Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Three Delays: A Novel has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Three Delays: A Novel Paperback – May 18, 2010

3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.99
$2.43 $0.01

Featured Titles in Fiction
Beloved
Beloved
Beloved
$14.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Three Delays: A Novel
  • +
  • Men in Miami Hotels: A Novel
  • +
  • Jump Soul: New and Selected Poems
Total price: $55.56
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Poet and novelist Smith's latest foray into fiction (after poetry collection Word Comix) is a moody love story (of sorts) in which a man and a woman seem destined never to find permanent happiness. Billy Brent, a former child preacher turned globe-trotting druggie, has been drawn to Alice Stephens since young Billy, acting as minister at Alice's Tom Thumb wedding, attacked the groom. They've been brutal together ever since. Whether he's traipsing around Europe with his friend Henry or working as a reporter in Miami, Billy can't get Alice off his mind, even though she's married to someone else. And though their troubled past does not bode well for a common future, they can't help themselves; amid trips on smugglers' boats, stints in jail, fistfights, and plenty of drugs, the occasionally violent lovers desperately try to figure out a way to be together without destroying one another. Smith's prose is the star: it's unruly, full of an agitated energy, darkly funny and generously dashed with lyricism. But the moments of enchantment diffuse into mystification, and the restlessness so apparent in the characters and prose infects the reader, leading to exhaustion rather than enlightenment. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Poet and novelist Smith, a writer of narcotic, erotic, and cosmic intensity, has been showered with major awards and grants. In his sixth novel, his startling, rhapsodic descriptions are mind-blowing, as are his feral, weirdly smart, self-destructive characters, their lashing dialogue, and their insane, heartbreaking predicaments. This isn’t Smith’s first tale of toxic and nihilistic obsession, but it is his most ravishing, painfully funny, and wildly mythic. Floridians Billy and Alice have been making each other crazy since childhood. Billy was a boy preacher, and his gift for exalted, bewitching exhortation has made him a rogue journalist drawn to stories bizarre and disturbing, including that of his epic, terrible love for Alice. Both are mad phoenixes rising repeatedly from conflagrations of their own making. Alice tries to escape by marrying others; Billy relies on drugs, which lead him to deliriously risky escapades, jail, and death’s threshold in Venice and Istanbul, but nothing keeps them apart. Each cursed lover is a hurricane made flesh, their emotions amplified by coastal Florida’s swampy fecundity and steamy beauty, the secretive ocean, and the pitiless sky’s sudden conjuring of massive clouds. This is infernal romance––hallucinatory, wanton, noirish, terrifying, and magnificently tragic. --Donna Seaman
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 57%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.


New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061859451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061859458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,015,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Kleinschmidt on June 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Three Delays is Smith's sixth novel and as far as I'm concerned his best. I've read his previous novels and loved Shine Hawk, Lives of the Dead, and Cheap Ticket to Heaven--all works of brazen energy and soaring prose, filled with enough images of such originality and depth as to make other writers seem stingy with their imagination.

Three Delays has all that and more. It is funny (and I don't just mean the snappy dialogue Smith is known for) and full of heart! The narrator, Billy Brent, has a take on life that made me laugh out loud one moment and moved me to tears the next. Billy is comically (and tragically) misguided in his relentless pursuit of his love--Alice, and he is in need of regular infusions of various substances to make it through the day, but he is also immensely likeable. He's a tender soul, a sweet-talker, a conniver, a frightened boy, an escape artist reaching the end of his line.

When I reached the final pages of Three Delays, I felt saddened that soon I'd no longer be immersed in the world of Billy and Alice. I hope I won't have to wait another decade(plus) to read a new novel by this great American writer.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Buy this book if you're interested in a real-live master of American writing at work. I've read all of Charlie Smith's poetry--the books are all on the shelf and I reread them all the time--but this is his first novel for me. It's so well-written I'm stunned. It's lyrical and gorgeous, a collage of scene and energy and description. Charlie Smith can take you from small, intense, perfect detail to large, philosophical questions in the space of a few sentences. And he does this over and over. His ability to inject specific, appropriate vocabularly (nouns, adj., verbs, etc. the usual suspects) in the tiniest of paragraphs makes each scene rich and interesting. I love writing that makes me look up words. This is a linguistic genius at work. What I think as I'm reading this book is: Charlie Smith is a brilliant man who can also feel deeply, and he then puts that all into the hard work of his paragraphs. Charlie: please go back to your study and keep writing! I am waiting for more......thank you for the excellent, inspiring work.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story from a writer who is obiously gifted with words. It is beautifully written. The two main characters, though, I couldn't help but hate. They're called nihilists by some people. I just think they're losers. I should be able to get past that and enjoy their story, but I just can't. They destroy their own lives for no reason--other than drug addiction, I guess.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Hunter S. Thompson meets Romeo & Juliet by way of a brilliant poet named Charlie Smith. In the publishing biz, and this is the best book I've read in years, decades.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
No need for a long review. I second all the enthusiastic reviews above. I too came to the novel through his poetry. If you like the novel, you'll love the poems.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Three Delays: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Three Delays: A Novel

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?