Perdido River Bastard

Fiction - Southern
222 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

D. B. Patterson writes fiction for adults and kids. His short works have been published in 'Elephants & Other Gods', 'Ramble Underground', 'Larks Fiction Magazine', and 'Cerulean Rain'. Books for young readers include 'The Christmas Witchling' and 'Little Tiger and the Dragon King of Beijing'. Books for early readers include four illustrated Lamby Lambpants stories and a coloring book. Aside from writing, Mr. Patterson is a vocal and artistic mechanic, classically-trained actor (Shakespeare's Globe Theater, for one), digital graphic designer, illustrator, songwriter, and 1995 1st Runner-up National Karaoke Champion (don't tell anyone). Mr. Patterson lives with his wife in Tarpon Springs, Florida, the setting for his upcoming novel Epiphany Man (fall 2015).

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

The muddy waters of the Perdido River swamps are covering a multitude of secrets, as are the Shelbey, Percy and Doogan families. It is Duddy Doogan’s quest to uncover them all in a search for his father or his father’s remains, as well as some form of understanding that can finally set his cursed soul at ease. In Perdido River Bastard, D.B. Patterson takes you on a journey following a failed suicide attempt by our hero, Duddy Doogan, who has never quite settled after what happened to him in a traumatic childhood accident that is far from his conscious memory. He has never quite settled what happened to his father either, and has never made peace with the fact that his only memories of him are bad ones. At the urging of his godmother Hattie, Duddy follows a trail across Alabama and Florida that is little different from a treasure hunt, with each clue bringing him closer to one more piece of the puzzle. Not unlike Joseph Conrad’s legendary novel, Duddy goes on his own odyssey into the heart of darkness that is frightfully covered in a family curse as old as Uriah Shelbey who ran wild along the watershed of the Perdido River centuries before, planting his seeds and bastard children who fight to survive the legacy left to them. Along the way, Duddy discovers that there is a different sort of strength within him and a desire to live and thrive with new love by his side.

D.B. Patterson paints an all too vivid portrait of the traumatic history of a family struggling to survive a curse of which “death is family,” in Perdido River Bastard. As Duddy Doogan struggles to discover what is behind each small clue along the road of his quest, he begins to uncover more and more of who he is and the meaning to his life. The color, aroma, sound and flavor of the old south is brilliantly displayed throughout this very well written book. Every character is real, as if they are not a part of fiction, but are truly alive and sitting in front of you as you turn each page. The depth of the twisted plot leaves only subtle clues as to where it is leading the reader along the way, making the entire story full of surprise turns in every new chapter. Perdido River Bastard is a brilliantly written novel that you simply won’t be able to put down from beginning to end. You will smell it, taste it, see it, feel it and live it as though it was your own family history.

Jack Magnus

Perdido River Bastard is a Southern fiction novel written by D.B. Patterson. It's been two years since Duddy Doogan's father was buried in absentia. Brandon Doogan had disappeared and only his wife dared to hope that he was still among the living. Duddy's mother, Brenda, is asking Duddy to make good on a commitment he had made to her and his godmother, Hattie, when he woke up in the hospital after his post-burial-ceremony botched suicide. He'd promised to pay them back for the money they put towards his therapy. His mother doesn't know that Duddy's lost his most recent job, and she's not impressed with the partial repayment he can offer. Brenda's more interested in holding him to the alternative promise he had made to do what she and Hattie asked, with no questions asked. And she expects him to begin the next day.

D.B. Patterson's Southern family saga, Perdido River Bastard, is lush, sprawling, and absolutely marvelous. Duddy's on a quest that he's not even sure he wants to be on, and the women in his family are not going to accept any dissension on his part. Along the way, the reader encounters an array of remarkable and unforgettable characters and delves deeply into the rich history of the Perdido River area. Most of the inhabitants are family members to some degree or other as the roots of the Perdido River family are deeply intertwined, and, somehow, they all become larger than life and very, very real. Perdido River Bastard is beautifully written, and the underlying mysteries of Brandon's disappearance and Duddy's accident are resolved in a masterful fashion. While Southern family sagas are not normally my first choice of genre, I was awed by this powerful and engrossing literary work. Perdido River Bastard is most highly recommended.

Ray Simmons

I like and admire a job well done. I think I picked that trait up from my father. He was a master builder and craftsman. Perdido River Bastard is a job well done. There are so many genres out there these days that it's hard to get a lot of people excited about literature in the traditional sense. Perdido River Bastard is one of those books that will appeal to any reader who appreciates good writing. It is Southern literature at its best, which is to say it's great literature at its best. Pat Conroy watch out! There's a new kid in town. Every component of this masterpiece rings true but I was particularly moved by the characters (no place does quirky quite like the South) and the setting. I was born and raised in Alabama and Perdido River Bastard made me homesick in a way I haven't felt in a long time.

D.B. Patterson's writing is hauntingly beautiful as the story of "Duddy" Doogan slowly, painfully comes to light. Perdido River Bastard is about secrets. Big, bad, dark, family secrets. No place does that like the South and no one has juicier secrets than Southern women. Perdido River Bastard is a ride through a time and landscape I am intimately familiar with. If you love good writing, you will love Perdido River Bastard. If you love good writing and the deep South, then this book will be a very powerful and moving experience for you. It certainly was for me.