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Lake Overturn: A Novel
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Lake Overturn: A Novel

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  306 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews

Eula, Idaho, is a cluster of steeples, oak trees, and boxlike homes sandwiched between golden fields and a wide-open sky. It freezes in the winter and bakes in the summer, but the air is so dry that neither extreme gets under your skin. It has never seen a battle, or an earthquake, or a Democrat in City Hall.

Still, life in Eula is anything but simple.

Lina and Connie are s

ebook, 399 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published April 21st 2009)
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Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a hidden treasure for readers who love well-written character-driven fiction. I was a bit afraid that this would be one of those cutesy, "colorful" books filled with a whole zany cast of (often Southern) small town folk with small town drama, but this isn't that book. There ARE a lot of small town characters and there is drama, but this book is on a whole other level. The characters are brilliantly crafted-so real it's almost uncanny, nuanced, flawed, often heartbreaking, and the au ...more
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We have a modern literary epidemic, admit it. Symptoms include apathetic narrators, shorter novels, yawn-inducing stories of the ultra-rich, unsympathetic characters, and the same old drivel about ultra hip city life. The cure is Vestal McIntyre, taking us back to a time when penicillin cured everything and characters were substantial, interesting, and freakishly relatable. Maybe I tire of a rich girl crisis or Sex and the City escapism, but for some reason, “Lake Overturn” was a big glass of wa ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2001 there was a natural disaster in Cameroon, West Africa and 1,700 people were killed in their sleep from a mysterious fog arising from Lake Nyos. This really happened but the rest of the book is fiction. I loved this book. I loved reading it and I loved thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. What made this book so attractive was the realistic portrayal of such a diverse population of characters and such a multi-dimensional story.

The story is about a small town in Idaho where the peo
K.M. Soehnlein
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written book has the sprawl of a Victorian novel with the care and attention to detail of the best contemporary short story.

McIntyre brings to life an entire town in Idaho over the course of a year in the mid-1980s. I'm amazed at his powers of observation -- and the even-handed way he presents so many different types of people: a Mexican woman and the Mormon man whose house she cleans; her two sons, one gay and one a bully; the Christian mom in the trailer next door, whose own
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clearly a labor, as so many first novels are; funded by the NEA and encouraged by Yaddo, McIntyre's first novel is a meandering, overstuffed ensemble small-town drama set in Idaho in the mid-80s. Mormons, teenagers, mothers, fathers, dying folks, drug addicts, and a science fair all orbit each other in a sort of detail-heavy, slow-cooked race towards an unclear finish. I give it 3 because while McIntyre's clearly very talented, the center really doesn't hold with Lake Overturn. It's about 2/3rds ...more
Vestal McIntyre is a master of character driven fiction. I suspected as much when I read his short story collection, [You Are Not The One:], and this novel goes beyond what he accomplished in that book. The residents of Eula, Idaho are as light as they are dark, they are as happy as they are angry. Not one of them is a caricature, they are flesh and blood and the craziness that lives in all of us. Beyond giving us characters that will make you second, third, and fourth guess your opinions on the ...more
Fabulous book for book clubs!! We had a great discussion with so many of the topics and issues that the novel presents. Just not my normal cup of tea and it was kind of slow for me since you jump from character to character with no real climax for any of them.
Jenny Shank
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From NewWest.Net

"Lake Overturn"
by Vestal McIntyre
Harper, 444 pages, $24.99

Nampa, Idaho native Vestal McIntyre packs the life of a whole town into his accomplished debut novel, "Lake Overturn", set in the fictional Eula, outside of Boise. The characters are fresh and distinct with richly imagined inner lives, and they intersect with each other in unexpected ways.

McIntyre writes about people in every level of Eula society with sensitivity and insight, from Abby Hall, the privileged Stanford-boun
Donovan Richards
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literary fiction takes many forms. Sometimes it takes the shape of social satire placed within a simple narrative, other times it takes the form of an author, self-aware of the words he or she places on the page, and even still, other times it takes the form of a complexly interwoven plot. Partly masterful and partly mundane, Vestal McIntyre's Lake Overturn follows the characters of a small town of Eula in rural Idaho. Even though the setting and characters in this book strikingly resemble Napol ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first stumbled across this book in San Francisco at A Different Light, shortly before the author was set to come discuss it. It looked interesting, but I never picked it up, figuring I could get it when I arrived home. Well, two years later I finally managed to find a copy and read it.

Lake overturn is a phenomena where carbon dioxide collects at the bottom of a lake and finally bubbles up to the surface, where it escapes and can kill anybody in its path. This, essentially, is what the story is
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Vestal McIntyre was born and raised the youngest of seven children outside Nampa, Idaho. He attended Tufts University, and has lived in Boston and New York City.

Lake Overturn: A Novel was published by HarperCollins in April, 2009. The Washington Post said, "In Lake Overturn, McIntyre has created a vast, intricate lattice of relationships, reminiscent of the novels of Richard Russo....Here is an au
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