Suder, Percival Everett’s acclaimed first novel, follows the exploits and ordeals of Craig Suder, a struggling black third baseman for the Seattle Mariners. In the midst of a humiliating career slump and difficulties with his demanding wife and troubled son, Suder packs up his saxophone, phonograph, and Charlie Parker’s Ornithology and begins a personal crusade for independence, freedom, and contentment. This ambitious quest takes Suder on a series of madcap adventures involving cocaine smugglers, an elephant named Renoir, and a young runaway, but the journey also forces him to reflect on bygone times. Deftly alternating between the past and the present, Everett tenderly reveals the rural South of Suder’s childhood—the withdrawn father; the unhinged, protective mother; the detached, lustful brother; and the jazz pianist who teaches Suder to take chances. And risk it all he finally does: Suder’s travels culminate in the fulfillment of his most fanciful childhood dream.
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