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Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Maxim Jakubowski's view...

A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

A splendid and gripping slice of deep Americana, this extremely powerful first novel parachutes its author to the forefront of of the literary scene. When a social worker with problems of his own comes upon an almost feral boy in the Montana emptiness, he is also faced with his survivalist father and a profound shaking up of his convictions and his own view of the world. Confrontation ensues and once the FBI get involved and a massive manhunt is set in motion, all hell breaks loose and no one will emerge untaited. A disturbing portrait of the bleak underside of the American dream, this is a panoramic headlong plunge into muddy waters and a world next door many of us would rather ignore.

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Rural Montana in the 80s. Pete Smith is a young social worker with huge problems of his own. In attempting to return a near-feral lad to his family he becomes obsessed with the reclusive mountain people fearing the end of the world. All the way through this impressive book Pete is rescuing children from dysfunctional homes. The tale is told in a gentle rural vernacular that sings. Beside it is an interview or confession questioning his daughter’s reaction to we know not what. These sections build the mystery. It is an amazing book, multi-layered, hypnotic, compulsive and beautifully written. A big American novel not to be missed.

If you like Smith Henderson you might also like to read books by thomas edison, Philip Meyer and Cormac Mccarthy.

Who is Maxim Jakubowski

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Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

This is a dark and powerful debut novel set in the hardscrabble American heartlands. 'If I knew for a certain'ty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life...' Set in the mountains, valleys and close-knit communities of rural Montana in the early 1980s, Fourth of July Creek is a dark, powerful debut novel about a young social worker called Pete, who struggles to hold together the lives of the most dysfunctional inhabitants of the town of Tenmile, as his own life begins to fall apart.

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'This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power. Begins with the story of one struggling man and his family and soon seems to encompass and address all of modern America's problems. Fourth of July Creek is a masterful achievement and Smith Henderson is certain to end up a household name.'

- Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son

'Fourth of July Creek knocked me flat. This gorgeous, full-bodied novel seems to contain all of America at what was, in retrospect, a pivotal moment in its history. In the story of Pete Snow's struggle to save families, children, lives - his own and others' - Smith Henderson has delivered nothing less than a masterpiece of a novel.'

- Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk

'Smith Henderson's Fourth of July Creek is an astonishing read. The writing is energetic and precise. The story is enthralling. Henderson has a mastery of scale that allows this particular place and these particular people to illuminate who we are as Americans, and the consequences of the complex project that has become our nation. I could not recommend this book more highly.'

- Kevin Powers, bestselling author of The Yellow Birds

About the Author

Smith Henderson is the recipient of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writer Winner (in fiction). He was a 2011 Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University, a 2011 Pushcart Prize winner and a Michener Center for Writers Fellow. Henderson's short story manuscript was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award and he was a two-time finalist for the University of Texas Keene Prize, the world's largest student literary prize. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, One Story, New Orleans Review, Makeout Creek, and Witness. He has worked as a prison guard and social worker, experiences which informed his first novel Fourth of July Creek, set in his native Montana.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th June 2014


Smith Henderson

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William Heinemann Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone




Thriller / Suspense
Crime / Mystery
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