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Garden & Gun Top-of-2021 Reading List for Southerners

Entertainment Weekly Top Reads to Start 2021

Barnes & Noble Bookseller Favorites

O Magazine Best Books of the New Year

Town & Country 27 Books to Sink Your Teeth Into

PopSugar Best Books of 2021

"Anybody who believes that the war is over when the enemy surrenders and the troops come home needs to read Michael Farris Smith’s masterful new novel Nick. Its stark, unvarnished truth will haunt you."

Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize winning author of 

Empire Falls and Chances Are…

"In Nick, we hear echoes of Fitzgerald, of course, but also of Faulkner, Hemingway and a less baroque Cormac McCarthy. It’s a classic American sound, and Smith renders it with sufficient intensity that his iteration of chaos and depravity in 1919, in the wake of war, feels very much alive and relevant to 2021." 

The New York Times

“Creating a worthy homage to Fitzgerald’s finest novel is a remarkable accomplishment.”

The Washington Post

“An evocative glimpse into life amidst World War I…Smith sculpts Carraway’s life in the most remarkable of ways."

Southern Living

"Nick is so pitch-perfect, so rich in character and action, so remarkable a combination of elegance and passion, so striking in felt originality that I am almost tempted to say—book gods forgive me—that The Great Gatsby will forever feel like Nick’s splendid but somewhat paler sequel."

Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Paris in the Dark

Nick is, sentence by sentence, scene by scene, an atmospheric masterpiece of imagination and prose. With scenes that take your breath away and forget to give it back, Smith takes us on an immersive and redemptive journey that travels from the trenches of the Great War, to Paris, to New Orleans and beyond.”

Patti Callahan, New York Times bestselling

author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis

“It is a brave and ambitious project to write the backstory of Nick Carraway, the narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic, The Great Gatsby...Michael Farris Smith nails it."

BookPage

"Nick offers a soul for the ages, one that finally and deftly slips into the canon."

Jeffrey Lent, New York Times bestselling author

of In the Fall and A Slant of Light

"A tumultuous origin story of one of the most famous and unforgettable literary narrators, Nick is a true cross-continental bildungsroman. This emotional novel successfully puts The Great Gatsby into an entirely new perspective and era." 

Barnes & Noble

"Stylish, evocative, haunting and wholly original, Michael Farris Smith has paid tribute to a classic and made it his own. Nick is a remarkable achievement."

Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End

“A dark and often gripping story that imagines the narrator of The Great Gatsby in the years before that book began …The new Nick is a man fully realized, with a mind tormented by the war and by a first love that waned too fast to a fingernail moon of bitter memory…A compelling character study and a thoroughly unconventional prequel.”

Kirkus Reviews

 

“Noir is as adaptable as a writer dares to make it, which Smith shows in this compelling prequel to The Great Gatsby.”

Booklist

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