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Waiting for April Hardcover – March 28, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; 1 edition (March 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565123700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565123700
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,472,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sanders Royce Collier arrives in the backwater Florida panhandle town of Citrus on Christmas Eve, 1965, to the accompaniment of portentous thunder and lightning. This second novel by Morris (The Total View of Taftly) is narrated by Sanders's teenage son, Roy, who pieces together the history of his father's fateful entanglement with Citrus's Lanier family. Sanders arrived saying he was a South Carolina blueblood recently discharged from Vietnam. He made a splash in the humble town, marrying a local woman named June Lanier. June had social aspirations and was proud of Sanders's supposedly distinguished background, but Sanders soon fell in love with her stunning younger sister, April, who, though sensitive and spirited, was resolutely trailer trash. Less than 10 years after he came to town, Sanders died in what everyone called a hunting accident. Roy, who was seven when his father died, doesn't know about any of this, but he himself develops an infatuation with April. His alarmed family tries to head off disaster by telling him about Sanders's obsession, which involves startling and ugly revelations about Sanders's true identity and his death. There is no shortage of plot twists, though the retrospective narration tends to flatten the drama. More compromising is that April, the novel's fulcrum, whose beauty and charm are frequently reiterated, never quite comes to life. In general, Morris does too much telling and not enough showing when it comes to his characters' development, and the novel suffers for it in spite of his fine ear for prose and dialogue.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Morris has been compared to John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces, 1987) and, ahem, Mark Twain. Morris' second novel isn't Huck Finn, but it's very good just the same. The opening set piece is a beauty, full of humor and foreboding. On a December afternoon in 1965, a well-dressed stranger strides into a little town in Florida's panhandle. It is Christmas Eve, and a storm has sent the downtown manger scene flying--"even Baby Jesus went M.I.A." The arrival of the man calling himself Sanders Royce Collier has a similar effect on then-14-year-old April Lanier and the small cadre of townspeople who greet him. However, the charismatic young fellow with the cuff links and the mohair jacket is not at all what he seems. It will ruin none of the suspense of this thoughtfully plotted novel to say that many of the folks of Citrus, Florida, will never be quite the same. In the tradition of his southern predecessors, Morris is an elegant, self-assured writer. His characters are authentic and overflowing with humanity. A genuinely evocative novel. Kevin Canfield
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
70%
4 star
10%
3 star
0%
2 star
20%
1 star
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See all 10 customer reviews
I think the writing/language matched the hyped-up nature of the story.
Megan Reimers
For those of us who finished Mr. Morris's first novel (The Total View of Taftly) with great anticipation of things to come, our patience has been rewarded.
Jay Oglesby
I love the twists and turns not only in the plot, but with the character development, too.
PhotoChicSarah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Boswell on April 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This striking, confident novel features a mysterious stranger, an unsolved murder, and a hilarious and moving love-trangle that gently parodies Faulkner by way of Vladimir Nabokov. The hero, Roy, is a charmed golden boy who harbors a life-long crush on his gloriously irresistible aunt, the April of the title. Roy's also star half-back on the local high-school football team and a serious fishing enthusiast. He narrates his story in a voice that is both firm and liltingly elegant, a mode that suits this aborbing story of brutal violence and gossamer tenderness. Lots of funny bits, too. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jay Oglesby on April 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For those of us who finished Mr. Morris's first novel (The Total View of Taftly) with great anticipation of things to come, our patience has been rewarded. Although "April" is not as raucous as "Taftly", it is far more developed... a crystallization of themes only sketched (however artfully) in that novella's pages. Morris has moved from the limitations of that genre's "fiction at a sprint" and has given us a unique study of the traditional, whacked-out Southern family. And unlike "Taftly"... which was all about Taftly, Morris has done the work to not only fully develop a range of central and supporting characters here, but to weave their interactions into a story that is organic - full and true. Within the mystery of Royce Collier's own family history is an almost worshipful study of the Southern woman... the combination of grace and grit that makes her (whether mother, daughter, girlfriend... or aunt) the foundation of a society that is all about its foundation. His description of Roy's dear aunt April is an exegesis of the fact that the influence of a beautiful (and truly cool) southern woman cannot be overstated. It is quite understandable that the novel has been very favorably reviewed in media as varied as the Wall Street Journal and Seventeen magazine - as it weds the startlingly poetic language that made Morris's first novel such a joy with a compelling (and ultimately uplifting) story that rivals any of the day's stylistically inferior best sellers. Buy it, read it, and hold on to it. This one pays dividends on the hot tip that his first novel has proven to be... Thankfully, as I am sure that the copy of "The Total View of Taftly" on my shelf is now the best performing investment I have made over the last two years.
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By Mondegreen on June 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Even if Scott Morris's story was a dud (which it definitely is NOT), the writing here is so exquisite that it's a pure joy to read. I found myself going back over phrases, sentences, and paragraphs many times, just to enjoy the lyricism of the narrative. There's a literary quality to this work that is rather rare in today's flood of books. Beautifully written with a finely-crafted story. Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on April 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read through the roughly 350 pages of this book in short order. You almost can't help it.
The book is filled with mystery, humor, great characters and first-rate dialogue. I am still chewing on the message, but there's plenty of substance.
Don't let this book sneak under your radar.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has been a favorite of mine for quite sometime. I love the twists and turns not only in the plot, but with the character development, too. I look forward to reading it again.
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