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The Samaritan Hardcover – February 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Blank Slate Press; 1st edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982880618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982880616
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,076,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Reading this was like finding an autobiography I forgot I d written. Like Venturini had access to all my secret thoughts. It was strange and wonderful, and I d pay to do it again. --Stephen Graham Jones, author of It Came from Del Rio

Fred Venturini is an awesomely talented writer, and he proves it on every page of The Samaritan. Stretching artfully from the shabbiness of life in a small Illinois town to the glitter and greed of Hollywood, this first novel about a shy, emotionally damaged loser with a bizarre but coveted ability to regenerate his vital parts is one of the most engaging and ultimately satisfying that I've had the pleasure to read in a long time. --Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff

A can t-get-laid coming-of-age tale takes a sharp turn into sci-fi territory when the main character, Dale Sampson, discovers he has the ability to regenerate his own organs and body parts. What ensues is much chopping off of fingers and toes, an obsessive romantic attachment to his dead girlfriend s twin sister, a mercenary relationship with a twisted doctor, and, ultimately, an Extreme Makeover-style reality television show in which Sampson donates organs to people in need. Author Fred Venturini keeps his focus on character development, so that Sampson seems real and probable. The Samaritan, the first book from Blank Slate Press, gives those of us who love well-crafted offbeat literature a reason to cheer. --Margareg Brown, Shelf Unbound

From the Back Cover

Dale Sampson is a nobody.  A small town geek with an ailing mother and a father who skipped town, Dale lives in the shadow of his best friend Mack, the high school baseball star.  While Mack racks up one female conquest after another, Dale can't even gather the courage to talk to a girl . . . and when he finally decides to take a chance, he loses everything. 

When he runs into the twin sister of the girl he loved and lost, Dale finds his calling--he will become a Samaritan.  Determined to rescue her from a violent marriage and redeem himself in the process, he decides to use the only weapon he has, besides a toaster.  This weapon, the inexplicable ability to regrow his limbs and organs, leads him to fame and fortune as the star of a blockbuster TV reality show.  But he will soon learn that being a Samaritan can be a heartbreaking affair, especially when the one person he wants to save doesn't want saving. 

The Samaritan is a brutally funny look at the dark side of human nature, laying bare the raw emotions and disappointments of small town life and best friends, of school bullies and first loves, of ruthless profiteers and self-aggrandizing promoters--and of having everything you know about human worth and frailty questioned under the harsh klieg lights of fame. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

More About the Author

Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South '13. In 2014, his story "Gasoline" will be featured in Chuck Palahniuk's Burnt Tongues collection. He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife and daughter.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
There are a few superficial parallels in terms of structure and characters.
J. Shurin
The characters are engaging, the plot is layered, the story is imaginative and the writing is crisp and tight.
arzee
I quickly found myself enjoying the book and had a hard time putting it down.
MBuck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Covington on February 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The Samaritan is the story of Dale Sampson, an awkward, lonely, and loveless young man dealing with a life of tragedy while coming to terms with an unexplained power he discovers within himself. One part coming of age tale, one part twisted super hero-esque revenge drama, two parts Catcher in the Rye, The Samaritan does what too few novels these days are able - combine character and story into a thought provoking and highly entertaining read. Venturini has created a world that envelops, suspends disbelief, and most importantly rivets an emotional connection between character and reader. It's a gripping read.

The writing itself is great - concise and compact where it needs to be while still vividly descriptive when necessary. The voice of the main character is unique and heartbreaking, almost scary, and best of all, real. Oh so real.

Do yourself a favor and read this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Houser VINE VOICE on March 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
To be quite honest, I went into this book expecting not to like it. I read several reviews of this book and the more I contemplated the novel, the more I suspected it was not for me. I was wrong. I really enjoyed this book.

Venturini's writing style was brutal in its honesty. His depictions of scenes were raw. I don't know that I've ever read a book before that made me flinch. This author has definite talent. He evoked many different responses from me while I was reading this book.

A part of me really had trouble connecting to Dale. However, I genuinely cared about what happened to him. It was an odd mixture for me, because I generally either care about a character or I don't. I went back and forth with Dale. Sometimes I was really frustrated with him and want to see some forward movement from him, and then other times I was totally touched by this amazing vulnerability that he possessed.

I thought the plot was quite unique. A person who can regenerate body parts, in a novel that is set in "reality?" Who wouldn't find that completely intriguing?! Not only that, but Dale uses his "gift" to start a reality TV show! Completely and totally unique with regard to the plot.

My only criticism of this book would be that the beginning was very slow. It felt like it took too long to really get where we were going. I think some of Dale's childhood could have been removed from the novel to help it flow better.

Overall, I liked this book. I would love to check out other works by Venturini, when and if he publishes them. I would like to point out that this is an adult novel, 100%. It is very graphic and disturbing in some parts. I would recommend it to any adult reader looking for something a bit different.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
I initially purchased the book just because I went to grade/junior/high school with the author and I wanted to support him. I quickly found myself enjoying the book and had a hard time putting it down. I not only enjoyed the story itself, but I also enjoyed tying characters in the book to real life people from the author's life. I look forward to the next book.Great job Fred!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fred Venturini creates some fantastic characters that you can't help rooting for in this novel.
Dale Sampson is the awkward guy you can't help wanting to succeed and find his true calling. This is a fantastic story of friendship, loss, and discovery, with a little science fiction mixed in.
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By Scout on July 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A friend told me about this book. Wasn't sure I'd connect with it as not a science fiction fan. However my friend recommended it highly, explaining there was so much more to the story than just sci-fi. Read the first chapter and was intrigued. Long before the sci-fi kicked in I was hooked. In fact, it seemed almost natural Dale could regrow body parts. Go figure, from a non sci-fi fan.

Great story about friendship, among other things. The author's well crafted words told the story as if he was in the room telling me himself and I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what he would say next. Crave finding a book I have trouble putting down... the Samaritan is one of those books.

Looking forward to Venturini's next book.
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By D. Power on July 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard about this book from Chuck Palahniuk's site. It was highly recomemded and it did not disappoint. I had read the review before I had a Kindle so I didn't read it until a few months later. I am glad I didn't really remember what it was about going into it. My first on the Kindle so that was my original excitement with it.
That being said, what a ride! Dale Sampson, an awkward kid in middle school befriends Mack, the cool kid that everyone wants to be like. We follow Dale through high school and beyond to an equally awkward adulthood. An adulthood where he learns of a special gift he has. Yet his character through and through is always fixated on a tragedy from his teenage years that stays with him constantly. He is forever trying to "fix" the past but as we all know it is impossible to do so.
This book is about love, friendship, and tragedy. It is crafted beautifully by Venturini in words that are brutal at times. And beautiful other times. He captures feelings of youth and lost love effortlessly.
I hate to read reviews that give away the book so that is the best way I can describe The Samaritan. Buy this book! You won't regret it. I look forward to reading any future works by this brilliant Author.
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