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Spooner by Pete Dexter


by Pete Dexter

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
So I am officially abandoning this book. The second chapter is too cutesy by half and I can't deal with a character named Rudolph Toebox. I might pick it up again someday, but for now I am moving on to something sophisticated and high-art (I'm thinking Sookie Stackhouse). ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
What a mess. At times a fun mess, but Dexter is not as clever as he thinks. When he exagerates he does not go far enough to be funny, yet he goes too far for you to care about what happens. And the plot--what plot? The novel rambles and staggers and falls on its face--but there are moments. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
Fascinating story of Spooner, his somewhat jinxed life and difficult relationships. Funny, sad, sometimes makes you want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him and yell "What were you THINKING!" Good read. ( )
  debs913 | Apr 2, 2016 |
I just like the way this guy writes - it's never all La-De-Da big, bright and colourful nor is it a big build up with a super hero at its core no, it's more like h'e taking you up a long straight steep hill where every-so-often something stops you and makes you pause in sheer wonderment but you know you cant stop and ask who what why or when you've got to go on & keep right on keeping on right to the very end. Spooner is a twit, a nit-wit, an odd ball and a good guy all rolled into one and Calmer the other main lead in this story well...he's just how you'd have liked your Dad to be. I liked it all and felt a little sad when and how it ended but that too was just perfect - It's a different read but a good read ( )
  nikon | Aug 20, 2014 |
The writing was very interesting, the characters fascinatingly drawn, but I finished the book feeling a little too much like I'd just witnessed a real life. I prefer my fiction to be much less realistic and more warm-fuzzy. And I just don't understand what happened to Calmer in the end. Where did that bullet come from?

Recommended by: Nyla G, Bonnie K. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
“Spooner” isn’t a perfect novel. In addition to a certain shaggy-dog quality, for which, frankly, I’m a sucker, the novel meanders its way to Whidbey Island off Seattle and some ugly events involving a homosexual couple that I really hope weren’t drawn from life. And several major characters get rather short shrift. For example, I felt the long-suffering second Mrs. Spooner deserved both a first name and a more fleshed-out characterization than just repeated descriptions of her “elegant” posterior.

But if “Spooner” isn’t perfect, it’s something almost as rare: It’s alive.
Spooner is a magnificently written book. Dexter’s fine eye for tiny details and the ways feelings can accumulate into a larger ball of depression or joy is ever-present; even his weaker episodes at least evoke laughs.
So, this book is different! Not exactly what Pete Dexter usually writes, but madly interesting in what it sets out to do. I freely admit to a bias: As far as I'm concerned, Dexter can do no wrong.
With the arrival of Spooner, we get nothing less than a terrific comic novel, half shaggy-dog story and half fictional autobiography, wholly drunk on the wildness of the world, the wincing in pain quickly dissolving into a laugh full of heartbreak.
“Spooner” is a family epic that digs out the emotions packed in memory’s earliest bonds — guilt, resentment, loyalty and love.
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Pour cousin Bill et pour Mme Dexter
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Spooner naquit quelques minutes avant le lever du jour à Milledgeville, petite agglomération de Géorgie chargée d'histoire et fleurant bon le chèvrefeuille, dans la salle d'attente, transformée pour l'occasion en salle d'accouchement, du cabinet du Dr Emil Woods, sur Greene Street, en face et à peu près dans la ligne de tir d'une poignée de pièces d'artillerie confédérées, déployées, au milieu des crottes de chien, sur la pelouse de la maison de retraite dite des Fils de la Confédération. On était le premier samedi de décembre 1956, et la maison de vieux était en feu.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446540722, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, October 2009: Warren Spooner is a sad sack. His mother despises him as the surviving twin from a hideously painful delivery. He's not very smart, and his one redeeming talent--baseball--is nullified by catastrophic injury. He gets into trouble, a lot. Though he manages to organize his life through marriage and a (terrible) job, the self-destructive behavior endures. Fortunately, Pete Dexter--winner of the National Book Award for Paris Trout--provides a calming figure in his step-father, Calmer Ottosson, a man with his own life of promise and disappointment, as well as inexhaustible patience for his wayward ward. Plot's not Dexter's focus--the story ambles through a series of monstrous vignettes projected through unblinking eyes, to the point where the awfulness becomes hilarious and absurd (e.g. a burial at sea gone horribly wrong, complete with erotic misunderstandings). It's like reading Garrison Keillor through a glass of blood: relentlessly dark, yet ultimately affirming. --Jon Foro

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:16 -0400)

Losing his father shortly after birth, Warren Spooner endures a troubled childhood and even more troubled young adulthood that is marked by his dishonorably discharged stepfather, whose inexhaustible patience is tested by the difficult Warren. By the National Book Award-winning author of Paris Trout.… (more)

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