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South of the Etowah: The View from the Wrong Side of the River

By author: Raymond L. Atkins
Product Code: P526
ISBN: 9780881465655
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Print on Demand title
Price: $18.00

Novelist Raymond L. Atkins offers a lighthearted change of pace in this collection of humorous essays. He explores a diverse range of topics as seen from the porch of his home on the southern bank of the mighty Etowah River in northern Georgia. From this lofty height he holds forth on holidays, parenthood, cars, home ownership, aging, travel, medicine, technology, ballet, movies, marriage, Shakespeare, dogs, cats, music, swimming pools, vintage television, nicknames, amusement parks, restaurants, school projects, language, computers, hair, bad jobs, William Faulkner, weddings, advertising, Broadway plays, yard work, hospitals, cooking, Elvis Presley, moving, money, art, college, dinner theater, and a variety of other subjects. Atkins lives and writes on a river, and the view from South of the Etowah is unique. It is funny, irreverent, wise, and well worth the trip. So come along! There is plenty of room on the porch, the coffee pot is on, and a cool breeze is blowing up from the river.
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Review by: Michael Smith, Kudzoo Magazine, autor of REBEL YELL: AN ORAL HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ROCK - February 20, 2016
Raymond L. Atkins has become one of my very favorite Southern writers. After reading his excellent novels Camp Redemption and Sweetwater Blues, I found myself eagerly awaiting his next novel, but Atkins had a surprise up his sleeve. With South of the Etowah, the author delivers a collection of humorous, often hilarious essays that immediately brought to mind one of my all-time favorite columnists, the late Lewis Grizzard. Atkins’ writing style is uniquely Southern just the way I like it, and he writes about everything from motion pictures to old television shows; music to ballet; and more personal subjects such as marriage and aging. By the way, he is by no means prejudice. He gives equal time to both cats and dogs! Buffalo says, “Check it out!”
Review by: Mann Martin, author of PARADISE DOGS and DAYS OF THE ENDLESS CORVETTE - February 1, 2016
Atkins is at his charming best in this collection of personal essays—wry, funny, and always deeply human. SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH is a pure delight.
Review by: Kim Boykin, author of A PEACH OF A PAIR - February 1, 2016
Atkins is a natural born storyteller who never fails to deliver poignant and wickedly funny tales. His collection of essays, SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH will have you gripping your heart one moment and doubled over with laughter the next.
Review by: Catherine McCall, author of the international best-selling memoir, NEVEL TELL - February 1, 2016
In a world polluted with bad news, shallow sound bites, sadness, and terror, SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH is a breath of fresh air. Each story has that down home Southern texture so typical of Atkins’ books, but here we get to meet him in the intimate worlds of his marriage and family life, where we experience his compassion, integrity, and his imaginative and humorous twists on the day to day. I enjoyed with out-loud-laughter every chapter of this book and the last one touched me with tears, as well. Read it. You’ll be a better person for having met him in this way.
Review by: Holly McClure, author of CONJUROR - February 1, 2016
This is a man's book but it made this girl laugh out loud. From stories about an old house, hound dogs, old cars, raising kids, living in the South and visiting the North, Raymond Atkins found humor, and at times wisdom. Each chapter stands on it's own, but they flow together to paint a picture of a life well lived. Men will relate to the author's observations and understand perfectly. Wives will suspect their husbands consulted Atkins a little too often. You'll want to read it a couple of chapters at a time to make it last. SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH has a permanent spot on our bookshelf.
Review by: Melanie Sumner, author of the novel, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL - February 1, 2016
Reading these essays is like rocking on a porch with your best friend. Raymond Atkins knows what you are going through—he’s been there himself, and he’s ready—in inimitable Atkins style—to make you laugh about it. With lucid prose and disarming charisma, SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH exposes the ironies of marriage, parenthood, pet-ownership, car-ownership, and life-in-general in Southern culture.
Review by: Sally Kilpatrick, author of THE HAPPY HOUR CHOIR - February 1, 2016
Raymond Atkins is a gentleman and a scholar, and he also happens to speak Southern. With his signature dry wit, he riffs on parenting, marriage, the perils of old house and hound dog ownership, and how he sees this crazy world we live in. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You’ll have a lot more fun reading SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH than Atkins had going to Les Miz.
Review by: Kimberly Brock, author of the award-winning novel, THE RIVER WITCH - February 1, 2016
From back porches to lonely prison cells, celebrated raconteur, Raymond Atkins, has captured the imaginations of readers with his hearty, revealing, and often tender storytelling. This collection of essays casts Atkins, and the South itself, as its main characters. Atkins has tucked the reader inside his breast pocket, inviting them along for a romp through his experiences in the region so close to his heart—a love letter to his home.
Review by: Jeff High, award-winning author of the Watervalley Books Series - February 1, 2016
Simply put, Raymond Atkins is an insightful and funny storyteller. Whether talking about nicknames, dogs, or home remedies, few people can capture Southern life with his level of cleverness and hilarity. In SOUTH OF THE ETOWAH, Atkins quickly draws you in to the familiar settings of everyday life and then takes you on a whimsical ride. This sharply written collection of essays is brilliantly witty, occasionally humbling, and addictively entertaining. I just couldn’t put it down!

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