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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  344 ratings  ·  63 reviews
At once an offbeat love story, a moving portrait of a family in crisis, and a darkly funny American comedy, Kyle Beachy's arresting debut novel-written in prose that is swift, stunning, andsweet-heralds the arrival of a remarkable new voice in fiction.
Potter Mays retreats immediately after college graduation to the safe house of his childhood home. Like clockwork each mor
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Published January 27th 2009 by Random House Publishing Group
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Twenty-two year-old Potter Mays, the hapless anti-hero of this coming-home-but-not-really debut novel, has a three-month time-out from life to get it together. Three months – originally supposed to be three weeks – till his girlfriend Audrey returns from her own find-herself excursion to Europe. He couldn’t ask for a softer landing. Mom and Dad would like him to stay for a while, and Dad’s Name is enough in this small Midwest town to get him a job.

Squirrels in the attic turn out to share the spa
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

So before anything else, please understand that I was rooting from page one for Chicagoan Kyle Beachy's debut novel The Slide to be great; after all, the way I received a copy in the first place was by the author literally bicycling over to my freaking neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and hand-deli
In The Slide, Kyle Beachy composes a narrative that produces the reading experience I search for in a novel. By the end of the first chapter, one feels a sense of longing. Unlike the motivated reading inspired by mystery or suspense, The Slide encourages the longing one feels upon meeting someone special for the first time, a desire to chase intimacy. Potter Mays is a character familiar enough to believe in, yet distant enough to inspire curiosity. This delicate balance does more than merely s ...more
Note: I wrote this review for publication, but it got killed (editor had double-booked reviews of the same title by accident). That's why it sounds a little more formal than the GR standard. But enjoy!

Bestselling self-help books call it the quarter-life crisis; psychologists call it the post-college transition. To first-time novelist Kyle Beachy, it's the slide: the disorienting time when college has ended and adulthood hovers in the wings, both too close and too far away.

Beachy's main character
Jul 24, 2008 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: i will probably be recommending this book to everyone
Recommended to Margaret by: Kyle

the book is good, and it is funny, and it is sad, and it is (oh god dare I say it ) heartwarming and if you don't know kyle already it is probably going to make you fall in love with him, which was probably the (not so secret) reason he wrote the book in the first place - so watch out, young and open hearts of the world - watch out for 2009
The Slide is undoubtedly a great book. It hovers somewhat close to a magnificent book, and lots of people obviously think it gets there. But for me it was only almost.

It's a bit hard to explain why I think this is so. I mean, this is a book written to appeal almost directly to me, for one thing. It's practically about me, or at least plenty of people I know. The hero is Potter Mays, upper-middle class disaffected overly smart kid who just graduated college and has (somewhat) sheepishly moved ba
(disclaimer i know the author from telepresence and have had the pleasure of sharing a non-telepresence beverage with him, so salt my stars to your taste)

I was either never young enough or old enough, even when I was young enough, to appreciate coming-of-age stories. I always resented the genre because i cynically suspected its implementations to be either wisdom from someone unfairly young to have it or just unripened bile. and by "I was" i mean mostly I am. So I was a little uncertain, even wi
This is, in many ways, a very standard, traditional coming of age novel about a kid who moves back home the summer after he graduates college. Nothing special there.

But it's set in St. Louis, and that REALLY affects things. Like.. it's one thing to read a novel about a guy in his 20s who's lost and directionless and searching for meaning and significance in his life. But it's another thing entirely when the guy you're reading about is doing all those things RIGHT DOWN THE STREET from you. It bec
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okay, so at first I'm thinking coming-of-age tale, and typical in some ways, drugs, loss, sex, fractured families, and on and on, but good, the Kyle Beachy can definitely write, and then we're thinking, nice, it's also a celebration of St. Louis and the mid-west, and I like that, its different, and again, the Beachy can you know, write, but then like 200 pages in, its something all together different, a story suddenly filled with twists and turns, chaos, violence, and goodness; a story I couldn' ...more
I was in St. Louis this week. I visited the Arch and knocked on it as if to determine its quality. I made up a game wherein I have the means to travel to a new city for the sole occasion of reading a novel based in that city. (This game has one round.) For this round I picked The Slide by Kyle Beachy and read the whole thing over the course of two days. It’s an exciting book, full of imaginative bounds and small experiments and other freshness. I had an incredible feeling reading about downtown ...more
Incredible book. Beachy put it on. Funny, enthralling, dark (yes) and hotly well wrote- in the way that makes you want to reread it, quote it, steal lines and pass em off as your own at a party.

You all better pre order right now.
I can't recommend this book enough -- it was a fast, fun read with many poignant passages. I am shocked that this is a debut novel -- the story is well-crafted and well-told and very original. Easily the best thing I've read in a while...
Loved it! Took a weird turn at the end and I didn't appreciate all the Cubs bashing, but hey.... it is set in St. Louis.
Jason Jordan
After catching wind of the acclaim regarding Beachy's debut novel, I delved into The Slide with high expectations. And yes, I may have shot myself in the foot, but it's nearly impossible to read a book, see a movie, or play a video game without hearing other opinions about it beforehand. Then there's the notion of the "world view," and how it will affect one's reactions. But I digress prior to even getting started.

Luckily, this book's characters are all memorable, suggesting that characterizati
what an interesting book. i don't want to compare it to AHWOSG, but it was the same type of 'hmm, i haven't seen that writing style before' and it does take a bit of time to adjust to it. not sure i actually adjusted to it by the end of the book.

it's different in the sense that this isn't a long book, but it isn't a quick read. i went back numerous times to the paragraph i had just read thinking 'huh, i must have dazed out there b/c all of the sudden i'm somewhere and i'm not quite sure where'.
Sonia Reppe
Sep 04, 2009 Sonia Reppe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: guys, Cardinals fans, and anyone who lived at home after college
This book is very subtle. It seems like not much is going on with Potter, recent college grad back at home in Missouri, but a lot is going on. He has parents he doesn't feel entirely comfortable around; he has a rich pal; an ex-girlfriend; a temp job; a hot neighbor; a lonely kid whom he befriends; and a dead brother.

Yes, on some level he's trying to figure out himself, but it's not self-conscious. His reflections on what he sees and experiences—some of his descriptions are wittily good—don't c
Good, fun, and quick read. Loved reading as a person who is the age of the narrator and as a person who has briefly met the author and would be proud of a Chicago writing wunderkind. Beachy is not a wunderkind, but competent, perhaps a little too influenced by his MFA. His first "story of a post-grad" novel does not shape up to be nearly as good as This Side of Paradise, or The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (and I'm only in the middle of the second). Maybe it's not fair to compare Beachy to Fitzgerald ...more
Based on responses from some whose opinions I respect very much, I really wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, it just didn't float my boat all that much. It was a fine book with some very fine writing in it. At his lyrical best, Beachy is a very solid writer. But on the whole, I just felt sort of meh about the story and lacked the sense of place that seems to make the book appeal to many reviewers.

I do find myself wondering if this isn't a book that appeals to a younger audience than I (oh
Mark Cugini
realistically speaking, I thought this was a pretty decent first novel. I'm giving it 2 stars because of failed potential. Beachy introduces a plethora of engaging characters, but the problem is there's a plethora of them. some of the better ones, like Zoe, Potter's "angelic" 16 year-old neighbor, get such little focus that it's difficult to consider them anything less than devices to move the unoriginal plot along. maybe if Potter Mays, Beachy's main character, was half as sympathetic of a char ...more
Like most kids out of college these days moving back home is a must while tackling the career world, but sometimes being at home can get a little too…not comfortable per se, but put you in a rut…a very, very deep one. For twenty-two year old Potter Mays, in The Slide by Kyle Beachy, that is the case. While having breakfast prepared every morning by your mother and having your best friend as your life coach might sound fine and dandy; it’s all a mirage. The underlying issues of home, relationship ...more
Suzanne Skelly
I probably would not have picked up this book to read if I had not sen a preview of it in a local St. Louis magazine, and known he was a local Ladue boy who had written it.

It was kind of fun that it was set in St.Louis and many of the locals, eateries, and businesses were familiar.

Well written, it was a coming of age story about a recebt college graduate trying desperately to deal with the realities of life. He realizes that many things that he thought were solid were not, and that love in all i
The Slide is a great novel. It's wonderfully and uniquely descriptive on every page, triggering little recognitions or discoveries. The characters' voices are perfect; he's drawn together a wonderful mix of people who seem eccentric and totally normal at the same time. After being surprised by some turn of events, I would then realize that the event made perfect sense; he had subtly set it up earlier. The characters manage to be hip and cool like modern people, but not in an annoying or ironic o ...more
A few points regarding this novel:
* enjoyed the St. Louis references & admire Beachy's attempts to capture the sociological particularities of the place, although there was not enough tension between stereotype and reality for my taste.
* some nice stretches of prose. but some gaggy bits, as when potter defines "the moral of the summer" for audrey at the end of the book.
* the character of zoe (and that relationship) is underdone.
* all in all, a fairly enjoyable read, especially for those w
This is a very interesting and often very insightful book. I'm glad I read it but I think I would have done better reading it as part of a book group. I am too literal to understand some of the transitions and episodes that occurred. I kept wondering if certain scenes were a dream or wishful thinking. I especially found the encounter with Ian's mom confusing. If it was an actual incident, what are the odds? And can this kid not learn from any of his mistakes? And if it was not an actual incident ...more
I really enjoyed this book. I liked that he wrote about the awkward time between graduation but before you really figure out what to do next. It's an awful time but made for a good plot/conflict. The characters were well done and the story had layers. I like how he interlaced the Audrey story line, felt realistic. I esp. enjoyed his interaction with the kid. It was touching and therapeutic and was a smart way of showing one side of Potter's character. One of my favs this year so far!
Herein lies the essence of St Louis in the summer. The heat, the Cardinals, the Budweiser, the high school gatherings, the pools, the forays into West County and the sympathy for a downtown that has seen better days...and also thoughts on the life of a graduated liberal art student living with his parents.

I'd take more context from the 2001 Cardinals season than Potter Mays's romantic yearnings, but I hear publishers prefer books with wider public appeal.
Just purely entertaining, good read. I'm not sure I "get it" in terms of how the story ends and what I'm supposed to get out of the main character, Potter Mays. I'm just glad it turned out as it should, not happy or sad, just life. Me being a woman, I wanted more about the love life, but maybe that's why the story is so good.... you don't need it to be what you expect to enjoy the book. I'm glad to have read the book and support a local author!
Aug 27, 2009 Ali rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ali by: Katie Vagnino
Shelves: 2009
Beechy definitely knows how to turn a phrase (some of the language in this book was truly wonderful) but I found myself not really caring about any of his characters or what happened to them. I think that's the big reason why the book took me as long to read as it did; every time I picked it up, I enjoyed the parts I read, but there just wasn't enough in it to make me want to pick it up again the next day.

I wavered between giving this four stars as, at it's root, it's a devastatingly sad book on death and divorce. But the main character, instead of understanding more about himself, wavers on apathy and self-pity that made me want to slap him about.

Partially well written. Partially confusing.

I will look for future books by the author as I think he has great potential.
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Completely everythng at all... 3 30 Feb 27, 2009 12:43PM  
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"With The Slide Kyle Beachy turns the coming-of-age story on its ear. But The Slide is about a lot more than a young man's increasingly frantic efforts to figure himself out. There's the decay of both the American city and the American nuclear family, the painful inevitability of friends and lovers growing apart, and the ongoing difficulty of denying one's base appetites. Plus baseball. Lots of ba ...more
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“I told her running away from your problems doesn't solve anything. Really it just hurts the people who count on you.” 7 likes
“I fell, as they say. Into love. I practiced saying it, first to myself, in my head. I believed in it. I did. I thought love and I bought it completely. I was excited by my belief but was careful not to let this excitement influence or manipulate the belief in any way. The belief had to be pure. So I said it to her, I love you, and she said it back. And this was our contract. We treated the words seriously and respected that they came with implications.” 4 likes
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