The Bible Salesman: A Novel

The Bible Salesman: A Novel

by Clyde Edgerton
3.7 8

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The Bible Salesman: A Novel by Clyde Edgerton

Preston Clearwater has been a criminal since stealing two chain saws and 1600 pairs of aviator sunglasses from the Army during the Second World War. Back on the road in post-war North Carolina, a member of a car-theft ring, he picks up hitch-hiking Henry Dampier, an innocent nineteen-year-old Bible salesman. Clearwater immediately recognizes Henry as just the associate he needs--one who will believe Clearwater is working as an F.B.I. spy; one who will drive the cars Clearwater steals as Clearwater follows along in another car at a safe distance. Henry joyfully sees a chance to lead a dual life as Bible salesman and a G-man.
During his hilarious and scary adventures we learn of Henry's fundamentalist youth, an upbringing that doesn't prepare him for his new life. As he falls in love and questions his religious training, Henry begins to see he's being used--that the fun and games are over, that he is on his own in a way he never imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316032803
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/11/2008
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 763,016
File size: 235 KB

About the Author

Clyde Edgerton was born in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of eight previous novels, including, Walking Across Egypt and Lunch at the Piccadilly. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. Edgerton teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is a member of the Fellowship of Souther Writers. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

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Bible Salesman 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author is truly gifted when it comes to telling a story. Great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are a handful of authors who might be rightly described as national treasures. If I were to compile such a list Clyde Edgerton's name would be there in bold and underlined. He is a generous, guileless, if you will, writer, completely without artifice. His prose flows freely, his words are well chosen. Reading Edgerton is both relaxing and absorbing, very much like listening to a tale told by a julep oiled spellbinder on a lazy summer afternoon. You're captivated by his words, the verbal pictures he paints, and lean forward to catch every inflection. Edgerton has been dubbed a regional writer, not so, although his settings are often the South. His understanding of the frailties of human nature spans state lines. Edgerton's characters are frequently quite eccentric even in today's ever surprising citizenry, yet he treats them with affection and respect. These imagined people can be both laugh out loud funny and endearing. Who but this author would introduce an older woman who lives with a house full of talking cats? (She throws her voice so that the biblically named felines seem to speak even when company hasn't come). Or, when someone has gone to his heavenly rest, one of the mourners approaches the casket, looks at the departed and says, 'I like that red tie. It gives him a little color in his complexion.' Then adds, 'They do get pale at a time like this.' Vintage Edgerton. Twenty-year-old Henry Dampier has grown up in the postwar South tended to by Bible believing Aunt Dorie and, for a while, by fun loving Uncle Steve. He is inexperienced in the ways of the world or of women and a graduate of Bible- selling school. Good book stocked valise in hand he starts out, hitchhiking on a road near Cressler, North Carolina. As luck or fate would have it along comes Preston Clearwater, a charismatic, glib World War II veteran who has risen from swiping aviator sunglasses to stealing cars. What Preston needs is someone to do drive the stolen cars to their destination while he safely follows along behind. Henry is naive enough to initially believe that Preston is an FBI agent involved in a complex plot to capture the car thieves,. Further, he feels fortunate that Preston has had the insight to recognize Henry's latent talents and ask him to be part of the operation. All goes along smoothly as Henry earns more money than Bibles would bring. He enjoys staying in motels for the first time where he can let the water fill the tub as much as he wishes. At home 'Aunt Dorie let him use only just enough water to reach the back of the tub.' Henry spends his evenings studying the Bible as Aunt Dorie would have wished, but is confused by some of the inconsistencies that he finds. However, such quandaries vanish when he finds the comely proprietress of a roadside fruit stand. The Bible Salesman is exactly what we expect from Clyde Edgerton - rollicking, riotous, and simply wonderful.
EGGWMG More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read - not too heavy. Edgerton has a nice writing style and an equally interesting sense of humor. The characters and settings were well developed, characters saucy in fact. The title might be off-putting, but irreverence is the overall effect.
Edentatus More than 1 year ago
A story about a naive 20-year old, raised in an evangelical Baptist household coming of age in 1950, unknowingly working for organized crime. Engaging characters and subtle humor throughout, and gripping tension as the book nears its climax. Worthy of reading a second time.
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