Miss Me When I'm Gone
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Miss Me When I'm Gone

2.74 of 5 stars 2.74  ·  rating details  ·  66 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Read Philip Stephens's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

"A lavishly written, vividly imagined, and wholly compelling work of fiction...I was spellbound. Often, in fact, I was in awe."
-Tim O'Brien

After years of indie-label exile, folk singer Cyrus Harper returns to Apogee, Missouri, to tend to his mother. But the musical and haunted world of his past is...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Plume (first published December 9th 2010)
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I was initially drawn to Philip Stephens's debut novel, Miss Me When I'm Gone, because of the setting--the Ozark region of southern Missouri--and my personal interest in that area. I read a review in the KC Star when I was home visiting my parents early this spring, and the book seemed worth checking out; plus, Stephens lives in KC, so I felt good supporting a "local" author. Miss Me When I'm Gone certainly delivers on the setting--a fictional town called Apogee in the lakes region of the Ozarks...more
This book was extremely disappointing, and quite frankly a waste of my time. It was clear that a thesaurus was used extensively to bolster "lavishly written" expectations, but the vocabulary just never quite rang true. The story line was difficult to follow, and there seemed to no clear path moving forward or back, and whatever "path" there was quickly disintegrated with frequent insertions of music lyrics that seemed to have no bearing on the plot/story. This style is only artistic when it work...more
Summary: penniless drunk musician goes back home to see his dying mother, struggles with mystery of missing sister. Roots music, dysfunctional families, what we'll do to get by, the thin veil between madness and reality, the past is past.

My thoughts: I don't know why, but I lost interest part way through. Perhaps I'm just interested in happy tales these days.
gritty, "true-to-life", hillbilly semi-saga about a man who returns from so cal back to his family home in the ozarks. the beautiful river has been damned and lake is full of jet skis (one character calls it the big sewer or something like that), all the old folks are dead and their farms have been turned into 2nd homes on 10 acre lots, the main businesses in town are strip clubs and drinking (and meth), love is hard to find, and kind of complicated when found, I LOVE POETS WHO WRITE NOVELS.
not a very good read, it looks like there are two stories in one but towards the end you know they dont have anything to do with each other. there were some parts interesting but not enough to make this a good book
Vicki Christensen
Strange, and sad. I kept reading it because I hoped something important in the story would be resolved in the end. It wasn't.
Not what I expected - literally. I have a habit of NOT reading blurbs since they often reveal too much. However, since I found this book via the e-library (for my Kindle) I thought I should preview something beyond the book cover since no 1st page was readily available.

So my hasty blurb scan had me prepped for a story with a light dusting of the supernatural about how one down-on-his-luck musician is the focal point for explaining, sustaining, & reviving great musical hits of the post-Elvis...more
Becky Hirtzel
What a crazy story! Drugs, alcohol, homelessness, mental illness, murder, and rock-a-billy music, this book has it all. The author might have been better advised to stick to one theme. It all takes place in Missouri - I hope the author is not from here and that is why he has included so many silly stereotypes. Entertaining in a "what the heck?!" kind of way.
When I finished the book, I asked myself, "What was that all about?" I felt that Stephens had several book ideas and couldn't decide which to use, so he tossed them all into one book. The result: a strange, wandering, messy novel.

not so great
An odd book, tracing two seperate storylines that never really connect. Heavy on atmosphere (definitely one of the book's strengths) and skillfully written but also heavy on Southern Gothic madness, which doesn't quite work. A minor irritation: if one of the main characters is a musician, and you're going to name check fictional songs, please stop at, say, a hundred or so. The absurd amount of made-up song names just grates after a while.
Claire Wessel
I found myself getting lost a lot in the story. If you have zero knowledge/interest of fiddle music, old country music, blues then you either have to skip stuff, get lost and confused (like I did), or simply not read this book. I think if a person had knowledge of that type of music, it would be an easier read and an enjoyable book, it just wasn't for me, but it was still good enough to finish reading it.
Alex Witkowski
Solid book--some good moments--but the parallel stories never thematically converged, and I found myself much more interested in the first character than the second character. There were also some moments that were incredibly hard to follow, but without reason. I like a lot of ideas in here, but it fell a little short for me.
Edie Leffingwell
I found the book very hard to follow. It was written by a Missouri author and takes place in the Ozarks. One line I found quotable: "The past lay like land on the far side of a bridge you crossed over many times, until the bridge collapsed and you could not tell which side you were on."
Cyrus misses his sister, Saro. Margaret misses her kids. Their paths cross when Cyrus goes home to bury his mom and Margaret kills some kids. This book was OK, but I wouldn't recommend it. It just had no purpose.
Trying at times to be Falknerian; i enjoyed it mostly for the Ozark repartee between the characters.
Linda Cohen
very interesting twisty story
Diane S.
Started out strong and than lost me.
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