Short Take: Summerlong – Dean Bakopoulos

Midwestern author and one-time bookseller Bakopoulos returns with the story of a failing marriage and the subsequent attempts at other human connection that spin off from it. As always, Bakopoulos writes with pathos and humor. Reviewers often compare him to Franzen and Tropper. For me, Tom Perotta also comes to mind.

Review coverage includes People, ET, the NYT, San Francisco Chronicle, Vanity Fair, Seattle Times and O Magazine.

“Tennessee Williams has nothing on Bakopoulos when it comes to marital and moral dissipation fueled by the summer’s rising temperatures. Yet into this emotional abyss Bakopoulos injects a high degree of coy humor and wry self-deprecation to deliver a heartbreaking and wise novel of false starts and new beginnings. A sure hit with fans of the three Jonathans: Dee, Franzen, and Tropper.”
Booklist (starred review)

Bakopoulos trades in urban angst for smalltown discontent in this novel, which begins on a late-spring evening in Grinnell, Iowa….As the summer temperature rises, the Lowrys decide to separate. Claire and the kids move in with Charlie, and Don moves in with ABC and the elderly woman she cares for, Ruth Manetti. In a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage, Don suggests to Claire that they go through with their annual family vacation at a friend’s cabin on a lake in Northern Minnesota. Charlie, ABC, and Ruth are also along for the ride….Although the ghosts of Cheever and Updike hover overhead, Bakopoulos is very much his own writer, and it is his distinct humanity and sense of humor that make this story so emotionally rewarding. This is that rare, contemporary suburban novel with characters the reader can actually embrace in spite of their many flaws.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Provocative, sultry… the novel stays light on its feet; its breezy chapters are laced with sex and humor, the latter most often in the form of Ruth Manetti, the pot-smoking owner of the manse that becomes the hub for the various machinations. Indeed, between the louche vibe and matriarchal presence, the novel often feels like Armistead Maupin’s San Francisco teleported to the Midwest.”
Kirkus Reviews

Summerlong (9780062321169) by Dean Bakopoulos. $26.99 hardcover. 6/16/15 on sale.

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