Watching Gideon

Watching Gideon

A Novel

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GIDEON PICKETT WAS BORN WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO SPEAK. This has never bothered his father, Jubal. He understands his son better than anybody, and though the boy has never uttered a word, the two could be no closer. This Gideon is no ordinary child: His powers of observation, strength, and extraordinary threshold for pain make him almost otherworldly, though to Jubal he's just a moody, hungry sixteen-year-old kid. He would do anything for his boy. So, in 1953, Jubal Pickett makes the decision to buy a red Ford Flathead V-8 truck and travel with Gideon from Mississippi to the desert canyon lands of Utah to strike it rich in uranium prospecting. On their journey, they encounter Abilene Breedlove, a country-girl-meets-femme-fatale. Jubal is smitten. Abilene sees only opportunity, but she joyfully jumps into her end of the bargain and climbs aboard.

Things begin to fall apart when they arrive in Utah. While Jubal sets out on what most consider to be a fool's errand, Abilene fi nds herself a job and Jack Savage. Jack is handsome, mysterious, rich, and powerful -- all qualities Abilene fi nds irresistible. He cuts Jubal in on a claim he owns in order to get the man out of town as fast as possible so that he can begin aggressively pursuing the intoxicating Abilene. It's not long before the situation gets out of hand.

Watching Gideon is at once a poignant, moving portrait of a nearly supernatural bond between father and son, a snapshot of America's rugged, gritty history, and a fast-paced story of lust, greed, and self-satisfaction. Filled with humor, adventure, sex, and intrigue, it is the textured, incredible, stark tale of the cost of an American dream pursued.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439135747 | 
  • November 2009
List Price $17.99
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Read an Excerpt

PART 1


One bright day, shortly after Seaman First Class Jubal Pickett returned home to Natchez, Mississippi, from the war, he and his son, Gideon, going on three, went for a walk. Gideon wrapped his chubby little hand around Jubal’s trigger finger and lurched along beside his father with happy determination. It was during this period of time that Jubal had his dream. In his dream, he and Gideon were walking together across a meadow somewhere in Yugoslavia when artillery shells began exploding all around them. Jubal didn’t know what they were doing in Yugoslavia, since his tour of duty with the navy ended... see more

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