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Atticus: A Novel Paperback – January 16, 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A superbly written novel... Atticus irrefutably confirms this novelist's awesome gifts." -- "Miami Herald""Mr. Hansen writes vigorously, and like an angel." -- "New York Times Book Review""Astonishing imagery... Hansen's style is so fresh; and he has the ability to make it seem effortless, natural."-- Elmore Leonard

About the Author

Ron Hansen is the bestselling author of the novel Atticus (a finalist for the National Book Award), Hitler's Niece, Mariette in Ecstasy, Desperadoes, and Isn't It Romantic?, as well as a collection of short stories, a collection of essays, and a book for children. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ron Hansen lives in northern California, where he teaches at Santa Clara University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 16, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060927860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060927868
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Even though it is obvious and clear on the jacket, I picked up this book without the notion that it was going to be a murder mystery. I was more convinced that it was going to be a plain vanilla novel.
This is good, because I am not much of a mystery reader. For my taste, the willing suspension of disbelief that most mysteries require is too much to stomach, and I get disappointed way before the end.
Atticus is terrific. Not only it is a beautiful story about a father and his prodigal son. It is also an engaging murder mystery with an amazing plot. I was truly surprised at the resolution of the story. There was very little in the plot to suggest that this was how everything would end.
The writing was sincere and powerful. Such beautiful similes: "Awkward as a box full of shoes". What an evident and mundane thing to say, and how exquisite. "... the water was as tepid and clear as Perrier but from a distance had the turquoise color of kitchens in the fifties". The description of the wild Mexican landscape, the people of Resurrección, all done to perfection. This was a tactile novel, where you could see and smell and feel what the characters were experiencing.
The love that Atticus feels for his son Scott, no matter how messed up, rotten and selfish Scott has been, is so sincere and pure and beyond all reproach that it brought tears to my eyes in more than one occasion. This is one of the best books I have read this year. Do not let this one go by.
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Format: Paperback
I had never heard of Ron Hansen until I happened upon an article about him in the San Francisco Chronicle. I was intrigued by his spartan surroundings (he was pictured in his residence with only a crucifix on the wall for adornment), spiritual focus, and spare lifestyle. I found that "Atticus" was written with the sparse and discriptive prose so reminiscent of Steinbeck. The religious overtones found in this book also reminded me of Steinbeck. I loved the beauty of Hansen's writing more than the story line, although I did find his use of an elderly father as the main character a refreshing change. For those who cherish a writer who can provide vivid imagery using few words, this book is for you!
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Format: Paperback
Being a high school student this book is an option for summer reading. Out of all the choices I thought that this book sounded the most interesting, and I feel that I made the right decision. This was a very good book, and I enjoyed reading it. Luckily it was an easy book to read, and it went by fast. The book started out a little bit slow,talking about the different characters, and their backgrounds, and explaining the plot. The first chapter of the book was a bit confusing, but as soon as it moved to chapter two, Mexico, the book picked up and became very easy and fun to read. I liked how "Atticus" was a mystery, and how it made you draw conclusions, and try to figure out what was happening as you read along. While I was reading this book I tried to figure out who the murderer might be or why Scott would want to commit suicide, but then the author turns the book around and makes you think even more. At this point I was a little bit confused, and didn't really understand what had happened, but then Hansen goes on to explain the story in the last couple chapters. By the end of the book the author did a good job tying everything together, and making the reader clear on what happened. Although Hansen explains the story, and fits everything together, you are still left at the end wondering a few things, which I feel makes a good mystery. This allows the reader to try and figure out how the story really ended, and what might have really happened. This was a very good book, that started out in one direction, and then ended in a completely different spot. It kept me wanting to read, (which is very difficult to do), and it made me start to analyze the book, and try to figure out who the potential murderer was. In conclusion I feel that this book is worth your time, and I recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries.
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Format: Paperback
Colorado rancher Atticus Cody learns that his youngest son, Scott, has committed suicide. Thus begins Atticus' journey south to Resurreccion, Mexico to retrieve his son's body.
However, when he arrives, all is not what it seems. As Atticus puts the pieces of the puzzle together, he begins to suspect murder.
The first half of the novel unravels like an unexpected murder mystery, taking the reader along various paths and turns. The last half of the novel is written from a first-person perspective.
Hansen ably recasts the Prodigal Son story, helping bring a contemporary spin to the tale. By so doing, he allows the reader to imagine the "failings" of the son and the love of the father in a much clearer way. Hansen has a way with words even when he tends to over-describe at times.
His male characters are far better developed than his female. So obsessed with the physical beauty of Renata in the book's first half, she comes across as more of a stereotype than a character.
Overall, the novel is compelling. It's a nice mix of artsy-novel and murder mystery rolled into one.
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Format: Paperback
Atticus, the story of a 67-year-old cattle rancher from Colorado and the search for his thought-to-be-dead son, not only exceeded my expectations, but has proven to be an exceptional mystery novel. When Atticus Cody receives the call that his artist son, Scott, has committed suicide, he travels to Resurrection, Mexico only to find something amiss. There to search for answers to his son's alien lifestyle and clues to his sudden death, Atticus Cody gains new knowledge concerning his son's demise; he was not suicidal, but rather the victim of murder. Exposing this new plot twist, Ron Hansen takes the reader for a ride, packed with exciting new revelations on every page. Full of countless twists and turns, the gripping narration keeps the reader glued to the story, ultimately leading to the biggest shocker of all. Though slow to start, the pace gradually increases with the realization of Scott's murder, but fluctuates throughout the remainder of the novel. The story concludes in a most unexpected fashion, so be prepared for a big surprise; the ending itself makes up for much of the frustration and confusion created regarding setting and characters. The abundance of detail and wealth of information can lead to some misunderstandings concerning plot particulars, though the story becomes much clearer once finished. Although the complexity of the characters can be seen as a nuisance at times, I see it as one of the novel's strong points; the skill required to add so much color and life to a story is indeed praiseworthy. The novel is presented from the viewpoints of both father and son, which both answer various questions that form when reading the book; the dual perspectives help give the story more depth, which in my opinion, allow more room for satisfaction (which is always a good thing.Read more ›
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