Texas Summer

Terry Southern, Author
Terry Southern, Author Arcade Publishing $17.95 (174p) ISBN 978-1-55970-150-1
Paperback - 174 pages - 978-1-55970-215-7
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Southern's modest, sensitive coming-of-age novel evokes Texas red-dirt country in the 1950s, when nitwits shoot deer or house cats for fun and a ``damn nigger'' is not worth anything. White 12-year-old Harold Stevens hunts, fishes, smokes pot and has adventures with black C.K., his father's hired hand. Trying hard to act grown-up, Harold assumes he's mentally superior to C.K., who's at least twice his age. Sly, clever C.K., who speaks a rich black idiom, is nobody's fool and the book's real hero, enduring the loutish whitefolk. When C.K.'s murderous convict brother, ``Big Nail'' Emmett, escapes from a prison farm, the stage is set for a tragedy that will presumably mark Harold forever. Screenwriter and novelist Southern ( Flash and Filigree ) faithfully records a time and a place, but the overall effect is rather slight. (Jan.)
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