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Crazy of Natural Causes Paperback – July 21, 2015
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
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About the Author
This is Monte Dutton’s third novel. The first two, The Audacity of Dope (2011) and The Intangibles (2013) were published by Neverland Publishing, LLC, of Miami, Florida. A fourth, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, was recently released in Kindle. A print edition will be available soon. A native and resident of Clinton, South Carolina, Mr. Dutton graduated from Furman University and spent twenty years writing about NASCAR in newspapers, periodicals, books and websites. Dutton writes short stories, essays, and reviews at wellpilgrim.wordpress.com and mostly non-fiction at montedutton.com. He is on Twitter @montedutton and Facebook at Monte.Dutton.
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Top customer reviews
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It' obvious that Dutton is an accomplished writer. He fills these pages with revelation after revelation, mostly about his beloved creation, Chance Benford. The novel veers and sways at times like an old car on a rickety wooden roller coaster, but Dutton somehow manages to keep the plot on track. He riffs and takes us on detours, all the while his novels leads us on biblical goose chases. i found the initial high school football scenes the strongest part of the novel and would have happily read on about high school football in Kentucky. Benford drinks and smokes weed with his players, sleeps with their mothers, calls brilliant trick plays on opponents and chases a celebrated coach off the field when he refuses to shake his hand after a stunning loss. The man has few boundaries.
Soon after getting fired for unbecoming behavior, a car accident and brain injury transform Chance into a new man. He reads the bible while recovering, and a videotape of one of his biblical riffs hits the internet. Thus begins his rise as a motivational speaker/quasi preacher. But his sermons are slippery slopes destined to appease the audience he is speaking to. He never judges, continually falling back on Jesus as Humanist. Bedford continues to smoke weed and drink, and generally does whatever he wants. His intentions always seem honorable in a vague sort of way. I kept thinking that Benford would have made the perfect politician, but even he understands that politics would eventually fail him.
I thoroughly enjoyed following Benford's unique journey. Whatever his motivation, he's a character one cannot take their eyes off of. Dutton obviously loves his star coach and it shows in this novel. He writes with confidence and a sharp eye to the southern experience. A sense of place resonated strongly with me, as did the ambience of the Bible Belt. The state of Kentucky also played a starring role along with Benford. This is an entertaining book that goes off on guitar riffs from time to time, but stick with the concert because the promise is fulfilled.
For me though, I miss the old Chance and with the exception of new Chance and his former principal, I think so do most of the other characters in the book.
Anyone who loves hearing testimony of the transformative nature of faith in Christ will love this book. It’s is never preachy and certainly never too proud. A part of me wishes the message resounded louder in my heart, but looks like I’m stickin with Old Chance on this one.
This is a book of the "in-between."
Chance Benford, the protagonist in Dutton's tale, is a fascinating specimen, full of juicy juxtapositions that are all the more fascinating because they feel "real." He preaches from the Bible but smokes pot and lives with a woman out of wedlock. He makes some pretty terrible decisions yet is so good to those around him, especially the boys who he coached. He lies a little, sins a lot, and yet is a man doing the best he can with what's been given him.
Dutton is a fantastic author who's unafraid to walk up to the line of what might offend people and then plummet right over it. And yet his prose has such a quiet elegance that this doesn't feel like fiction but a story that could have actually occurred.
I especially love the title of the novel and how it plays into the plot of the story and Chance's own condition. It's an interesting concept, that our actions might not be as cut and dry as we think they are. That, to me, is the overwhelming theme of this work -- that we're all living "in between" the life of a saint or sinner. We have our moments of glory and plenty of moments we're not proud of, and yet we continue day to day because it's what we've been led to do. A great read and one I'd recommend to those looking for something outside the normal genre-fare.
Most recent customer reviews
A pleasant book to spend the weekend with.
Good paced, easy to keep up with.
Would re-read it.
have a weak stomach for cussing and sex talk, I'd say stay away.Read more