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The Resource Fourth of July Creek : a novel, Smith Henderson

Fourth of July Creek : a novel, Smith Henderson

Label
Fourth of July Creek : a novel
Title
Fourth of July Creek
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Smith Henderson
Title variation
4th of July Creek
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
With his clients dispersed in the towns of western Montana, social worker Pete Snow struggles against a lack of professional resources, his crumbling personal life, and a culture that finds solace in the bottom of a bottle. After encountering Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, eleven-year-old boy who lives in the backwoods, Pete comes face to face with his own opposite in the boy's father, Jeremiah: a profoundly disturbed and paranoid survivalist who is itching for a final conflict
Member of
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Montana Book Award, 2014.
  • New Blood Dagger Award, 2015.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2014
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Dedicated social worker Pete Snow lives in remote, impoverished Tenmile, Montana, in part because he’s hiding out from the fallout of his own fractious divorce and in part because he knows that poverty breeds dysfunctional families, and there are plenty of kids who need his care. When he is summoned to open a file on Benjamin Pearl, a nearly feral 11-year-old boy who is suffering from malnutrition, he comes into contact with the boy’s father, Jeremiah, a paranoid survivalist who mints his own money and is convinced that the end-time is near. Pete soon learns that the FBI is also interested in Jeremiah, targeting him as a homegrown terrorist. Meanwhile, Pete’s own family is in crisis; his teenage daughter has vanished, and his ex-wife can’t do much more than drink and pray. First-novelist Henderson not only displays an uncanny sense of place—he clearly knows rural Montana and its impassable roads, its dank bars, its speed freaks and gas huffers—he also creates an incredibly rich cast of characters, from Pete’s drunken, knuckleheaded friends to the hard-luck waitress who serves him coffee to the disturbed, love-sick survivalist. Dark, gritty, and oh so good. -- Wilkinson, Joanne (Reviewed 04-01-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 15, p19)
  • This uneven debut, set in 1980 Montana, isn’t always able to sustain the interest of its opening sections. The first chapter introduces us to social worker Pete Snow, who has been called by the police to defuse a domestic dispute between a 15-year-old boy, who has been in trouble with the law repeatedly, and his speed-addicted mother. The situation is grim, but Snow goes above and beyond the call of duty to place the teenager in a stable and supportive environment. His greater challenge comes with his next case: a boy who shows up on the playground of the local school dirty and reeking. The child, Benjamin Pearl, is reticent about revealing the circumstances at home, and Snow finds trying to help him difficult; Benjamin’s reclusive and angry father is opposed to assistance, even making the boy strip naked rather than wear the clean clothes Snow has provided. Snow’s efforts to help the Pearls despite the father’s hostility are the focus of the book, which is too long and features an unsatisfying ending. (June) --Staff (Reviewed March 31, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 13, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Pete Snow is a social worker in early 1980s small-town Montana whose life is nearly as troubled as those of his clients. He is separated from his wife and teenage daughter, estranged from his father and stepmother, and easing his problems with alcohol. One morning Pete receives a call regarding a strange young boy who has shown up at a local school. Benjamin Pearl is the son of Jeremiah Pearl, a reclusive survivalist who lives in the hills outside town. Pete tries to help ragged and undernourished Benjamin but soon runs afoul of the paranoid Jeremiah. Through persistence, Pete slowly gains a degree of trust from Jeremiah and is able to provide some assistance. But when Jeremiah's activities draw the interest of the FBI, Pete is caught up in the web of suspicion. As the noose tightens, Jeremiah's dark secrets will profoundly affect Pete as well. VERDICT On a political level, Henderson skillfully presages the contemporary political environment in his portrayal of the America of three decades ago. On a deeper level, this dark, compassionate novel finds in Jeremiah's—and Pete's—pain a mirror of everyone's. This is a significant debut. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]— Lawrence Rungren, Andover, MA --Lawrence Rungren (Reviewed April 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 7, p77)
  • Of wide open spaces and lives narrowly, desperately lived at the bitter ends of dirt and gravel roads.The spur of the Rockies at the northwestern corner of Montana is as hard and remote a stretch of country as any in the Lower 48, good reason why a person might want to disappear into it. Social worker Pete Snow, delivered to us in medias res, is well-used to what happens to people with too little money and too much booze or meth in tow. But he's not quite prepared for how years of being used to such things can wear a person down—and what will touch him off to the point that he's willing to smack a client. Says Pete to his target, trying to explain the rightness of his act, "[t]hose punches sure as shit come through me but they were not mine. As meant for you as they were, they were not mine." He's willing to cop to most responsibilities, but that doesn't stop his own life from dissolving. Meanwhile, he's caught up in a curious knot: In a land of snarling dogs and WIC checks, he has to sort out the life of a very nearly feral child, bound up in the even more complex life of a survivalist, paranoid and anti-statist, who may or may not be a Unabomber in the making. That brings the feds into the picture, and if Pete resorts to fisticuffs reluctantly, the FBI thinks nothing of beating their way around a countryside that looks ever more apocalyptic with each passing page. Henderson, a native Montanan, finds ample room for deep-turning plot twists in the superficially simple matter of a man looking for meaning in his own life while trying to help others too proud and mistrustful to receive that assistance. The story goes on a bit long, but the details are just right: It's expertly written and without a false note, if often quite bleak.Of a piece with Peter Heller's The Dog Stars and Cormac McCarthy's The Road in imagining a rural West that's seen better days—and perhaps better people, too.(Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10298722
Cataloging source
TOH
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Henderson, Smith
Dewey number
813.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Social workers
  • Survivalism
  • Wilderness survival
  • United States
  • Montana
Target audience
adult
Label
Fourth of July Creek : a novel, Smith Henderson
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Edition.
Extent
470 pages
Isbn
9780062286444
Isbn Type
(hardcover )
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 875387396
  • (OCoLC)875387396
Label
Fourth of July Creek : a novel, Smith Henderson
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Edition.
Extent
470 pages
Isbn
9780062286444
Isbn Type
(hardcover )
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 875387396
  • (OCoLC)875387396

Library Locations

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      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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