Details

ISBN-10: 1982155566
ISBN-13: 9781982155568
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publish Date: 09/07/2021
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 5.20" W, 0.70" H

Cuyahoga

Paperback

Price: $17.00

In stock

Overview

Longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel “Cuyahoga is tragic and comic, hilarious and inventive–a 19th-century legend for 21st-century America” (The Boston Globe). Big Son is a spirit of the times–the times being 1837. Behind his broad shoulders, shiny hair, and church-organ laugh, Big Son practically made Ohio City all by himself. The feats […]

Longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel

Cuyahoga is tragic and comic, hilarious and inventive–a 19th-century legend for 21st-century America” (The Boston Globe).

Big Son is a spirit of the times–the times being 1837. Behind his broad shoulders, shiny hair, and church-organ laugh, Big Son practically made Ohio City all by himself. The feats of this proto-superhero have earned him wonder and whiskey, but very little in the way of fortune. And without money, Big cannot become an honest husband to his beloved Cloe (who may or may not want to be his honest wife).

In pursuit of a steady wage, our hero hits the (dirt) streets of Ohio City and Cleveland, the twin towns racing to become the first great metropolis of the West. Their rivalry reaches a boil over the building of a bridge across the Cuyahoga River–and Big stumbles right into the kettle. The resulting misadventures involve elderly terrorists, infrastructure collapse, steamboat races, wild pigs, and multiple ruined weddings.

Narrating this “very funny, rambunctious debut novel” (Los Angeles Times) tale is Medium Son–known as Meed–apprentice coffin maker, almanac author, orphan, and the younger brother of Big. Meed finds himself swept up in the action, and he is forced to choose between brotherly love and his own ambitions. His uncanny voice–plain but profound, colloquial but poetic–elevates a slapstick frontier tale into a “breezy fable of empire, class, conquest, and ecocide” (The New York Times Book Review).

Evoking the Greek classics and the Bible alongside nods to Looney Tunes, Charles Portis, and Flannery O’Connor, Pete Beatty has written “a hilarious and moving exploration of family, home, and fate [and] you won’t read anything else like it this year” (BuzzFeed).

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Reviews
"Beatty evokes the familiarities of genre, history and place while drafting them for a wild new context. In this regard, Cuyahoga is a breezy fable of empire, class, conquest and ecocide... Beatty revels in fabulizing a region he clearly knows and loves."
New York Times Book Review

"Pete Beatty's very funny, rambunctious debut novel, Cuyahoga...could be read with pleasure in 2002, or 1950. Or 1837, when most of it is set. It's a satire of tall tales, but not a distant, too-cool treatment. Beatty, a Cleveland-area native, deeply inhabits the tone and style of the form, paying sidelong homage to an essential American genre... A healthy society might stand to be more skeptical of the myth-making that creates such figures. But in the society we have, they endure, and Beatty wrings absurd and serious pleasure from them."
Los Angeles Times

"Entertaining, rambunctious, and touching... [Big Son is] the most extraordinary hero in Ohio's history, a hero hitherto unknown and unsung (and, admittedly, fictional)... Cuyahoga is filled with memorable characters...Rough-hewn and ribald, uproarious and affecting, Beatty's novel is a singular piece of work. Big Son is a frontier demigod in the mold of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, and Davy Crockett, but far more poignantly drawn than any of them...The book's dialogue is wonderfully idiosyncratic, its asides surprisingly insightful...A great read set in a great city, Cuyahoga is tragic and comic, hilarious and inventive – a 19th-century legend for 21st-century America,"
Boston Globe

"A light-hearted parody of America's founding mythologies,"
The Wall Street Journal

"A hilarious and moving exploration of family, home, and fate ... you won't read anything else like it this year."
Buzzfeed, most anticipated

"It's worth mentioning how much fun there is to be had with Cuyahoga, a lot of which will provoke out-loud laughter. The robust yarn's patron spirits would include Twain and Charles (True Grit) Portis. Beatty has fashioned a true picaresque accomplishment,"
Artsfuse

"A boisterous adventure."
The Millions, most anticipated

"A vigorous American story of competition and heroism... a richly embroidered, most original tale."
Akron Beacon Journal

"Cuyahoga brings long ago midwest back to life,"
Chicago Reader

"A rollicking, inventive, satirical twist on fables and tall tales...with an engrossing style of prose and humor that critics have compared to John Barth, Thomas Pynchon and Charles Portis."
Cleveland Scene

"Really good: boldly conceived, imaginatively written and wholly original... Following in the fantastical footsteps of novelists such as John Barth and Thomas Pynchon, Beatty uses his home state as a jumping-off point for a wild, far-fetched tale... Most satisfying is Beatty's redolent prose."
Columbus Dispatch

"An improbable, downright preposterous yarn ably spun and a great entertainment for a time in need of laughter."
Kirkus, starred review

A ribald, shaggy delight...Told in lively, poetic language, Cuyahoga feels at once brand new and as old as its namesake river,"
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Details

ISBN-10: 1982155566
ISBN-13: 9781982155568
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publish Date: 09/07/2021
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 5.20" W, 0.70" H
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