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The Slide: A Novel Paperback – January 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beachys coming-of-age debut about a clueless, jobless, self-pitying college grad is at once hilarious, strange and uncomfortable. After graduating, Potter Mays returns to his parents home, where, unable to decide whether he really loves his girlfriend, Audrey—who is spending three weeks backpacking through Europe with her bisexual best friend—he retains the services of his childhood friend, Stuart, who makes his living as an independent thought contractor. Potter pieces together memories of his troubled romance, such as his and Audreys past indiscretions, her familys disregard for him and his lust for Audreys best friend. As the summer progresses and Potter remains oblivious to even his parents obviously damaged marriage, he makes an unfortunate and extremely ridiculous series of mistakes in his quest to prove his love. Beachys characters, infinitely fallible, are real and fleshy, and their loneliness is palpable. Potters total lack of discipline and common sense are as funny as they are frustrating, and he is lovable even when hes annoying. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

The summer after college graduation should be a time of celebration, but Potter Mays is miserable. His girlfriend has jetted off to Europe, and he has returned home to his parents’ house outside St. Louis. This could be the most tiresome of scenarios, but debut novelist Beachy has a wry wit, a wily sense of the ridiculous, and an athletic gift for description. Consequently, frissons of weirdness steer this tale of late-onset maturity in unexpected directions as Potter takes a crummy job delivering bottled water, concerns himself inappropriately with a lonely boy in a catastrophically messy house and the 16-year-old girl next door, talks to the ghost of his long-dead brother, and is badly manipulated by the worst friend a hapless guy could have. Even his passion for baseball fails to halt his slide into the morass. Beachy perfectly captures the brain-fogging mugginess of summer in the Midwest and the quarry-deep reticence of midwesterners in a funny and endearing novel about a bumbling guy who makes bad situations worse with the best of intentions. --Donna Seaman

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press; 1st Edition/1st Printing edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341851
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Chapman on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kyle Beachy creates a world that is maybe a half a dimension over from ordinary reality - in his St. Louis the people are smarter, the girls are prettier, and the drugs have better names - but Potter Mays is just as confused as anyone I knew when they left college with a degree in liberal arts degree. Not only is Potter confused about ambition and love, but he has to deal with both the ghost of his younger brother and a (alive) boy, Ian, whose scenes with Potter are a joy to read. Potter has a family missing a son, and Ian is a son missing a family, and the two strike up a strange and lovely friendship. This relationship - between a young man and a young boy - might be awkward in other hands, but in The Slide's heightened reality Ian is the perfect conscience Potter wishes he had.

The book is funny, it's biting and satirical and pointed, yet it never loses its heart. Kyle Beachy manages to be earnest and honest and deeply sad when writing about home and family and finally, really growing up.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Cooley on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a great read! Kyle Beachy has achieved something so amazing with this novel. I love his prose style--it's entirely unique, very bold, and wonderfully cynical.
The Slide is a story of failed and failing relationships--between husband and wife, father and son, between friends, between lovers. Beachy's protagonist, Potter Mays, is a recent college grad caught in a moment of upheaval. Preoccupied by his dissolving love for his globe-trotting girlfriend, haunted by a dead brother he never really knew, uncertain of how to move on after college, Potter drifts purposelessly through the Missouri summertime making every mistake possible. His character is at once relatable, despicable, pathetic, and honest.
Potter's struggle is a familiar one, but twisted and exaggerated to the point of tragicomedy.

The Slide is impossible to put down--I loved it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rafael K. Mazer on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Slide was well worth the read. Kyle Beachy starts out with what seems like just a humorous story about figuring life out post-college, but then twists things just so slightly at the end for a powerful, emotional conclusion--without being overdone or maudlin. The first-person narrator has a great voice that is frequently making self-deprecating and "wink-wink" comments to the reader, which keep the story light as the plot moves along. Definitely worth checking out.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Hopkins VINE VOICE on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Read Kyle Beachy's debut novel, The Slide, on sunny days. Reflect too long on the many slides and reversals experienced by all the characters in this book and you're likely to join in their depression and loneliness. Protagonist Potter Mays has graduated college and moves back home uncertain of what's next. His parents seem to welcome him, but their marriage has been in a downward slide, perhaps ever since Potter's brother died years earlier as a child. Potter's girlfriend went from college to Europe on a weird quest with a bisexual friend. After some malaise that Beachy presents with fine descriptive language and wit, Potter gets a job delivering bottled water. Potter has insomnia, his dead brother appears to him as a ghost, he develops relationships with a sixteen year old neighbor and a lonely younger boy whom he met while delivering water. The rocket slide in the park he visited as a child becomes the image for the direction of Potter's life. Thanks to manipulation by a rich friend, Potter gets in more trouble. He's a loveable sap, and epitomizes many of the anxieties lived out by people in their early-twenties. Beachy's humor and decent writing make this debut worth a try to those readers willing to look at work from a new and young writer.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica V on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kyle Beachy's prose was so refreshing and I felt like Potter Mays was a perhaps slightly exaggerated version of a recent college grad. Approaching that hurdle of adulthood myself, I was so instantly drawn to Potter and invested in him that I couldn't stop reading. After finishing I felt a comforting sense of awareness about the world and future we're fast approaching.
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