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More Like Not Running Away: A Novel
     

More Like Not Running Away: A Novel

by Paul Shepherd
 

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[A] haunting novel. . . . This book brims with the poetry of the working class, seldom sung lyrics of working men and women.—from the introduction by Larry Woiwode

“Shepherd is a master craftsman, and the subtlety of his art, the unassuming elegance of its architecture, rendered me spellbound and finally grateful. I don’t think I

Overview

[A] haunting novel. . . . This book brims with the poetry of the working class, seldom sung lyrics of working men and women.—from the introduction by Larry Woiwode

“Shepherd is a master craftsman, and the subtlety of his art, the unassuming elegance of its architecture, rendered me spellbound and finally grateful. I don’t think I shall ever forget this fine book, its honest, guileless voice leading me along into the fire.”—Bob Shacochis

“A riveting exploration of what it is to be an outsider even in your own head. Shepherd has written a gripping story of childhood angst—psychologically thrilling, lyrically exact.”—Janet Burroway

Levi Revel is a boy in danger of losing his family and maybe his mind. He’s in awe of his father, Everest, a majestic dreamer, a master builder, a man with a violent, secret past. As the family moves from state to state, Levi hears solace in the voice of God, a voice that sends him preaching from treetops and roofs.

But the family begins to fall apart, and as Levi enters adolescence, he hears more troubling things: other voices, terrifying sounds, warnings. When Everest takes him on a high-speed, cross-country chase to win back Levi’s mother—by force if necessary—Levi realizes how much danger they all are in.

Tender and frightening, this debut novel takes readers across America, through the eyes and ears of a child whose family is haunted by a past they can’t outrun. From a boy lost in a world of imaginary voices and chilling destruction to a young man who can rebuild steeples, the story Levi tells is the triumph of persistence over moments of isolation and despair.

Paul Shepherd lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Levi Revel's family moves to Michigan after the adolescent's father, Everest, gets drummed out of the army (but with an honorable discharge) for unspecified acts of violence that haunt the family. Everest has big plans to build a house; Levi is learning from him how to do it. But Everest's inability to understand his bank loan eventually leads to a financial disaster that forces the father to flee-after deliberately damaging the house. Everest lands in Florida, with the family following in his wake, and begins another disastrous project. Wife Nora then takes off, Everest places daughter Carson with her Michigan grandparents, and Levi becomes seriously troubled: he hears voices; he begins preaching. Levi's close but disturbing relationship with Everest forms the backbone of the novel, Shepherd's debut. By the harrowing final chapters, where Everest takes Levi on a cross-country drive to Seattle and tries to track down his wife, Shepherd has carefully worked over themes of running away and of perseverance (often, through Levi, in Christian terms). The narrative has some choppy moments, and mother and daughter remain vague as characters, but Sheperd's family-in-decline frames an impressive father-son character study. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Debut novelist Shepherd (writer in residence, Florida State Univ.) has successfully managed to capture the true voice of his adolescent protagonist and narrator, Levi Revel, much as J.D. Salinger did with Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. Levi spends his free time on the roof of his family's rural home preaching God's word to an invisible congregation. In a lifelong quest to outrun his troubled past, his father, Everest, moves the family from town to town, never stopping to develop meaningful relationships. After yet another failed attempt to build a new home and a new life, Everest decides once again to run away, but this time Levi's mother refuses to go along, and Levi is left trying to hold together a family that will inevitably be torn apart. This emotional novel is about the realization that sometimes, you can't fix everything. Despite its brevity, Shepherd succeeds in writing a lifetime of emotion into each character, especially his young narrator. A noteworthy addition to the annals of contemporary literature; recommended for all academic and public libraries.-Stephen Morrow, Amherst, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936747184
Publisher:
Sarabande Books
Publication date:
12/01/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
394 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Shepherd earned a PhD from Florida State, where he is currently a Writer in Residence. He has also written a poetry book . His community service activities include serving as director of a nonprofit construction company that rehabs older homes for low-income homeowners, working as a Youth Director at a Lutheran Church, and helping found the House of Mercy, an AIDS hospice.

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