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A Summons to Memphis
A Summons to Memphis
Author: Peter Taylor
One of the most celebrated novels of its time, the Pulitzer Prize winner A Summons to Memphis introduces the Carver family, natives of Nashville, residents, with the exception of Phillip, of Memphis, Tennessee. — During the twilight of a Sunday afternoon in March, New York book editor Phillip Carver receives an urgent phone call from each of his ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780375701177
ISBN-10: 0375701176
Publication Date: 6/29/1999
Pages: 224
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 41 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Summons to Memphis on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The writing is elegant, the characters well drawn, the dialogue finely honed. I enjoyed this book.
laurensnana avatar reviewed A Summons to Memphis on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book mainly because I was raised in Memphis, so it was kind of neat to read the parts the author mentions different landmarks that I'm familiar with. It's not a page-turner, by any means, but a good read, especially if you're familiar with Memphis.
reviewed A Summons to Memphis on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Lovely book with typical Taylor subject of appearances and genteel Southern ways. A widowed father decides to remarry setting off shockwaves among his daughters and calling his son home. Lyrical and subtly charming.
Read All 9 Book Reviews of "A Summons to Memphis"

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reviewed A Summons to Memphis on + 105 more book reviews
I make it a point to read Pulitzer Prize winning books whenever I get a chance; this is, I think, only the second one I didn't finish.

Peter Taylor is recognized as a master of the short story, and according to the jacket blurbs, the literary world had been waiting for years for this novel (his second), which is actually a 233 page novella. When it was published in the mid 1980's it was a best-selling literary sensation. I have a suspicion the Pulitzer committee gave it the prize based on his entire body of work, which was extensive and well-received.

The book is very well and clearly written; each sentence is polished like a jewel. Maybe if I had read it 27 years ago when it was first published (and when I felt that as a serious reader I was required to read "Great Literature") I would have enjoyed it more. Fifty pages in, I was thoroughly bored; I kept reading - since it won the Pulitzer, it's bound to get better, right? After 90 pages, I got on-line and checked the Amazon reviews.

Fifteen five-star reviews, as ecpected. Thirteen four-star reviews, most of which carried the same praise for his writing, his clarity, and his attention to detail. The seven reviews with three, two, and one stars were more revealing. Without exception, they found the book boring and long-winded. Many thought the Pulitzer committee had completely dropped the ball - as I do.

Life is too short to spend any more time on this just because somebody else said it's great literature.
tntb avatar reviewed A Summons to Memphis on + 24 more book reviews
Food for thought about family relationships and dysfunction. Well written, with defined characters.
reviewed A Summons to Memphis on + 118 more book reviews
Winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


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