Archive for 2008

Booklist Review

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

The summer after college graduation should be a time of celebration, but Potter Mays is miserable. His girlfriend has jetted off to Europe, and he has returned home to his parents’ house outside St. Louis. This could be the most tiresome of scenarios, but debut novelist Beachy has a wry wit, a wily sense of the ridiculous, and an athletic gift for description. Consequently, frissons of weirdness steer this tale of lateonset maturity in unexpected directions as Potter takes a crummy job delivering bottled water, concerns himself inappropriately with a lonely boy in a catastrophically messy house and the 16-year-old girl next door, talks to the ghost of his long-dead brother, and is badly manipulated by the worst friend a hapless guy could have. Even his passion for baseball fails to halt his slide into the morass. Beachy perfectly captures the brain-fogging mugginess of summer in the Midwest and the quarry-deep reticence of midwesterners in a funny and endearing novel about a bumbling guy who makes bad situations worse with the best of intentions. – Donna Seaman

Publishers Weekly Review

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Beachy’s coming-of-age debut about a clueless, jobless, self-pitying college grad is at once hilarious, strange and uncomfortable. After graduating, Potter Mays returns to his parents’ home, where, unable to decide whether he really loves his girlfriend, Audrey—who is spending three weeks backpacking through Europe with her bisexual best friend—he retains the services of his childhood friend, Stuart, who makes his living as an independent thought contractor. Potter pieces together memories of his troubled romance, such as his and Audrey’s past indiscretions, her family’s disregard for him and his lust for Audrey’s best friend. As the summer progresses and Potter remains oblivious to even his parents’ obviously damaged marriage, he makes an unfortunate and extremely ridiculous series of mistakes in his quest to prove his love. Beachy’s characters, infinitely fallible, are real and fleshy, and their loneliness is palpable. Potter’s total lack of discipline and common sense are as funny as they are frustrating, and he is lovable even when he’s annoying. (Jan.)


Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

“The theme is American Home, that place that lesser writers sentimentalize and satirize. Beachy writes with bracing melancholy in a voice that is all his own, and his St. Louis, like Cheever’s Westchester, is populated with isolated, self-aware characters, each of whom is new to us. Potter Mays is great company.”
–Jincy Willett, author of The Writing Class and Jenny and the Jaws of Life

“Suspenseful, erotic, funny, and terribly sad, THE SLIDE presents the long, hot 22nd summer of Potter Mays, the most ethical sexual deviant this side of Portnoy–or Hamlet.”
– James McManus, New York Times bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street

“With THE SLIDE Kyle Beachy turns the coming-of-age story on its ear. But THE SLIDE is about a lot more than a young man’s increasingly frantic efforts to figure himself out. There’s the decay of both the American city and the American nuclear family, the painful inevitability of friends and lovers growing apart, and the ongoing difficulty of denying one’s base appetites. Plus baseball. Lots of baseball. What’s most impressive, though, is that Beachy has emerged in his debut as a fully-formed stylist. His writing is propulsive, unique without being forced, and eminently readable.”
– Ron Currie Jr., author of God is Dead

“Kyle Beachy has written a knockout first novel. Part love letter to the  American Midwest, part ghost story, and part heartbreaking tale of one young man’s struggle to find forgiveness as well as himself, this is a book that you won’t want to miss.”
– Cristina Henriquez, author of Come Together, Fall Apart

“Trumped Outright” at The2ndHand

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

A short story at The 2nd Hand.