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Praise for Coasters

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Deft, often droll comedy is at the fore in Duff’s story ... Hilarious scenes of family outings and school play rehearsals round out the realistic depiction of life in the oft-neglected other New South ... wit and subtlety as simply satisfying as a tall cold one on a hot Gulf Coast afternoon.
Like its title, Coasters soars and plummets ... you hit a point near the middle of the ride where gravity feels as if it has been suspended. Duff ... roars to a fine finish.
Gerald Duff’s dialogue is among the best being written, and his sense of the absurd is Portis-like (there’s even a little set piece about a chicken). A native Texan, Duff has gone back to his roots for this novel, and the oil patch is a funny place indeed.
Gerald Duff’s newest book, Coasters, is a comic novel with a serious undertone. A gifted dialogue writer, Duff writes with compassion for that part of us that lives ’just south of the line of consciousness.’
Coasters is Gerald Duff’s sixth novel, and it is full of the assurance of an accomplished novelist. If Coasters sounds offbeat, perhaps it is. If its characters sound desperate, they are. Desperation comes from too much coasting, from not taking the risk. It is a roller coaster ride, this novel. It is also a poignant comment on our need for ‘something,’ as the ‘big wheel’ of the roller coaster of our lives keeps on turning. Coasters is a joyride of a novel, and, in the best of ways, very much a novel about the New South with its collection of ‘coasters’ on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Duff, who has drawn acclaim from writers like Lee Smith and Madison Smartt Bell for his previous novels, offers a frantic fictional account of midlife crises in the New South in Coasters.
Gerald Duff’s Coasters is a deftly written novel that alternates between dark comedy and surreal tragedy ... With witty, sardonic dialogue and a thought-provoking core, Coasters is original, compelling, and highly recommended.
Raunchy, redemptive, and readable as hell, Coasters is a great comic novel with a serious undertow. Nobody in America writes better dialogue than Gerald Duff. He never condescends to his sometimes marginal characters, treating these lives with wit, understanding, and compassion. I know these people ... you probably do, too. And I’ll bet you can’t put this book down either.
Gerald Duff’s Coasters is a wild carnival ride to the rocky bottom of the New Economy—ferociously funny all the way through, and washed in a shade of deep poignancy.
Unlike most people, Duff keeps getting better. Everybody ought to read this coast-to-coast.
Coasters seldom coasts. Instead, it gathers steam all the way, and when you finally crest the big hill and head home, hang on to the bar over your legs, because Gerald Duff doesn’t know what it means to slow down. This book is a world of fun.
Duff’s novel is a worthy successor to Flannery O’Connor’s dark Southern grotesques. He tells us more about ourselves than we generally acknowledge and goes beyond our fierce independence to the darker truths.
Mr. Duff’s novel is grotesquely amusing and provides great action and comedy.
“Gerald Duff’s work is reminiscent, in both its humor and bitterness, of the early work of Harry Crews.
Expert plotting, pitch perfect dialect and sparkling dialogue ... I can'tthink of anyone who has blended to perfection such a marinade of satiric humor and an expertly crafted novel.
Gerald Duff has an unerring ear for dialect.
Gerald Duff is among the best fiction writers working today, and I anticipate that he will go on to become one of the great names in American Literature.
Here is a writer that shows us a well-controlled comic touch. Gerald Duff is a new name in contemporary fiction.
Seizing upon Duff’s facility with characters and situations, I’m reminded of Carl Hiaasen at his peak. Hilarious, gripping, tough and original.
Duff is more amusing that Elmore Leonard, with a similar eye for ironic detail and ear for pitch-perfect dialogue.
Duff’s novel is a parable of innocence and corruption intertwined with deadly social satire. It is an impressive piece of work, entertaining, thoughtful and beautifully written. Gerald Duff has announced himself as a serious new voice.
Gerald Duff's work is big, spellbinding, and as deep as the Texas riverfor which it is named. The mystery and relevance of the past is GeraldDuff's great theme, as he masterfully traces one family's history fromthe Civil War to the present day. His novel Sabine is an Americanclassic.