Tender by Mark Childress

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Stephen King: "Mark Childress's novel, TENDER, is a little more than just a fine novel; it is a big, all-American, Technicolor dreamboat of a book, as vital and as intense as anything I've read in the last 10 years. Childress's understanding and love of this new music lends Tender the sort of piney woods authenticity I associate with such American classics as Elmer Gantry and All The King's Men."

Tender is the novel of the greatest rock-and-roll star the world has ever seen. It's so intimate and so powerful a story, it has to be fiction.

This is the story of Leroy Kirby, a poor white boy from Tupelo, Mississippi, who moves to Memphis, finds his voice, and transforms himself -- in one remarkable year -- from a guitar-picking truck driver to the most famous rock-and-roll singer in the world. It is one of America's essential and enduring legends, brought to life through the imagination of a superb novelist.

Reading Tender, you experience Leroy Kirby's life from the inside. His hard childhood with his daddy away in prison. His adoring, overprotective mother. The sudden metamorphosis of tender young Leroy into the bad-looking boy with wild clothes and the duck's-ass pompadour. The early recording sessions, the stunning overnight success, the sharp-eyed manager who takes Leroy under his wing. The first tastes of the alcohol and drugs that will one day consume his life. The hysteria of thousands of screaming, swooning girls. And, as the novel closes, you see the end of Leroy's glory years, as he is publicly, humiliatingly shorn for induction into the Army.

About Mark Childress

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Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Alabama. He is the author of five previous novels and three books for children. He has lived in Ohio, Indiana, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, California, Costa Rica, and currently lives in New York City.
Published June 25, 2012 by Overture Press. 576 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

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