More Like Not Running Away: A Novel

More Like Not Running Away: A Novel

by Paul Shepherd

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Winner of the 2004 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, selected by Larry WoiwodeSee more details below


Winner of the 2004 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, selected by Larry Woiwode

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.

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Sarabande Books
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