Monday, September 22, 2008

the front porch prophet

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Title: The Front Porch Prophet
Author: Raymond L. Atkins
Pages: 308
Publisher: Medallion Press

Seemingly appearing from nowhere, a man named Raymond Atkins has decided to write and publish his first novel, entitled The Front Porch Prophet. Readers everywhere should be rejoicing at this fact. If Mr. Atkins' second book is anywhere near as good as his first, and if he continues to write novels, then these same readers should be dancing in the streets.

This is an absolutely wonderful novel. Period. It is so wildly humorous, so unrealistic and so down-to-earth at the same time, so gosh darn in-your-face enjoyable, I am afraid that the next few books I read are destined to pale in comparison.

The story centers on two life-long friends and half-brothers, A.J. Longstreet and Eugene Purdue, who live in Sequoya, Georgia. A.J. is a devoted husband, father of three, mill supervisor and all around responsible guy. Eugene lives alone in a school bus in the mountains, bootlegs alcohol, and throws hand grenades off his front porch for fun.

He is also dying of cancer, and due to the fact that Eugene has alienated just about everyone else in his life, it falls to A.J. to take care of him.

What follows is a hilarious, wild, heartbreaking, breathtaking story of a deep friendship between two men and the southern town that raised them. That's right - this is a book about a man dying of cancer, and it is laugh-out-loud hilarious. This also means that the book is more than a little off-color and not even close to politically correct. I get the feeling that Atkins would not have written an honest novel if it were any other way.

Imagine that Garrison Keillor has stopped mixing Prozac in his coffee and has instead started getting into raw southern whiskey and bourbon. This will give you an impression of Atkins' writing style. He swings for the fence in everything he does, filling his pages with raucous humor, razor sharp dialogue, and truly touching insights into the human soul.

Here is the highest compliment I can pay this book: it carries a message about God and His role in human affairs that I adamantly disagree with. And yet, I can say with no reservation that this is my favorite book I have read all year. Atkins writes with a perspective on life that is very, very different from my own - but he does it with such honesty, such gusto, such pure outright talent, that I can only say, "Please, keep the novels coming."

Raymond Atkin's Page

Have you read and reviewed this book??? Leave a comment with your link!!

Other blogger reviews:
Book Zombie



____Maggie said...

I want to read this! Thanks for sharing. ;)

Ramya said...

hey.. favorite book of the year? wow! now you've made me want to read this book!!:)
thanks for yet another awesome review!:)

Shana said...

I completely agree with just about everything you said.

This book was WONderful! Such a complete pleasure to read.

Great review, Brad.

Rose City Reader said...

This sounds great! I love finding a brand new author!

Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that this book is on my bookshelf waiting for me. If this is your favorite book of the year, I'm going to be one happy camper coming up soon! Thanks for the great review - and I love your new signature!!!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

After a review like that, how can I resist looking into this one?

Corinne said...

Awesome!! I'll have to look into it too :)

Pratima said...

Nice review bethany!! I haven't heard of this author but after reading your review I think I am going to give it a shot.

I have created a new book blog - to track all my book readings and moved all reviews from my older blog. Do update your bookmark and let me know how u like it :)

Anna said...

You've really made me want to read this book! Great review!

Diane said...

I just reviewed this book on my blog, and I loved it just as much! I'm very excited to see Atkins has another coming out - I believe it's scheduled for August of '09, and I'm waiting although rather impatiently.
(Sure hope I linked this right - I always mess those up!)