Fourth of July Creek

Fourth of July Creek

A Novel

Book - 2014 | First Edition
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"After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete's own family spins out of control, Pearl's activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed. In this shattering and iconic American novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion, and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation's disquieting and violent contradictions" -- from publisher's web site.
Publisher: New York, NY : ECCO, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2014]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780062286444
Branch Call Number: F HENDE-S
Characteristics: 470 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: 4th of July Creek


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May 06, 2015

I'd heard a lot of good things (see the below comments) about this debut novel by the Montana-born, Portland-based Smith Henderson and went in with high expectations. It engaged me for the first 100 pages and then lost me over the next 365, which turned into a messy, bloated sprawl of misery and f**ked up characters. It's as if Henderson wasn't sure he'd ever be able to write another novel and poured everything into this one resulting into way too much plot for one book. It's a pity because his writing, at its best, is both tough and empathetic, a bit like Carver's, and the story has potential, but Henderson can't seem to focus. And the unhappy and brutalized characters, which include an alcoholic social worker whose alcoholic wife has left and whose daughter has disappeared, a anti-government religious fanatic living in the woods with his son, another social worker who has a history of abuse, and the protagonist's criminal brother. It's just too much and Henderson lays it on pretty thick as the novel progresses.

readsforfunnn Apr 16, 2015

Great book, could not put it down! The author has an uncanny ability of manipulating your thoughts and feelings at every turn, breaking down all sorts of stereotypes along the way.

Feb 27, 2015

A finalist for the 2015 Oregon Book Award. This stunning novel features an alcohol fueled, destructive side of hard living in Montana. It's the sharply drawn story of social worker Pete and the 11-year-old near-feral boy whom he is trying to help. A novel rich with characters, each more flawed than the next.

Jan 06, 2015

Wow ... what a thought-provoking book. Great reading, lots of food for thought, lots of emotions touched while I read - good stuff!

esthafiesta Jan 01, 2015


Aug 13, 2014

One of the best books I've read this year. Gritty, honest with flawed "real" characters.
For a first novel outstanding!

Jul 21, 2014

Talk about the blind leading the blind! Pete Snow is a social worker with as many issues as some of his clients. The characters he meets and the story that enfolds was riveting. A real page turner where you pray for an outcome that you know you may not get.

ChristchurchLib Jul 20, 2014

"With his own home life in shambles (he's separated from his wife and daughter and estranged from his father), Pete Snow pours his energies into his job as a social worker in poverty-stricken rural Montana. But his latest charge, a nearly feral 11-year-old who appears to be the son of a disturbed survivalist, is different. Not only does Pete find it hard to help the boy, the case gets him involved in a manhunt after the F.B.I. shows interest in his father. Dramatic and gritty, with strong descriptions of the rough Montana landscape, this debut novel will appeal to fans of Peter Heller." Fiction A to Z July 2014 newsletter


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