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Publisher's Summary

Tower jockey Benny Poteat has seen a lot of things. Working hundreds of feet in the air repairing tension lines and replacing burnt-out bulbs, secured by nothing but a leather harness and carabiners, he's witnessed baptisms, outdoor weddings, dogfights, glorious sunsets, topless sunbathers, fierce storms, raging fires, and plenty more. Not much he sees surprises him, until the day he watches a woman die.

She approaches the river that snakes far below him, sets up a video camera, and walks in to the rushing water, never to reappear. Startled by what he's witnessed and his inability to prevent it, Benny hurries down the tower to the scene of her death. He gathers up her belongings, and doesn't tell a soul about what he saw. Instead, he visits the address on a business card in the drowned girl's bag. He insinuates himself into a life she once lived. Meanwhile, the secret he carries threatens to destroy him.

©2004 Steven Sherrill; (P)2004 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"[An] immaculately written, perversely comic novel....Mesmerizing and disturbing." (Booklist)
"[A] funny, bleak and poetic novel....Sherrill paints a wryly humorous, bawdy, scatological panorama of Southern culture....More than that, his limpid, naturalistic prose, woven with symbolic structure and philosophical insinuation, conveys a subtly convincing sense of the enervating voyeurism of modern life." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Clint
  • Buffalo Grove, IL, USA
  • 06-13-05

Interesting & worth a listen!

I liked this book. While the protaganist (Benny) is weak minded, sadomasochistic and basically a loser, the story is somehow interesting. Benny can't face reality, is unfaithful to himself and all of those around him. Yet he is not an evil person...we all have bits and pieces of him in ourselves, I think. The story makes you look a little at yourself, and this is not a bad thing (unless you can't handle it). The speaker, by the way, is excellent. A recommended read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Beautifully dense

A magnificent book. The language is beautifully rich. The author does a wonderful thing, he describes the world of a simple person in a refreshingly intricate way.

Listening is bliss.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amazing

There is nothing I can write that will do this book justice. Which I suppose makes it by definition sublime.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not the fantasy world of The Andy Griffith Show

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is an interesting read, I would recommend with warnings however.

If you’ve listened to books by Steven Sherrill before, how does this one compare?

I loved Minotaur 'The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break', this book falls a little short in comparison. And seems to take place in the same town, or one very much like it, they do abound far out from the cities.

What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

I'll be looking for more of his readings, so yes.

If you could take any character from Visits from the Drowned Girl out to dinner, who would it be and why?

This may be one of the downfalls of this story, no one I'd like to go to dinner with here, this does not mean that there were no likeable characters, just people you would rather keep as acquaintances. Jeeter has an interesting place and could be worth a visit, if I had a friend that took me by, that is.

  • Overall
  • David
  • Birmingham, AL, USA
  • 08-11-04

Sick City USA

This book was a painstacking adventure to listen too! The characters are something out of backwoods USA. The city and characters are unbelievably sick minded. The whole book is in search of finding out who the dead girl is and what she is all about. When we find out, it is anticlimatic and expected. Sorry for the negative words, but I found this book a waste of time.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

don't bother

My entire book club hated this book. The characters are discusting and the story is even worse. However, we agreed that the narrator did a very good job and the author wrote well. Too bad the talent was wasted on such a terrible tale.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Snook
  • 03-18-16

Way In Over One's Head

Steven Sherrill is an author of exquisite skill. He has the rare ability to be able to write novels in which not much really happens and yet every detail, every nuance is compelling. Even the most insignificant characters (a cat, for example) is given a back story that is as every bit as interesting as the protagonists.

And then we come to the protagonists. The hero...well, anti-hero as he is clearly utterly, utterly flawed, is so completely human that he is completely believable. We recognise fact that he stands by when he should intervene, and is fascinated by everything that goes wrong for others is something that we all do, whether we admit it or not, somehow makes us care about what happens to him, despite the terrible, terrible things he does. There is no question that this book is deeply disturbing and it is disturbing because we can identify with the Benny. Even the ending is true to his character, lacking in heroics or sense of doing the right thing.

Read by Holter Graham in an almost breathless style, this is a work of beauty. Hideous beauty.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful