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The Hunt Club (Huger Dillard #1)

3.17  ·  Rating Details ·  448 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
In this lyrically written, hauntingly seductive novel, Bret Lott brings to life the beauty and flavor of the mist-covered swamps and backlands of South Carolina's Lowcountry in a story that is both mystery and rite of passage.

At fifteen, Huger ("you say it YOU-gee") Dillard already knows a great deal about the ways of the world--or so he thinks. He may not have a father,
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 3rd 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

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Will Byrnes
Feb 17, 2016 Will Byrnes rated it liked it
Set in the land around Charleston, South Carolina, this tale, not written by Pat Conroy, tells of a young (15) lad, Huger, and his blind uncle, Leland. “Unc” is the owner of a significant tract of land, used for generations as a hunt club, a place where the wealthy of Charleston, those who live ”South of Broad,” come to drive pickups into the woods and shoot at animals that have been scared up by the locals. Think Dick Cheney and crew driving from stop to stop to jump out of their cars to take a ...more
Barbara Burd
Jun 08, 2014 Barbara Burd rated it really liked it
I recently attended a reading by Bret Lott and one of the books he chose was The Hunt Club, saying that he chose this in honor of librarians because the book has been challenged and librarians are the stalwarts of freedom to read. I'm not a big mystery reader, but I had read Lott's more familiar book Jewel several years ago and really enjoyed his lyrical style of writing. Living in South Carolina, I am familiar with the Charleston area and this added significantly to my enjoyment of the book. Al ...more
Alex Yu
Mar 12, 2010 Alex Yu rated it it was amazing
The Hunt Club by Bret Lott is a beautifully-written novel that follows a young boy’s journey into adulthood. Bret Lott has successfully combined both a very thrilling and exciting plotline with deep questions and issues that the protagonist, Huger Dillard, learns of throughout his journey.

Huger is a 15-year-old boy who learns many things about the nature of the world and the secrets, lies and bad intentions that it’s overfilled with, through a trilling and fast-paced chase through Hungry Neck,
Brendan L
Nov 16, 2009 Brendan L rated it liked it
The Hunt Club. The protagonist is on a mystery hunt, finds out her mother has been abducted discovered and illegal business in their own backyard. General plot of the story. The plot at the beginning started off great with the mystery of a dead member of the Hungry Neck Hunt Club. After a while, the plot twists between who is the villain and the motives for the characters get scrambled and become very dull.

The Novel starts with the mystery of a murdered husband a great start to a mystery book a
Mixed feelings about this one-- There were parts that pulled me right in, but then I'd find myself getting distracted by the location- instead of my beloved lowcountry enhancing the novel for me, I found myself trying to think of exactly where the author was describing, or trying to figure out if an intersection or street or storefront really existed. Very disconcerting. And the whole business with the medical university bothered me-- maybe because I worked for 20 years at The Medical Universit ...more
Jowell L.
Oct 25, 2010 Jowell L. rated it it was ok
Bret Lott’s The Hunt Club writes about Huger Dillard, a fifteen year old boy, and his development from childhood to facing the darkness of the outside world. The mystery begins as a mutilated body is discovered in Huger’s Uncle’s hunting club. They are then off to search for the criminal and the notions behind their actions. Sound interesting? Well, it doesn’t last long. After one or two pages of somewhat engaging story-telling, the novel completely loses its momentum as the sluggish process of ...more
Katie Powell
Apr 18, 2011 Katie Powell rated it it was ok
If Bret Lott's The Hunt Club were a movie, Nicolas Cage would be its star. Overflowing with murders, chase scenes, illicit lovers, and the discovery of national treasures, I kept picturing Cage's sallow face and receding hairline, melodramatically windswept, charging across the pages of The Hunt Club as Leland Dillard ('Unc') in this 1998 novel. This is not a compliment.

Leland Dillard is the strong and silent type. He's blind (he lost his sight diving into a burning house to save his dying wife)
Dale Barlow
Oct 15, 2015 Dale Barlow rated it it was amazing
15-year old Huger Dillard from state of SC has been guided through life by his Uncle Leland (“Unc”)—well he needs all that guidance to get out of the mess he, his mother, friends and Unc are in now…enough said, but it’s a thriller. 1998 hardback via Madison County Public Library, Berea at the recommendation of a patron who returned the book when spouse was working at the Library, 243 pgs.; 5 out of 5 stars
* surely this author, who has written a lot of books, has
newer ones since 1998
Aug 08, 2015 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fifteen year old boy works w/ his blind uncle at a hunt club in South Carolina whose clients are the wealthy elite. W/in the first couple of pages, Huger and his uncle happen upon a headless dead man w/ skinless hands w/ a sign indicating the uncle might know something about it. The mystery of who would do this and why is the story of "The Hunt Club."

The action-packed nature of the writing does keep the reader's attention, but rather inconsequential details and extra characters mire the story
Oct 15, 2010 Derek rated it it was amazing
The Hunt Club

The suspenseful book of The Hunt Club, written by Bret Lott is exquisitely crafted and has a very imaginative plotline. The book first introduces you with the character Huger Dillard, a fifteen year old boy, who has a complex family, living sometimes at his blind Uncle Leland’s hunt club or at his mom’s house.
The emotionally gripping novel starts with the encounter of a defaced and skinned corpse in the grassland of the Hungry Neck hunt club. The plot instantaneously starts to mesh
Jul 11, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
eehhh -- okay -- I guess. The vernacular was distracting at times, like reading a foreign language, especially at the end. I seriously don't think that many words were needed to describe the situation, either the internal or external one! I like descriptive language as much as the next person, and I love a good wrap up, tying up all the loose ends, even when contrived -- this isn't quite that. Like it tries, but doesn't quite get there.
And then there is villainous behavior, not just in this stor
Jun 03, 2009 Shannon rated it it was ok
Recommended to Shannon by: Aimee Guest
I got this book from the library after a friend read a book of short stories compiled by Lott. I started the short story collection and Lott's introduction was well-written, but I found, as always, that I just couldn't stick with the short stories. Instead, I thought I'd give one of Lott's novels a try. The quotes on the back of this book from the likes of Wally Lamb and Chris Bohjalian were encouraging since I have read and enjoyed books by both of these authors.

But I didn't enjoy The Hunt Club
Feb 25, 2012 Bobbi rated it liked it
This is one of those books that had definite things I didn't like and things I did like. In the end, I have to say I enjoyed it but with caveats. Lott's writing here is as beautiful as usual and yes, he can write a good thriller. The downside is that sometimes he gets to pontificating on say, the green of the swamp, and you're just wanting to know wether the bad guy is going to find the good guys in said swamp.
However, Lott brings to life the Charleston we don't normally see-the one outside of
Mar 14, 2016 Mere rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, the-south
A truly suspenseful and impeccably intriguing novel! Still trying to process the beauty and mystery of it. Lott created a story interwoven with characters and a plot that had me flipping pages rapidly. Woah. Recommended for readers who like not knowing what's coming next, and readers who have an appreciation for the Deep South. The setting has me homesick for the Carolinas. Truly remarkable read.
Nov 27, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
An engrossing read with multiple twists and turns set in Charleston, SC. I see why it was controversial on a HS reading list, with a fair amount of profanity and occasional allusions to adult content, but also see why young adult readers would find it compelling - great read. My copy is signed by the author!
Aug 01, 2010 Pamela rated it liked it
Through the eyes of fifteen year old Huger Dillard (pronounced "YOU-gee"), Lott tells a tale that winds and twists and turns again. The book includes a blind man who can "see," a protective mother, a dark family secret, a gruesome murder, lots of guns, a really good horse, redneck trash (think Deliverance), an arrogant aristocrat with elegant diction, legends, and buried treasure all in a coastal wilderness setting--does this sound like a modern Huck Finn combined with a few other novels? For on ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it
Good story but was too descriptive of the setting, including street names and exit numbers in Charleston, leaving me distracted from the story. I felt like I was following the characters on google maps.
Dec 15, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it
This is my first book by this author, but not my last. The South Carolina setting along with Lott's vibrant characters made for a magnetic story. Lots of surprises in store for the reader, too!
Sep 15, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Because I was drawn in by the murder-mystery and liked 15 year old Houger(YOU-gee)I would have given this 3 or maybe even 4 stars. But there were too many heartless villains with raunchy foul mouths for me to recommend this to my friends. The authors description of the Low country of South Carolina makes me want to visit but the continual breaks in the action to tell us details of the surrounding streets and neighborhoods was trying. The round-up of all the motives & murders & crimes &am ...more
Mike Oconnor
Apr 03, 2016 Mike Oconnor rated it liked it
Decent story but the descriptions of the low country and Charleston are outstanding.
Feb 10, 2016 Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2016
Decent Southern gothic coming-of-age mystery set in Charleston.
Dayna Smith
This is the story of a teenage Southern boy whose blind uncle runs a "hunt club" on several thousand acres of land. Every weekend rich doctors come to eat and hunt deer. One weekend Huger (You-Gee) and his Uncle Leland discover a dead body. This discovery sets in motion a chain of events that threaten Huger and everyone he cares about. When Huger untangles this web of murder, deceit, and lies will he ever be the same again? Will he survive? A wonderful whodunit! Just when you think you've figure ...more
Jun 26, 2016 Caitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the worst books I have ever read!
Anji Scarbrough
Jun 17, 2014 Anji Scarbrough rated it really liked it
Good, quick one day read.
Apr 20, 2008 Caroline rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Displaced Southerners, Fiction writers, Anyone taking a long flight
I'm a little torn here on how to rate this.

Plot: Eh...totally engaging, but seemed to become more & more contrived as the story develops. I guess I'm more comfortable with loose ends than Lott expects.

Actual writing: Awesome! For me, this is what drives the book--possibly more than plot. I really appreciate Lott's attention to the Southern dialect, pacing, and lush depiction of Charleston's trees, marshes, colors. I just wanted to roll around in his descriptions (of landscape, not dead bod
Aug 28, 2013 Shari rated it really liked it
Not expecting much from this novel I picked out of a stack of used books but a quick easy read, I was very happy to find a beautifully crafted book.

A fifteen year old boy must step up in a frightening situation and protect and care for a blind uncle and an unhappy mother. The book, mostly dialogue and introspection done in dialect, did not falter. I was reminded of Twain by the tightness of the dialect, and Lott's fully developed style.

It is a quick read, but it's much better than good.
Maria (Ri)
Jun 08, 2010 Maria (Ri) rated it really liked it
Well, it took me 6 years to get to this one, but I finally did! It was not at all what I expected. It is told from the perspective of Huger, a 15 year old Southern boy. This book is a fast paced and often confusing thriller. At times I really felt like I had missed something. Taking breaks in the reading to tend to my 2 year old and 5 month old only added to the confusion. However, it still was an engaging read and carried with it the richness and heaviness I associate with the south.
E Ghan
Apr 20, 2016 E Ghan rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2013 Rennie rated it it was ok
Quick pick off the shelf based on the back cover write up so no expectations going in. As there are no part stars, I gave it a 2 but it was really a bit better than that. Pretty good page-turner of a mystery with interesting characters. Some scenes in the second half go on too long which annoyed me but I skipped along and in the end liked pretty well but a 3 might make someone read it who would end up feeling it was a 1.5!
Sep 04, 2008 Bnschmid rated it liked it
this is a story of a fifteen year old boy growing up in the swamps of North Carolina's low-country.This story has everything;murder,pot growers who happen to belong to the local constabulary,deception,love,rednecks,etc...This kid,Huger{pronounced You-gee}goes through quite a bit in just a couple days.He is beaten up,kidnapped,witnesses countless murders,kisses a hot black chick,is shot.It was certainly interesting.
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Bret Lott is the bestselling author of fourteen books, most recently the nonfiction collection Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian (Crossway 2013) and the novel Dead Low Tide (Random House 2012). Other books include the story collection The Difference Between Women and Men, the nonfiction book Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life, and the novels Jewe ...more
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Huger Dillard (2 books)
  • Dead Low Tide

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