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The Paperboy by Pete Dexter

The Paperboy

by Pete Dexter

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6271123,505 (3.77)20



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This is the third novel by Dexter I've read, and the third I loved but most likely won't read again. The prose is wonderful, dripping in humid Florida atmosphere. But it's so sad and profound that I don't know if I can stomach another go-through. Who knows.

One of the things that struck me about this book is how much is dissects the cruelness of people, even in the littlest of ways. It's especially true how men treat women in The Paperboy--even the well-meaning fellers are fairly awful. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
I finished this book not knowing quite what I thought or what to write in this review. I usually enjoy books about newspapers and this one was good in parts; but probably fell down for me in that I couldn't feel any empathy for the main characters, ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
Really enjoyed this, and hope to read more. ( )
  keithostertag | Oct 13, 2014 |
This novel is a spare, gritty depiction of the unpleasant nature of journalism and the depths of immorality to which some of its practitioners will sink in an effort to win recognition. But it’s also far more than that. It’s also the story of a young man’s maturation—that young man is our narrator, Jack James, who tells many stories in the course of this novel. He tells the story of Thurmond Call, a local sheriff who was murdered in cold blood on a dark country road. He tells the story of Hillary Van Wetter, the local ne’er-do-well who was convicted of the murder. He tells the story of Charlotte Bless, a sexually combustible woman who has fallen in love with Hillary and who enlists the help of Jack’s brother (and his unscrupulous colleague) in freeing Hillary. He tells the story of Ward James, Jack’s brother, an intrepid and indefatigable journalist who struggles with the truth of every story he writes just as he struggles with the profound secret that plagues his every waking moment. He tells the story of Yardley Acheman, Ward’s writing partner, whose lust for journalistic glory poisons almost every character in the novel. And he tells the story of his father—an emotionally disconnected man who is simply incapable of creating any kind of bond with his sons in the wake of his wife’s abandonment.

Pete Dexter is such a masterful writer that all of these stories become one complex narrative web—the most minor tug on one strand of the narrative yields distinct and incontrovertible effects on all of the other strands. It’s impossible to separate the intricacies of Dexter’s tale as he examines universal themes like the nature of evil, the virtue of truth, the recklessness of ambition, the toxicity of denial, and the consequences of compromise in a way that makes all of these abstract ideals almost palpable. Rarely has such spare prose resulted in such stylistic power—Dexter is a writer who knows well how to tell a story. ( )
  jimrgill | Oct 9, 2012 |
This book took me a while to get into, but, I am glad I stuck with it. It revolves around crime, a news story, and an unpredictable group of characters. The news story comes to fruition, the big prize is won, but not without dire consequences. This book requires staying power, but, the ending is really worth the journey. I enjoyed Dexter's book, Paris Trout much more than this one, but, this book is definately worth reading. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Apr 14, 2011 |
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For Erwin Potts and Gil Spencer, a couple of pretty good paperboys who never let it go to their heads
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My brother Ward was once a famous man.
Even if it wasn't written, part of the dead boy's story is that he wanted to be one of the bunch who drowned him.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385315724, Paperback)

The sun was rising over Moat County, Florida, when Sheriff Thurmond Call was found on the highway, gutted like an alligator.  A local redneck was tried, sentenced, and set to fry.

Then Ward James, hotshot investigative reporter for the Miami Times, returns to his rural hometown with a death row femme fatale who promises him the story of the decade.  She's armed with explosive evidence, aiming to free--and meet--her convicted "fiancÚ."

With Ward's disillusioned younger brother Jack as their driver, they barrel down Florida's back roads and seamy places in search of The Story, racing flat out into a shocking head-on collision between character and fate as truth takes a back seat to headline news...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Ward James, a reporter, returns to his family's home in northern Florida to investigate the murder of the county's legendary sheriff, Thurmond Call. Ward enlists his younger brother Jack to help him uncover the truth of who is really responsible for the sheriff's death.… (more)

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