- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 15 hours and 41 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: May 27, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JBJT7IM
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Fourth of July Creek: A Novel Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Pete, though he has his own demons, decides to see if he can make any progress with Jeremiah in the hopes of offering the help/assistance his family so desperately requires ---- poverty and desperation is no good upbringing for a child. He begins the long and patient process of trying to earn Jeremiah's trust. And he might be successful --- until the FBI becomes involved and all hell breaks loose.
I was blown away by intensity of this novel. There are so many themes at play here, but through it all is one darned fine story. The characters are larger than life....full of faults, yes, but aren't we all? Of course we all have thoughts of Ruby Ridge and the Koresh disaster when this topic comes up, but Henderson is very sensitive to the subtleties at play here. Rarely in life is any situation black and white, and Pete's dilemma, Jeremiah's mental illness...these are subjects that deserve an introspective look. Henderson accomplishes this admirably and never lets the pace of the plot flag for a moment. I was turning pages late, late into the night with this novel. Highly recommended.
But first, a word of caution: readers who feel compelled to seek out likeable characters or who shun stories with an overriding bleak vision would be well advised to skip this book. It is unrelentingly dark and full of moral ambiguity.
At the center of the novel is Pete, an unlikely long haired social worker in Tenmile, Montana, who has made a mess of marriage and fatherhood. His recalcitrant brother is on the lam, and he can’t even count his friends on one hand. He describes himself this way to his ex-wife: “I take kids away from people like us.”
When a pre-teen, partially feral boy – Benjamin Pearl – crosses his path, he becomes involved in the lives of the boy and his mistrustful father, Jeremiah, a paranoid survivalist who believes in the End of Days and the evilness of the government. (“The devil, I know how he comes. With cans of food and fresh clothes and coloring books.”)
As Pete tries to help Jeremiah and Benjamin and another out-of-control boy, Cecil, the son of an abusive mother, his own daughter dives into the underbelly of an uncaring and evil world. As one of the boys disappears into the system and the other into the Montana wilderness, the realization comes to light that “these absences were twinned in Pete’s mind as if the one could not be solved without the other, and he harbored the absurd hope that the revelation of the one would reveal the other.”
Fourth of July Creek has a lot to say about a lot of issues: where is the thin line between those who want to help and those who shun society’s help?Read more ›
Pete's life away from the Pearls is heartbreaking. His ex-wife is a good time girl who lives on a diet of drugs, alcohol and short-term sex. Her daughter Rachel runs away, partly to escape her mother's "boyfriends," partly just to get free of her mother. Pete searches for her, to no avail. Alternating chapters narrate Pete's story and Rachel's. (She calls herself "Rose" now.) Rachel's is told in the form of an interrogation: a neutral third party voice questions her and she answers. She's had no positive role models in her life except her loving but absent, inarticulate and alcoholic father Pete. She has no money. She has to depend on strangers she meets for food and shelter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written. Harsh, sad and troubling. I live in the Missoula area, so that made it an interesting read. If you are looking for a lighthearted book, this is not it.Published 15 days ago by w g
A lush, searing story of suspicion and trust, freedom and self-imprisonment, harsh realities and human compassion told through the eyes of a Montana social worker, the lost he... Read morePublished 15 days ago by D. Ourand
Gut wrenching story about the shortcomings of humans. Fascinating characters and one of the my best reads of the year.Published 18 days ago by Marcia Coryell
"Fourth of July Creek" by Smith Henderson is a blistering, extremely dark, and explosive novel set in the early '80s. Read morePublished 23 days ago by ADRIENNE MILLER
An interesting story, excellent writing! This is my favorite book so far this year: big, complicated and engaging.Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you want to read a book that is extremely well written, and you don't get so far into a book that you get lost in the darkness of various characters, then this is a great read... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wiley Coyote
Good story about a social worker who is himself in need of some social work. Well written. Recommended for those who like character studies and mysteries.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Best book I've read in years, but not for everyone. I.m proud of the fact that Henderson is an Oregonian (I believe).Published 2 months ago by joyce malk