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The Kudzu Kid

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  11 reviews
After hotshot investigative reporter Eddie Fogarty overreaches on a story and is fired by his large metropolitan daily in New Jersey, the only bounce-back job he can find is editing a weekly newspaper in backwater Southside Virginia. In that unlikely and alien setting, he finds culture shock, redemption, romance, and the biggest story of his life.
Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Koehler Books
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Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sometimes falling from grace in the big league newspaper industry can teach a lesson in valuing the simpler things in life. Eddie Fogarty had it all a top position at a high profile newspaper, but a twist of fate landed him in the unemployment line, still arrogant, but determined to return to the industry he knows so well. Taking up in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, high school achievements are big news, who has the best pie at the county fair, Eddie is feeling what is happenin ...more
Larry Bassett
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle
I know the guy who wrote this. He was a feature writer in the local paper for decades until his elderly mother in upstate NY needed him to move in with her to keep her out of a nursing home. Darrell is the kind of a son who would do that for his mother. But he knows the life in a small town Virginia newspaper. This book is fiction but it leans on the autobiographical – or maybe I should say “life experience” not strictly that of the author.
“Well, you must be our new editor,” the voice said. “W
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Eddie Fogarty is an investigative reporter for Jersey Progress chasing a big story. But it literally blew up in his face and was ultimately fired. So he moved to small town to become the editor of The Echo. He thought how hard could it be to edit a newspaper that only comes out once a week. He went into thinking he could bring his city experience to small-town life. Ultimately it was Eddie, who was changed by the small town ways. Eddie found that chasing a story didn't have the same meaning as b ...more
Mike Billington
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are so many reasons why Darrell Laurant's 'The Kudzu Kid' is a great read that it might be impossible to list them all.
But I'll try.
First of all, his novel about a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper in New Jersey who winds up as the editor of a small-town Virginia weekly is true to life. As a former reporter for newspapers in the Cleveland suburbs who wound up editing an Upstate New York weekly for a few years early in my career, I can say without reservation that Laurent has deft
McCallum Morgan
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
First off, this is not the kind of book I usually read and I was reading it in electronic form, which is not my preferred reading form, so it took me a long time to finish this one.
It was a slower paced read, not just steaming with action, but that kind of helped the Southern setting. Sometimes, it felt like there was more telling going on than necessary, but it was always interesting. The writing itself was clean and well-done. The characterizations were sharp most of the time, sometimes I got
Diane Fanning
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Kudzo Kid takes you back to the newspaper world of the 1980's with a journalist and a poet who have both hit all time lows. for different reasons they both end up in the same small town in southern Virginia, devoid of hope for the future. They both regarded the sojourn as a purgatory of sorts. But while there, they found redemption and a new purpose in life. Populated with flawed but engaging characters, you can't help rooting for them to succeed. And its hard not cheer at the end. Couldn't ...more
B.M. Simpson
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Kudzu Kid is a story about real people living in the real world. Entwined in the mystery and drama of the story is the underlying tone of how we can all hate the place we love and come to love the place that we think we hate. More importantly, it shows us that there is not all that much difference between people, whether they live in a small town or a big city. There are good and bad folks everywhere. Darrell Laurant wove his characters, the scenery and locations, and the twisting plot into ...more
Susan Union
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Darrell Laurant's sharp, snappy dialogue, and his cast of quirky, interesting and totally believable characters, carry this tale of a transplanted small town newspaper editor along at a brisk pace. The Kudzu Kid captures Southern Virginia customs and nuances, as well as the daily ins and outs of newspaper reporting, and takes you into a world of greed and small town politics. Laurant writes with a keen eye for detail and an insight into the human the condition that makes this book a pleasure to ...more
Liz Mitchell
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very good book about the exciting and/or boring life of a journalist surrounded by crime, corruption and small town idiosyncrasies. It's written by a professional journalist who might have drawn many examples from real life rural Virginia settings and situations.

The characters are well developed and believable. You probably know a few of them.

Short chapters with descriptive chapter titles lead to quick page turning, and finding solutions to a few trashy issues also leads to page turning.

Darin Gibby
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Life in rural Virginia comes alive in Darrell Laurant’s, The Kudzu Kid. The novel follows the story of newspaper editor Eddie Fogarty, who flees from big city life after being fired from his job. Amid a cast of diverse characters, Fogarty learns there is much more to life than just getting the story. Embroiled in small town politics and with his own life on the line, Fogarty digs deep within himself to learn the importance of service to the community.
Shellie Uchtman
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Kudzu Kid is a very well written book that held my interest to the very end. The story line is very believable and has a nice flow to it. The main character Eddie Fogarty, an arrogant news reporter, is definitely one that you can love and hate at the same time. I can visualize the events and issues that this reporter is dealing with happening in today's world. I look forward to following this author and reading his future works. ...more
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I retired in 2013 after 30 years as the local columnist for the News & Advance, a mid-sized daily newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, then moved to Lake George, NY. There, my wife and I are taking care of my 90-year-old mother, and I'm reinventing myself as a freelance writer and author. My first novel, "The Kudzu Kid," came out last October, centered on a weekly newspaper in a fictional Virginia county. ...more

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