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The Front Porch Prophet

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,607 ratings  ·  236 reviews
What do a trigger-happy bootlegger with pancreatic cancer, an alcoholic helicopter pilot who is afraid to fly, and a dead guy with his feet in a camp stove have in common? What are the similarities between a fire department that cannot put out fires, a policeman who has a historic cabin fall on him from out of the sky, and an entire family dedicated to a variety of decease ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Medallion Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,607 ratings  ·  236 reviews


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Maryann
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
While The Front Porch Prophet is described as a humorous work of Southern fiction about two young men who come of age in North Georgia, it is at times as serious as a rattlesnake. In those moments, the author does not hold back when it comes to the tough issues of broken relationships, death and dying, divorce and a myriad of other not so pleasant moments along life’s journey.

A.J. Longstreet and his friend Eugene Purdue have been through a lot since their carefree childhood days spent playing fo
...more
Ken Medernach
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a thirst for a great read I own a copy that I want to keep and re-read
'Front Porch Prophet' kept me between tears, that is tears of human emotion and tears of laughter.

Up in the Northwestern corner of Georgia, live a folk like everywhere in Appalachia, torn between the old ways and the new, life in the country and "just makin' do" and the life in the 'mill town', these are the folks that Ray captures and inserts in the lines of "The Front Porch Propet", I say that Ramond captures these characters because no one could "make them up" , he hsd to have been there.

Ray
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Bob
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me. When my E-Reader was new and short of titles, I worked to fill it up. Since this was a Nook Free Friday selection, I figured why not. So a quick down load, then the passage of a year, and suddenly I’m reading an amazing story. The first thing that appealed to me was the fact that the story is set in the Northwest Georgia Mountains and has a wonderfully slow country feel. The characters are full and complete and even the minor characters have depth. The two main characters ...more
Gail
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book would have so much more enjoyable if some of the language had been cleaned up. The writing style is excellent, I just don't enjoy the 'F' word, I think it's crude and unneccessary. The story is about A.J. and his best friend Eugene and various family members and others in a small GA town. Mostly the wild escapades of the two. Eugene lives up on a mountain in a cabin, A..J. is married and lives in town. Some rather wild things happen such as a house being moved by helicopter and the por ...more
Diana
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I can hardly do this book justice, but I will try. If you are curious about this book, you truly need to sit down and absorb it. I can assure you that it will not be what you are expecting.

Atkins is a genius with words. His writing is Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Stephen King rolled into one.

Yes, I said Stephen King. I do not care for King's subjects and foulness, but I can't help but admire his way with words and describing scenes. Atkins has that same aptness, without the foulness.

Upon fi
...more
Heather
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a free download for the Nook a while back and it sat there on my Nook kind of rotting. I finally got around to reading it this week, and I was pleasantly surprised. The reason why I was putting off reading it was because I wasn't entirely convinced I was going to like it, but the more I read, the more I realized it was right up my alley. A book about a terminal cancer patient and his (and everyone elses') coming to grips with the finality of his condition? What more could an aspiring nu ...more
June
Feb 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A book to be read and absorbed. Mr. Atkins is definitely a "word craftsman." The characters were indeed, characters. Lots of back stories, very excellent character development. I especially loved the ever-changing names of the local diner.

I think the overriding theme of the book was loyalty to friends, and promises made, and how to fulfill them.

My very favorite character in the book was Rufus. Somehow I thought in the end he would end up not so much among the living, but Mr. Atkins surprised m
...more
Steve Diamond
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-literary
A surprising gem. Beautifully constructed, very moving, and very enjoyable to read.

Atkins gives us deeply felt portraits of life in rural Georgia, alternately laugh-out-loud funny, deadly serious, and poignantly personal -- sometimes all three at once. Don't be put off by the setting if you think you don't like "southern novels." The message and the characters are universal.

Some of the set pieces are a little too pat. Otherwise I'd give it 5 stars. Highly recommended.
Kelli
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book of friendship, reconciliation, family, love, and a mean dog named Rufus. Porches drop from the sky, you can't bury dogs in the people cemetery, green jello is better than the alternative at Thanksgiving, you can't really hide a school bus. Read this one, y'all.
Benjamin Sobieck
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of short quirky stories
The most fun I've had in a long time. Give this book a chance. I wanted to write a lengthy review, but I finished it too long ago. The feeling I got from it is still fresh in my mind, though. It's sad and funny at the same time. One of my new favorites.
Ann
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I stretched this book out as long as I could. That's what I do when I fall in love with characters. One of the best reads this year and that is saying a lot because I've read a lot of great books. Strongly suggest this book.
Gayle
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book - funny, poignant, Southern, characters I recognize.
Jennifer Dunn
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm from North Georgia where this book is set and The Front Porch Prophet is the unicorn (Bigfoot?) of a novel that I look for - one that evokes the region without, as a professor of mine once called it, "too much country store." The characters are colorful but realistic, nobody kicks a good dog, and the main character, A. J. Longstreet could just as well be my dad. Heck, the town, known if it's cotton mill "famous for its denim products and its abuse of the hired help" could be my town!

Atkins i
...more
Tasha
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I never usually give up on books, but this one I had to. I actually found myself skipping whole pages at a time. At first the book was awesome but then the author kept delineating from the main plot with all this nonsense stuff from the character past.

I'm all for using the past to tell a story but (an actually example from the book) I don't want to hear about the main characters Co-workers life from when he was born, then continue on to the girl the co-worker liked and he whole life story, which
...more
Lissa
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not my usual read, but I rather liked this book anyway. I found the characters interesting and I enjoyed getting to know them all through flashbacks and the musings of the main character, AJ. More than once I found myself identifying with AJ's wife. I laughed out loud more than once and even teared up a couple of times. All in all, I'm glad I picked it up.
Amy
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Loved the tone, the language, and the characters were incredible. A great read for a lazy summer afternoon--or any day of the week.
Mary
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The funniest book I've ever read. Not what I was expecting, what a fun find,
Ashley Clark
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was okay, giggled at a few parts. Didn't finish it all because i got bored with it.
Susan
Dec 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Very disappointing. Started strong with interesting characters and history woven into remembrances effectively and naturally. Left some relationships undeveloped and questions unanswered. Though the novel covers the theme of mercy killing, the characters' only real discussion of life beyond self--"the Big Imponderable" was shallow at best and offensive at worst, when , in the final chapter, terminally ill Eugene says, "...I bet if you buried a Penthouse for two thousand years, someone would thin ...more
Mary Jo
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristina
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book had been languishing on my nook for at least 3-4 years and I decided to read it because it was one of the oldest I have on my nook. What a delightful surprise! The characters in the book are so colorful and the stories and interaction between them was both funny and poignant. I highly recommend giving it a go.
Barbara Dover
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The characters were well-developed and I could imagine meeting any of them in the hills of North Georgia! The humor was a perfect counterpoint to the woes of Eugene, although Eugene had his own way to deal with his woes. Highly recommend this novel!
DaSita
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tale of friendships and Southern life. Kept me reading all night .
Heather Dobson
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely incredible. I loved it. It made me belly-laugh, cry, and shake my head. Whatever you do, read this!
Megan
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a satisfying read. The description doesn't begin to do it justice.
Dana Dinowitz
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Heartwarming. Very well crafted and written. Easy read, I would definitely recommend.
Amanda Wagman
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This one wasn't my cup of tea.
Tara
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, family
If anyone can write a memory inside a flashback inside a reverie, Raymond L Atkins can.

This book isn't awful; it gets the job done explaining who's who in town and how they are connected. It makes a good attempt at exploring death from illness in a realistic way with a good smattering of believable dialogue and humour. The grammar is good and there are only a few typographical errors.
The story is plausible and believable. Unfortunately, it's just not very engaging. Our protagonist, A.J., spends
...more
Rebecca
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Front Porch Prophet is a debut novel by Raymond L. Atkins about a fictional small town in Georgia. The story is told through its main character, A.J. Longstreet, and opens with the tale of how he came to know Eugene Purdue, his childhood best friend who is now dying of cancer. Eugene and A.J. had a tumultuous relationship in recent years, nearly ending their friendship after a drunken argument three years ago. But A.J. runs into Eugene's ex-wife and is told Eugene wants to see him up at the ...more
Sally Kilpatrick
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a wonderful Southern yarn, look no further than The Front Porch Prophet. Atkins has carefully crafted a southern town full of richly drawn characters amidst very real conflicts. Front and center, you’ll find A.J. Longstreet who must not only face the impending death of his best friend but also that same friend’s desire that A.J. dole out a swift mercy killing.

The Front Porch Prophet traces A.J.’s story, a meandering, thoroughly southern tale that understands that the past i
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Who has read this book? 12 30 Oct 03, 2012 06:13PM  
When I read "~~~~Prophet" 1 22 Nov 23, 2008 06:47AM  

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Raymond L. Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. He lives in a 110-year-old house with a patient wife and a fat dog. His hobbies include people-watching, reading, and watching movies that have no hope of ever achieving credibility.

His first novel, The Front Porch Prophet, was published by Medallion Press in 2008 and was awa
...more

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