Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Front Porch Prophet-Raymond L. Atkins

The Front Porch Prophet
Raymond L. Atkins
Medallion, Jun 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9781933836386

Sixty miles southwest of Chattanooga live one thousand souls in Sequoyah, Georgia. Two of them, A. J. Longstreet and Eugene Purdue have been best friends since childhood. However, the buddies fight over Eugene's Peter Pan lifestyle that irritates A.J. who insists he act like an adult. They go their separate ways.

Years later, A.J. is dying from terminal pancreatic cancer. He welcomes his childhood friend Eugene who has come to see him back into his life. They renew their friendship, but A.J. demands two things from his pal. First he needs Eugene’s help to visit his family, past and present, to learn what made him what he is. Second when the time comes, he wants no machine keeping him alive; instead he pleads with Eugene to end it for him Peter Pan is no longer in Neverland as mortality and euthanasia requires a grownup.

THE FRONT PORCH PROPHET is a deep poignant look at friendship in a small Georgia town. Humor is used to somewhat abate the tension of pending death with light touches like the local fire department’s inability to put out a fire or even names of the eccentric support cast. Fans will appreciate this insightful glimpse at life in the south where sipping Georgia ice tea on a cabin’s porch might be dangerous as anything can fall from the sky; just ask the cops.

Harriet Klausner

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