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Summerlong: A Novel
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Published:
HarperCollins 2015
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Description

The author of Please Don't Come Back from the Moon and My American Unhappiness delivers his breakout novel: a deft and hilarious exploration of the simmering tensions beneath the surface of a contented marriage which explode in the bedrooms and backyards of a small town over the course of a long, hot summer.

In the sweltering heat of one summer in a small Midwestern town, Claire and Don Lowry discover that married life isn't quite as they'd predicted.

One night Don, a father of three, leaves his house for an evening stroll, only to wake up the next morning stoned, and sleeping in a hammock next to a young woman he barely knows. His wife, Claire, leaves the house on this same night to go on a midnight run—only to find herself bumming cigarettes and beer outside the all-night convenience store.

As the summer lingers and the temperature rises, this quotidian town's adults grow wilder and more reckless while their children grow increasingly confused. Claire, Don, and their neighbors and friends find themselves on an existential odyssey, exploring the most puzzling quandaries of marriage and maturity. When does a fantasy become infidelity? When does compromise become resentment? When does routine become boring monotony? Can Claire and Don survive everything that befalls them in this one summer, forgive their mistakes, and begin again?

Award-winning writer Dean Bakopoulos delivers a brutally honest and incredibly funny novel about the strange and tenuous ties that bind us, and the strange and unlikely places we find connection. Full of mirth, melancholy, and redemption, Summerlong explores what happens when life goes awry.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/16/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062321183
ASIN:
B00NLM6AY4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Dean Bakopoulos. (2015). Summerlong: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Dean Bakopoulos. 2015. Summerlong: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Dean Bakopoulos, Summerlong: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Dean Bakopoulos. Summerlong: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:53:20
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:45:51
Last Metadata Check:
May 22, 2022 09:15:23
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        Dean Bakopoulos is the author of the New York Times Notable Book Please Don't Come Back from the Moon and My American Unhappiness. He holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the winner of a Guggenheim fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. He is the writer-in-residence at Grinnell College, and lives in Iowa.

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shortDescription

The author of Please Don't Come Back from the Moon and My American Unhappiness delivers his breakout novel: a deft and hilarious exploration of the simmering tensions beneath the surface of a contented marriage which explode in the bedrooms and backyards of a small town over the course of a long, hot summer.

In the sweltering heat of one summer in a small Midwestern town, Claire and Don Lowry discover that married life isn't quite as they'd predicted.

One night Don, a father of three, leaves his house for an evening stroll, only to wake up the next morning stoned, and sleeping in a hammock next to a young woman he barely knows. His wife, Claire, leaves the house on this same night to go on a midnight run—only to find herself bumming cigarettes and beer outside the all-night convenience store.

As the summer lingers and the temperature rises, this quotidian town's adults grow wilder and more reckless while their children grow increasingly confused. Claire,...

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title
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fullDescription

The author of Please Don't Come Back from the Moon and My American Unhappiness delivers his breakout novel: a deft and hilarious exploration of the simmering tensions beneath the surface of a contented marriage which explode in the bedrooms and backyards of a small town over the course of a long, hot summer.

In the sweltering heat of one summer in a small Midwestern town, Claire and Don Lowry discover that married life isn't quite as they'd predicted.

One night Don, a father of three, leaves his house for an evening stroll, only to wake up the next morning stoned, and sleeping in a hammock next to a young woman he barely knows. His wife, Claire, leaves the house on this same night to go on a midnight run—only to find herself bumming cigarettes and beer outside the all-night convenience store.

As the summer lingers and the temperature rises, this quotidian town's adults grow wilder and more reckless while their children grow increasingly confused. Claire, Don, and their neighbors and friends find themselves on an existential odyssey, exploring the most puzzling quandaries of marriage and maturity. When does a fantasy become infidelity? When does compromise become resentment? When does routine become boring monotony? Can Claire and Don survive everything that befalls them in this one summer, forgive their mistakes, and begin again?

Award-winning writer Dean Bakopoulos delivers a brutally honest and incredibly funny novel about the strange and tenuous ties that bind us, and the strange and unlikely places we find connection. Full of mirth, melancholy, and redemption, Summerlong explores what happens when life goes awry.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Lorrie Moore
      • content: Dean Bakopoulos is a great talent—everything he writes is full of insight and inspiration and the best kind of divine comedy.
      • premium: False
      • source: Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs
      • content: Summerlong is Dean Bakopoulos at his finest: daringly funny, heartbreakingly sad, and forever on the watch for redemption. This is a book for any season, any reader, anywhere—it shimmers with magic, lust, and love.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jane Hamilton
      • content: There is no better guide through a hot summer in the heartland than Dean Bakopoulos...Lovers chasing all over the joint, the glorious wreckage, and Bakopoulos with his keen eye, his sympathy and his wit, there to see all.
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: "Tennessee Williams has nothing on Bakopoulos when it comes to marital and moral dissipation... Into this emotional abyss Bakopoulos injects a high degree of coy humor and wry self-deprecation to deliver a heartbreaking and wise ... A sure hit with fans of the three Jonathans: Dee, Franzen, and Tropper."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Provocative, sultry... the novel stays light on its feet; its breezy chapters are laced with sex and humor... between the louche vibe and matriarchal presence, the novel often feels like Armistead Maupin's San Francisco teleported to the Midwest."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Bakopoulos is very much his own writer, and it is his distinct humanity and sense of humor that make this story so emotionally rewarding. This is that rare, contemporary suburban novel with characters the reader can actually embrace in spite of their many flaws."
      • premium: False
      • source: Miami Herald
      • content: "Summer gets weird in a Midwestern town when married couples start behaving recklessly-as if, my God, they're not married at all! Bakopoulos... uses the adults' bizarre behavior to examine ideas about marriage, happiness and that oh-so-slim line between fantasy and infidelity."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wisconsin State Journal
      • content: "A dishy warm-weather read... Bakopoulos draws readers into the intimate life of married couple Claire and Don Lowry as they wrestle with parenting, failed ambitions and the search for middle-aged happiness. There's sex, drugs and more sex in this steamy summer tale, with an intensely emotional undercurrent."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 20, 2015
        Bakopoulos (Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon) trades in urban angst for smalltown discontent in this novel, which begins on a late-spring evening in Grinnell, Iowa, when married father of two, Don Lowry, comes across sexy and suicidal Amelia Benitez Cooper (called ABC); meanwhile, his wife, Claire, a one-time novelist, meets itinerant actor Charlie Gulliver. Recent returnees to Grinnell, ABC is mourning the death of her lover, Philly, and Charlie is going through his mentally incapacitated father’s papers to find the novel he once wrote. ABC was one of the elder Gulliver’s favorite students. As the summer temperature rises, the Lowrys decide to separate. Claire and the kids move in with Charlie, and Don moves in with ABC and the elderly woman she cares for, Ruth Manetti. In a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage, Don suggests to Claire that they go through with their annual family vacation at a friend’s cabin on a lake in Northern Minnesota. Charlie, ABC, and Ruth are also along for the ride, as the story becomes a kind of American middle-class homage to Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night. Although the ghosts of Cheever and Updike hover overhead, Bakopoulos is very much his own writer, and it is his distinct humanity and sense of humor that make this story so emotionally rewarding. This is that rare, contemporary suburban novel with characters the reader can actually embrace in spite of their many flaws.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2015

        In the small Midwestern town of Grinnell, IA, the summer sun exposes despair, lust, and infidelity. Current and former residents merge--in more ways than one--seemingly to deal with a lingering question: Is the relative predictability of life in the Midwest pleasurable, mind-numbing, or both? The same quandary applies to marriage--safe, suffocating, or a mixture of the two? People whose paths cross in Grinnell during one distinct summer take advantage of typical coping escapes--sex, pot, alcohol--to avoid thinking about the elusive answers. Don and Claire have financial problems, ABC (a young woman who goes by her initials) is mourning the loss of her soul mate, Charlie is a discouraged actor, and Ruth is an older woman who serves as the collective memory of the town's behind-the-scenes life. Their entanglements enable each of them to move forward, at least a little. This look into the "summer of our discontent" concludes on a satisfying and somewhat mystical note. VERDICT In the vein of John Updike, Bakopoulos's third novel (after My American Unhappiness) reaches into the heart of a small community and reveals that sometimes lives need to unravel before they can be stitched together again. [Prepub Alert, 12/15/14.]--Susanne Wells, Indianapolis P.L.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2015
        It's a long, hot summer in the sleepy college town of Grinnell, Iowa. Don Lowry, the area's most successful real-estate agent, hides the fact that his own house is in foreclosure from his wife, one-time novelist Claire. Claire has secrets of her own: she's bored, lonely, and lusting after Charlie Gulliver, a failed actor who has returned home to care for his ailing father, a former professor with a reputation for seducing his female students. Over pot-smoking sessions, Don forms an unlikely friendship with one of those students. Known only by her initials, ABC, she is planning to commit suicide in order to go to the spirit world in search of her former roommate, the only person she ever truly loved. As Claire and Don spiral toward divorce, Charlie comes to terms with his father's legacy, and ABC finds an unlikely kindred spirit. Tennessee Williams has nothing on Bakopoulos (My American Unhappiness, 2011) when it comes to marital and moral dissipation fueled by the summer's rising temperatures. Yet into this emotional abyss Bakopoulos injects a high degree of coy humor and wry self-deprecation to deliver a heartbreaking and wise novel of false starts and new beginnings. A sure hit with fans of the three Jonathans: Dee, Franzen, and Tropper.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

subtitle
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popularity
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publisher
HarperCollins
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