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The Bible Salesman

by Clyde Edgerton

      Preston Clearwater is a conman and criminal to the nth degree. He needs someone to help him in his nefarious deeds and finds the perfect patsy in Henry Damier, a young, 19 year-old man making his way around the south hitch-hiking and selling Bibles.

Preston takes advantage of young Henry’s innocence and gullibility and soon has him driving stolen cars to paint shops, Preston convincing Henry that he, Preston, is an FBI agent, and Henry is now working undercover with him.

Along the way, the reader is introduced to a very colorful but well described South just after World War II. Preston soon graduates to more serious crimes but Henry is starting to wake up to the reality of what he is doing and is questioning some of his very fundamental upbringing.

Clyde Edgerton is well known for his books about the South, with seven bestsellers, including Raney and Walking across Egypt. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina and knows of what he writes.

Walking Across Egypt has always made the list of my top ten favorite reads, number one being To Kill a Mockingbird.  After reading The Bible Salesman, I do believe someone on the list is going to have to drop to number eleven. I loved this magical romp through the South with just a bit of Southern Gothic thrown in.

The Book

Little Brown and Company
August 11, 2008
031611751X / 978-0316117517
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The Reviewer

Susan Johnson
Reviewed 2008
© 2008