Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fourth of July” as Want to Read:
The Fourth of July
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fourth of July

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Now available as an audio book.

"It's summer 1974 on an island off the coast of Connecticut, and all Jack Smith wants is a vacation like he enjoyed in his youth: swimming, sailing and sunshine. But Jack finds his summer plans quickly spiraling out of control. His estranged wife follows him to the island looking for money. The priest and constable are conspiring his ruin. An
Paperback, 149 pages
Published September 2012 by Roundabout Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fourth of July, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fourth of July

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  46 ratings  ·  26 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Fourth of July
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways, 2016
- I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher via a Goodreads giveaway (fittingly, I actually received the book on July 4th).

"The Fourth of July" is a short novel (less than 150 pages), centred around Jack Smith and his family. A man in his early 40s, Jack has separated from his wife and taken his sons to his beach house for the summer. Things start to go wrong when his estranged wife, Martha, shows up at the beach house for money.

Told in alternating view points between Jack,
Lee Bradley
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I, too, am a friend of the author. I really enjoyed the book. He did a couple of things I thought were very clever. One, each chapter is written by one of the characters in the book and as such gives us their take on what's going on. The way each person sees the "same" event is very different! It took a few chapters for me to see that the word "I" was a different person. Second, he mixes up the time sequence a bit. Chapter 15 might take place a day or two before chapter 14. Knowing the future he ...more
Dec 20, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: giveaways
At 160 pages this book sounds like a great fun read!
Victoria Haugen
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm sure we've all had those days when just everything we do goes wrong, nothing works out, and you get frustrated! LOL this was a lighthearted, entertaining story about a guy who just can't catch a break during the Fourth of July holiday. I mean hell, if a priest and constable are out to get him, does he even stand a chance?
Enjoyed the story and the narration was awesome!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Rosa Cline
I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway for my opinion on it. I appreciate being able to read it and receiving it.

It does have a good storyline, and was pretty good. But after about the fourth chapter or so each chapter from there on was another character and the story being told from their point of view. It started loosing me so I didn't finish this to the end. It also had a bit to much 'language' and 'name calling' in it for my liking although it wasn't 'saturated' in it;
Joshua Hair
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goodreads-wins
I would like to start this out by saying that I won this novella in a Goodreads contest. I personally tend to read mainly within the horror and science fiction genres, so a humorous little novella such as this one was quite refreshing. There were moments that I found simply hilarious (such as the skunk incident) and others that merely brought a smile to my face, but at all times the underlying humor of the story was present. There's a lot of mischief to be found within these 150 or so pages, but ...more
Jim Puskas
Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: humor
Egad, Martha!
Mayhem abounds in this rather juvenile short novel about a man who seems never to have matured beyond the emotional age of 18. He stumbles from one irrational sexual escapade after another whether drunk or sober, at odds with a wife who for some reason refuses to give up on him altogether. Movies such as Dumb and Dumber come to mind.
Character development is minimal and the plot, such as it is, is trivial. There are a few real belly laughs here and there (such as the priest's tantrum
Rick Romkey
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having the privilege of knowing the author for a long time, I had a preconceived notion of the type of humor I was going to expect and Dowd didn't disappoint. What I didn't expect was the wonderful characters we get to meet along the way. Icing on the cake is enjoying their perspective to Jack Smith's tiny little world.

The Fourth of July is a nice, fun easy read. The book left me wanting to know more about all the folks of this tiny little island off of Connecticut - I'm pretty sure I've met a b
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and I really enjoyed it! There's quite a bit of humor in it. Each chapter is written in the perspective of different characters, so you get a little glimpse of their lives, habits, and personality, and their different take on different events that happen in the book. This was a really nice, quick, and funny read, and I'm glad I was able to win it. I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends, and loaning out my copy to them! ...more
The Fourth of July
by Kevin Dowd

This is a different kind of short story. The adult characters act way too immature. There are some funny moments, but not enough to over-ride the overall story. Sorry I wasn't impressed! Sorry no excitement for the story.

The narration was well done. The characters were well portrayed. Full Cast was the one thing I found entertaining!!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Heather Earl
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: won
I won this book off of the goodreads giveaways. I hate to say i didn't really enjoy this book that much it was entertaining for a read but it didn't catch me as a reader. The characters are fun and have quite the personalities but i found them to be self centred and immature for adult behaviour. In all interesting story but not really believable not my type of story but I'm always open to reading new things. ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get used to the style of writing but once I did... it was great.The characters were interesting and funny. It was a quick read and I was surprised at the ending.It was amazing that the incidents viewed by all were definitely interpreted differently reminding me of the childhood game of telephone.
Mahree Henry
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over all, this was definitely a good read. The POV changed among the main characters and made them stronger with added detail. I did like the humor and it did "tickle my funny bone" several times.
Also the change of POV did show how different people can view the same event with many diverse reactions. I would recommend this book as a short good read.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Fourth of July is a book that was great fun to read – the twists and unexpected turns kept me guessing.

I especially enjoyed the subtle details throughout – they are a testament to the author’s keen insight into human nature. I found they also illustrated more depth and added layers to the story that may not have been apparent at first glance.

I look forward to whatever’s next –
Anne Brown
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Full Disclosure - I received a free copy of the book from the author after I made it "Want To Read" on my Goodreads profile.

The book was mostly humor and is told with each of the main characters relating a chapter in the book. It was a quick read but had a decent storyline although the ending left me a bit unsatisfied.

I look forward to what Dowd writes next.
Karry Vanherreweghe
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jack Smith just wanted a nice relaxing summer on a nice little island like he did when he was growing up. Jack heads to his summer house with his 2 kids with swimming and boating in mind. However, Jack has quite the reputation and can't seem to keep himself out of trouble, especially when his estranged wife shows up! Told from the view of different characters, this book will just make you laugh! ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I received a free copy from the Author during April 2014.

I really enjoyed this book. Describing events from different character's point of view made the book flow very well. I would definitely read another book by Kevin Dowd.
Constance K
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Fourth of July is adorable. Couldn't put it down. Hillarious account of an alcohol infused, kind of dark, but well intentioned sailor.
Kevin Dowd writes like some of my favorites - Sedaris, Burroughs, but with more grit and overall funniness.
Hope he writes more.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Goodreads and the author for giving me a free copy of this book. I really enjoyed reading this funny well written accessible story.
Donna Foster
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
Fourth of July celebration set in the good old days.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very funny, quick read. I hope Kevin writes some more books.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received a signed copy of this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

To the were right when you inscribed my book with "I hope you laugh out loud." I did...lots!

What a fun read!
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Although this not my usual genre of reading, I loved this humorous novella. (Won on Goodreads)

Johnnelle Walker
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was overall an easy, enjoyable read. I am a little confused about some parts. This would be an awesome beachside book!
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I won this book in a giveaway. Although its not my typical book choice it was enjoyable. It's a quick read with some laugh out loud moments. ...more
Dale Ortiz
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's a quirky novel, but fun. I'm really hoping for a sequel, so I will keep my fingers cross to see if Jack keeps digging holes for himself. ...more
Pat Small
rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2016
Jody Spencer
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 06, 2017
rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Murder on the SS Rosa (Ginger Gold Mysteries #0.5)
  • Digging In
  • Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
  • Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years
  • Devoted
  • Darcy Vs Lady Catherine
  • The Good Lord Bird
  • Murder at Hartigan House (Ginger Gold Mysteries #1)
  • Murder at Bray Manor (Ginger Gold Mysteries #2)
  • FAITH (Tails of Paws' House Book 1)
  • A Door Into Time: An Alex Hawk Time Travel Adventure
  • Shep Dreams Of Home
  • Lucky's Will
  • Dear Committee Members
  • The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die, #4)
  • The Woman in the Moonlight
  • The Wolf in the Attic
  • Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3)
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
62 likes · 15 comments