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The Floatplane Notebooks

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  802 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The Copeland family of Listre, North Carolina, goes back a long way. Each family member has a story to tell, and stories to be told about one another. Albert Copeland, the head of the family, writes it all down in the notebooks he started once to track the progress of the floatplanes he built, though they never did fly. Everything about the Copelands is in these books. And ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 21st 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published September 9th 1988)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 08, 2007 Jean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Southern fiction and humor
Come on, Clyde Edgerton is great. He writes funny, tender stories and has made writing little old ladies an art form. He's easy on the eyes and has a bluegrass band, for pete's sake. This book breaks rules about how many points of views are okay in writing, and I love that. Even a wisteria vine has a point of view. This book made its stage debut with the Charlotte Repertory Theatre, and Clyde had a reception before the opening. He played the banjo and talked to us like we were sitting in his liv ...more
Tina Lawson
One of my favorite books.
Mark Powell
I had the pleasure of working with Clyde at St. Andrews College years ago. This one is my favorite. He captures the voices of people from my childhood!
This is a book that I thot was really kinda just ok but I read it when I was pregnant the first time and I was lying on the couch and there's a passage in the book that was so funny to me, when I read it out loud to my husband, I fell off the couch! So how could I NOT give it "an amazing" review? I read it again a few years later and the the same passage cracked me up again, altho I was not unmoored balance wise and did not fall off anything that time. Whew. Just thinking of the passage makes me ...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
I've listened to this as an audiobook at least 5 times, once with my husband John Kitchens for his first time. It has ROFL parts and some of the most sad, moving parts I've ever read. this isn't really a spoiler for the best ROFL part: Watch out/listen out for Papa saying: "Thantion it, damn it, thantion it!"

In this book, characters interior monologues, their thoughts, are given as speech. These interior monologues also are from "the wisteria vine" at the graveyard and the folks buried in the g
A wonderful novel about ancestry and way of life in the South. This book's layout is similar to "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner. I truly loved the stories told by each of the family members and their tradition.
Pretty good. A nice-ish little story of a southern family. It was recommended to me by a NC bookstore owner, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone.
As a collection of individual stories and personal recollections, it was interesting, but there was no real story - nothing apart from the characters' relationships with each other to bind them all together. Mr. Edgerton does a great job juggling several different first-person points of view. Each character has their own distinct voice, even the wisteria vine. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there had been more reports of what the vine "overheard." I was also surprised that the floatplan ...more
My very favorite Edgerton book. Details of flying, life, family and more. Love this book.
Sue Lipton
Did I miss something? Was this the wrong intro to Edgerton?
Susan Fetterer
I really enjoy Clyde Edgerton's writing style, his storylines, and most of all, his interesting characters. They're unique and live lives worthy of dissection and discussion. Every family (hopefully) has at least one storyteller who chronicles those who came before and puts the pieces of the family puzzle together and creates a sense of completeness. Family sagas help us understand ourselves a little bit better and brings long gone progenitors again to life. Love this stuff!
Rebecca Guest-Scott
May 17, 2008 Rebecca Guest-Scott rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone--even surly teen who hate to read
Recommended to Rebecca by: Bryant Mangum
This book tells the story of several generations in a revolving narrative that gives each character his or her own say, however briefly. Like an intricate quilt composed of squares from different quilters, the story is gradually pieced together by the voices of vivid, deeply-human characters. This is one of my top three favorite books of all time.
I liked this book. I thought it did a good job of capturing Eastern North Carolina dialogue patterns; I also thought it managed to span various time periods well and still be believable. However, if you're averse to parts of a story being told by a wisteria vine, maybe this isn't the book for you.
Edgerton writes the most amusing books. This one was no exception. The events of daily life are told by each character which confirms that we are all unique and our interpretations of life are also unique. I love Edgerton's style and proclaim this book as one of his best.
This story was probably not supposed to make me cry, but it did. Rich language interwoven with humor, The Floatplane Notebooks ebbs and flows with the human foibles of a southern family, and it's as real and poignant as the best of its genre. Recommended.
Mar 20, 2009 Bayneeta rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bayneeta by: Claudia
Shelves: fiction
Told from multiple points of view--including, I think, the family dog and the wisteria. Not my favorite Edgerton, but good. Claudia chose it for our staff book discussion.
Laugh out loud funny in places, but overall serious throughout. Family saga set in the Carolinas. Wonderful accents. Crazy relatives. Told from different perspectives.
I just loved this story. I loved it so much that the year I read it I gave it to just about everyone I knew as a Christmas present.
Not endearing, unlikable main characters, too many dead children. And not humorous enough to make up for all of the above.
Deanndra Hall
Didn't like this one quite as much as most of his, but I still liked it. I don't think he's ever written anything I didn't like!
Kim Miller
This is a really fast read. The story is told from the children's and the wisteria vine's perspective. Very creative.
This one is a little different. Not really funny at all. I liked it but prefer his books that contain more humor.
Not his best, but still very fund and some very funny vignettes. Humans taking on very strange projects.
Hunter Daughtrey
This was my second favorite of his early works. It was a bit darker in its humor, which worked for me.
I enjoyed this . Quick read about Southern life and family ties in the mid 20th century.
Another great book by Clyde Edgerton. I can't get enough of his stories.
Lisa Peterson
May have been my favorite. Hard to say because I love all of his work
Easily my all time favorite book. Could be my family story.
Jul 18, 2008 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cheri, Jennifer, Ella, Jackie
Recommended to Carmen by: Ruth White
One of my favorites, have read three times.
Bob Scruggs
One of the best books I have ever read. Ever!
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Clyde Edgerton is widely considered one of the premier novelists working in the Southern tradition today, often compared with such masters as Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor.

Although most of his books deal with adult concerns--marriage, aging, birth and death--Edgerton's work is most profoundly about family. In books such as Raney, Walking Across Egypt, The Floatplane Notebooks, and Killer Dill
More about Clyde Edgerton...
Walking Across Egypt Raney The Bible Salesman Lunch at the Piccadilly Killer Diller

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