Lightning Song by Lewis Nordan

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Synopsis

Leroy Dearman is twelve, and he lives on a llama farm in Mississippi. Life is perfect. It's true that his grandfather just died in the attic and that wild dogs kill a baby llama now and then, and it's true that one little sister curses him and the other one wets her pants. But up to the day Uncle Harris moves in, life looks like it's right out of a Walt Disney movie. No wonder the llamas greet each morning with a song. Uncle Harris arrives in a sports car, full of funny stories and new ideas. He manages to persuade Leroy's straitlaced parents to join him for cocktails in the evening. He sets up a pretty grand bachelor pad in the Dearman attic, with a telephone, a TV set, and a stack of Playboy magazines. He is, you might say, Romance itself. Once Uncle Harris moves in, life on the llama farm takes on an entirely different flavor. Leroy discovers those magazines. Electricity fills the Dearman house. Equilibrium tilts, conversation trails off, the atmospheric pressure twists--and lightning strikes. Leroy starts seeing things he's never seen before, like the very gifted baton-twirling teacher, and his world changes forever. Not since PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT has a novel looked so directly, hilariously, and bittersweetly at the heartbreak of puberty.
 

About Lewis Nordan

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Lewis Nordan was born in Forest, Mississippi on August 23, 1939. He received a bachelor's degree from Millsaps College, a master's degree from Mississippi State University, and a Ph.D. from Auburn University. He taught at the University of Arkansas and elsewhere before joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. He retired from there in 2005. His first book, Welcome to the Arrow-Catcher Fair, was published in 1983. His other works include Wolf Whistle, Lightning Song, Sugar among the Freaks, and Boy with Loaded Gun. He died due to complications of pneumonia on April 13, 2012 at the age of 72.
 
Published January 5, 1997 by Algonquin Books. 280 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lightning Song

Kirkus Reviews

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The folksy and always entertaining Nordan (The Sharpshooter Blues, 1995, etc.) returns with his latest wild ride of the imagination, this time drawing his knee-slapping laughs from the disparity between a 12-year-old boy's point of view and the adult events he witnesses one volatile summer in rur...

May 23 1997 | Read Full Review of Lightning Song

Kirkus Reviews

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While his parents act out their domestic drama, the young Leroy discovers some harsh truths about sexuality himself, first from his uncle's stash of skin mags, then from his crush on a buxom, baton-twirling high-school girl who actually fulfills his wildest fantasy.

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Publishers Weekly

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Exaggeration and melodrama are the hallmarks of Nordan's fiction. They have helped build his cult following (celebrated by the creation of a Lewis Nordan Fan Club in conjunction with the publication o

Jan 06 1997 | Read Full Review of Lightning Song

Publishers Weekly

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Leroy's bucolic existence on his family's llama farm is disrupted by the arrival of Harris, the debonair but free-loading brother of Leroy's one-armed father, Swami Don.

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Entertainment Weekly

Set on a llama ranch in Mississippi, this coming-of-age novel has plenty of off-kilter characters but nothing truly disturbing: no incestuous rapes, no misfit killers.

May 23 1997 | Read Full Review of Lightning Song

Reader Rating for Lightning Song
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