the faint of heart. The title, "Skipped Parts", perfectly sums up what the book is about: letting us directly in on the dark, dirty secret that teenage sex and extramarital sex actually occurred in the United States before the invention of the Pill, that there were abortions before Roe v. Wade and they skipped all those parts when they filmed Gidget.

Sam Callahan uses a rich fantasy life to mask the fact that he has had to be father to his own mother because she is too young and immature to take care of herself and her own father treats her like a bought pariah. Exiled to rural Wyoming in the fall of 1963, they survive by building real connections to real people for the first time in their lives. For Sam, the transformation begins on the day of JFK's death, when he comforts Maurey Pierce, the only kid in his grade who can read besides Sam. Maurey's Stepford mother, cowboy father and Dennis the Menace brother drive her to make an unusual pact with Sam: together, they will learn sex so that when they want to have it with someone they really desire, they will know what to do. Egged on by Lydia, Sam's mother, and some of her friends, they learn it quite well, until the inevitable happens the moment Maurey hits puberty. Plot twists that would make J.K. Rowling jealous, humor, beautifully drawn characters, a great sense for the detail of the West and a tremendous understanding of the social mores of teenagers at the time combine to make this a simply irresistible novel.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By bandwidow on April 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I very rarely do not finish a book I start. After reading about one-third of Skipped Parts, I realized that I was avoiding my Kindle because I knew what was waiting for me; so I quit reading the book. I found all of the characters unlikable, except for the poor main character - for whom I just felt extremely sorry and sad. Stereotypes abound as a means of characterization. (Is everyone in Wyoming really a stupid hick??) I enjoy a good sex scene in a book as much as the next person, but between two twelve/thirteen year olds as the boys mother waits for them to finish. No thanks. The review for Skipped Parts said, "Sandlin has created a lighthearted, amusing and tender story of preteen wisdom." I must have gotten the wrong book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mary B. on May 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first Sandlin book I've read. He's a good writer. His writing is funny, quirky, and intelligent. However, the subject of two 13 year olds exploring sexuality in detail - he didn't skip parts - was just too... ick. As much as I enjoy his writing style, and he is a good storyteller, I'm afraid to try another of Sandlin's books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Wilfong on December 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very human novel, warts and all. I think most of us would not want to be associated with many of the characters in the book in real life, but within the confines of the printed page Tim Sandlin has created real people that we root for, laugh at, and who make us shake our heads in disgust. In short, the characters are real.
The title "Skipped Parts" can be taken so many ways, but while most readers think the title refers to the teenage sex in the novel, and the way that sex is treated in society, I think it also refers to the skipped parts of society at large. By that I mean the places and people that lots of Americans would rather pretend were not there. I also think it refers to the book's setting; GroVont WY, a place that many coastal Americans just skip over when they take into account American values and mores. If it is not California or New York it does not count, etc.
The realistic portrayal of the characters is jarring especially considering how morally deficient some of them are, and I think that is the point. We are all struggling in this life. Some succeed better than others, and many just get by, in a spiritual and physical sense. I am not especially fond of the protagonist's mom, Lydia, or his best friend/ sex partner (Maurey) but I understand and know them. That is the mark of good writing.
This is the third Sandlin novel I have read, and one of his continuous strengths is the voice of his protagonist, and "Skipped Parts" does not disappoint. The novel's narrator, Sam Callahan, may be only 13, but his voice and humor is one of the text's many high points.
This novel was the first in a trilogy, with a fourth soon to be published, and I will be continuing the journey through GroVont. You should too!
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