Summer of Deliverance: A Memoir of Father and Son and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.00
  • Save: $1.40 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 18? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Summer of Deliverance: A Memoir of Father and Son Paperback


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.60
$3.10 $0.01 $4.00

Frequently Bought Together

Summer of Deliverance: A Memoir of Father and Son + Deliverance (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
Price for both: $23.66

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: A Touchstone Book; First Edition edition (August 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684855372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684855370
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Given the amount of emotional injury poet James Dickey (1923-1997) inflicted on himself and his family, it's a remarkable achievement that in this surprisingly tender memoir, Christopher Dickey not only discovers new love for his father but imparts it to readers as well. Arrogant, alcoholic, unfaithful to his wife, and manipulative with his children (he boasted of Christopher, "I made his head"), James Dickey emerges here as an all-too-human figure whose weaknesses are partially redeemed by his fierce passion for his art and by a late-life attempt to make amends for years of careless, destructive acts. His son's book is, among other things, a cautionary tale about the temptations of fame and money: Dickey's bestselling novel Deliverance (1970) pushed the poet to a level of commercial success he was ill equipped to deal with. The drinking got worse, the affairs more flagrant, the writing sloppier, and after Christopher's mother died in 1976, father and son seldom spoke. They reconciled in 1994; this book began as their mutual project to describe the making of the Hollywood film version of Deliverance. Good though those chapters are, it's the author's unflinchingly honest yet compassionate portrait of his father that stands out. Noted for his journalism, particularly covering Central America's gruesome civil wars of the 1980s, Christopher Dickey proves that he can plumb the intricacies of the human heart as incisively as the horrors of military conflict. His father would be proud. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

When his father, James Dickey, the poet and novelist, became ill in 1996, the author went to take care of him, not out of any great love, but rather from a sense of duty. On the very first page of this beautifully written dual-biography of father and son, Dickey, Newsweek's Paris bureau chief and author of Innocent Blood, refers to his father as the man who "killed my mother." Fame and alcohol were the twin demons of the Dickey household and Christopher traces their devastating effects during his father's slow evolution from a struggling writer to a celebrity poet and author of the novel Deliverance. His poetry led Dickey around the country to universities where he played the poet and seduced the students?all in the face of his increasingly alcoholic wife. But Christopher feels that the year when Deliverance was made into a movie, in the early '70s, marked the real turning point when many things were "exploited," including his father's integrity. What followed was a disaster of celebrity, as Dickey began "talking his poems, his books, his big projects into existence, when there was little or nothing on the page." Shortly after, Jim Dickey's wife died and he married a much younger?though equally alcoholic?woman. Dickey fils doesn't spare himself as when he recounts trying to sleep with his father's mistress and the destruction of his first marriage. But there is resurrection at the end: a solid second marriage, his rescue of his father and his young half-sister from their hellish life, and the reconciliation a few months before his father's death in January 1997. "Poetry is a matter of luck," Dickey recalls his father saying. "You can't teach it. You can point it out when it occurs." This unflinching and deeply affecting memoir is one of those places where real poetry occurs. Editor, Alice Mayhew; agent, Kathy Robbins.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

What ties all of Christopher Dickey's books together?

His most recent is "Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force -- The NYPD," chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the notable books of 2009. But before that came "a first-rate thriller," "The Sleeper," which followed his critically acclaimed memoir, "Summer of Deliverance," about his father, the poet and novelist James Dickey. "Innocent Blood," Chris's first novel, predicted in 1997 the waves of terror that would come at the United States, and got inside the heads of those who would bring them. "Expats," is a book of essays about traveling among the people of the Middle East -- particularly the displaced and misplaced Westerners who lived there in times of war. And Chris's first book, "With The Contras," in 1986, was not only an up-close account of combat in Nicaragua but a first-hand history of Central America at a time of ferocious revolutions and repression.

So, you'll say that what's common about Chris's books is combat, terror and emotional trauma. And that's partly true. But there is also another deeply felt theme: that of family as the ultimate source of human drama and also the social force that far too often is misunderstood, or ignored, in our efforts to grasp what's going on in the world around us. For more on this theme see pages 228-229 in the paperback edition of "Summer of Deliverance" or Location 3949 on the Kindle edition.


Chris's career as an editor, reporter and foreign correspondent spans 35 years. He is currently the Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East Regional Editor for Newsweek Magazine and The Daily Beast. Previously he worked for The Washington Post as Cairo Bureau Chief and Central America Bureau Chief. Chris's columns about counter-terrorism, espionage and the Middle East appear regularly now on TheDailyBeast.com. For links to recent columns and articles, visit www.ChristopherDickey.com.

Chris has written for Foreign Affairs, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Wired, Rolling Stone, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Republic, among other publications. He is a frequent commentator on the BBC World Service, BBC television, CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and France24 as well as other television and radio networks.

Among his many honors are awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Inter-American Press Association and Georgetown University. Chris is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was formerly an Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow, and of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris. In the fall of 2009 he was a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

And Chris's next book? He's deep into a true, untold story of espionage and international intrigue -- and, yes, combat, terror, trauma and families -- on the eve of the War Between the States.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
10
3 star
1
2 star
3
1 star
0
See all 22 customer reviews
If one can survive such a childhood, usually a very unique individual emerges.
Orin Cassill
Dickey is brave, and an excellent guide not just to his past but to the decades through which that past unfolded.
BEAM
The good we do as humans can't erase the bad, and neither can it outweigh it on some judgment-day scale.
Kathy and Fred (video@adnc.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Delsohn on October 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book, painful and redemptive at the same time, plus interesting as hell. If you thought of James Dickey only as the author of Deliverance, we are made aware here of what a remarkable poet he was and how pathetically ill-equipped he was for fame, marriage or fatherhood. It's far more than just another story of wretched excess, though. Christopher Dickey writes extremely well and honestly about his father and his feelings for him, and at the end you kind of like the old man, which sure seemed impossible for much of the book. But how many of us, if we had his brilliance or prestige that he gained from it, would have been any better at resisting all the trappings that come along? I'm still thinking about this book long after I finished and the end, where James Dickey is quoted at length on what it means to be a poet, is spellbinding and inspirational, worth the price of the book and the time it took to get to the end.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cindy goldenberg on January 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anyone with a father can relate to this book. No one needs to live the horrors of alcoholism to identify with the unrelenting need to be loved by our parents, especially our fathers. Regardless of age,race,or financial status, we continuously seek the approval of our parents. And Christopher Dickey paints an honest portrayal of what it's like to trust,love,hate and endure our parents. His experiences stir our hearts as we identify with the pain a parent can inflict on us. As his story unfolds, we see a part of ourselves in him as he learns to put things into perspective and let go of the pain. Refreshingly honest,and poetically constructed, Christopher Dickey has a magical way with words that makes us better for having shared his, and our, life experiences. A timeless story,excellently written, and guaranteed not to be forgotton!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Dickey's memoir of his relationship with his father has helped me to understand James Dickey, the artist, as never before. The book picks up steam about halfway through and *becomes* utterly compelling. (The last two sections are as moving as anything I've read in a long time.) In the beginning sections, though, I tired of watching the son invent ways of stating that his father imagined himself the God of poetry--and of all his world--and that for him the imagined life matched, even exceeded, the real in terms of its significance. It's true, no doubt, and tragic. But it becomes trite through so much repetition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orin Cassill on March 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Chris Dickey is a poet in journalist's clothing. His book about his father is engaging, touching, heart-wrenching and brutally honest, not to mention very well written. Growing up in the shadow of a famous parent dancing in and out of the limelight is particularly challenging, and while it may have many advantages, it also has its downside. Other children of writers have described the unique lifestyle they have enjoyed/endured. Susan Cheever, Hillary Masters come to mind. If one can survive such a childhood, usually a very unique individual emerges. Dickey talks about his father "making his head". The head of a poet can be a strange and wonderful thing. Judging from this book and Dickey's other books, his head has been well-made.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Summer of Deliverance" is an eloquent and compelling work by the son of a remarkable (even sometimes brilliant) self-destructive poet. Christopher Dickey pulls no punches in this memoir about his relationship with his father, James Dickey, who died in 1997. Once a loving and focused parent, Dickey began a steady decline into alcoholism, half-truths, and embarassing showmanship after his first novel, DELIVERANCE, was made into a successful film, in 1971. All of Christopher's pain and heartache are here--everything from his father driving his first wife (Christopher's mother) to drink and an early death to the poet's frightening bout with alcoholic hepatitis in 1994. Christopher does a workmanlike job of dramatically organizing his assemblage of details and facts. And, to his credit, he accesses himself just as relentlessly as he does his father. Also, like his dad, Christopher has an uncanny eye for the poetic. Whether it is recalling lyrical lines of conversation with the elder Dickey or simply remembering poignant moments (e.g., when his father, frail and hooked to an oxygen machine, utters with heartfelt forthrightness, "Son--I do love you so much"), Christopher pens it so winningly right. Quibbles? I question his speaking so harshly about the University of South Carolina. For both USC and Dickey prospered by his tenure there. Still, with SUMMER OF DELIVERANCE, we have a clearer picture of both the frailties and the greatness of a legendary poet.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Bazzett on July 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was introduced to the poetry of James Dickey in a graduate school American Lit seminar in 1969-70. I was not then and still am not a poetry buff. My genre of choice was always fiction. But Dickey's stuff was different. His poems caught my attention. It probably didn't hurt that he was at the time the latest "darling" of the literary world, getting lots of press and his face on magazine covers. The poem I still remember from those long ago days is "The Sheep Child," with its dire and near-spritual consideration of and warnings to horny farm boys against the temptations of bestiality. In the ethereal and innocent voice of the half-sheep half-human monstrosity floating in a bottle in a forgottten corner of an Atlanta museum, this frightening 'rural legend' whispers:

"Dead, I am most surely living
In the minds of farm boys: I am he who drives
Them like wolves from the hound bitch and calf
And from the chaste ewe in the wind.
They go into woods into bean fields they go
Deep into their known right hands. Dreaming of me,
They groan they wait they suffer
Themselves, they marry, they raise their kind."

It is a chilling image, a more serious look perhaps at the same sexual compulsions that plagued poor tortured teenager Alex Portnoy. Another poem I remember is "Fog Envelops the Animals" with its images of a bow hunter stalking a deer in early morning fog. The poem's subject was revisited in a scene in Dickey's highly successful novel, Deliverance.

For all of his writing life, James Dickey aimed at writing totally orginal virile, vigorous and "muscular" poetry and prose, and he seemed to succeed in poems like "Fog...
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa6f2c3c0)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?