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Part of the publishing process is asking people who don’t know you very well to read your manuscript and say a few nice words about it. Earlier this month, I was fortunate to receive four very kind reviews about A Plot for Pridemore from authors I have met through social networking and through my publisher, Mercer University Press. Thank you to Clyde Edgerton, Jaclyn Weldon White, Raymond Atkins and Marly Youmans for taking time out of your busy lives to read and analyze the work of this unknown writer. I couldn’t be more flattered or thrilled.

PlotForPridemore (2)Portions of these reviews will be used as blurbs on the back of my book, as well as in promotional materials. Here are the reviews in their entirety:

“I’d about given up hope on ever reading a new writer with that beautifully dry and irreverent tone delivered by some of my favorite writers–Charles Portis, James Wilcox, and John Kennedy Toole. But Stephen Roth has found the key and done the trick. You’ll bathe in the fresh humor and the humanity of Roth’s new novel, A Plot for Pridemore.”

—Clyde Edgerton, author of Walking Across Egypt, The Night Train, and other books.

“In his debut novel, A Plot for Pridemore, Stephen Roth presents a funny, well-constructed misadventure about the consequences of mixing good intentions with bad strategies as the city fathers of a small Midwestern community attempt to save their town from financial ruin. The story is infused with generous portions of greed, corruption, pathos, and unintended woe as the plot to save Pridemore is executed by a group of flawed heroes who believe that the survival of their way of life hinges upon their nefarious actions. With a flair for social satire reminiscent of Joseph Heller and Sinclair Lewis, Stephen Roth reminds us once again that the ends do not always justify the means. A Plot for Pridemore is this year’s recipient of the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and an all-around excellent read.”

—Raymond L. Atkins, author of Camp Redemption, 2011 winner of the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction.

“Stephen Roth’s A Plot for Pridemore finds its harebrained, comical luck in using man-boy Digby Willers as the central game piece in an elaborate con orchestrated by Mayor Tolliver and meant to give the town “that outgrew its usefulness” a revitalizing spell of news-hour fame. As in the nineteenth-century con man tales the book evokes, deception leads to the wildest of pickles. Marry the confidence tale to our present-day mania for celebrity, and the result is a con-temporary story teeming with tricksters and unexpected reversals. And if you’re already a fan of Mercer’s own Raymond Atkins, you’ll find much to love and laugh at in A Plot for Pridemore.”

–Marly Youmans, author of A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, 2010 winner of the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction.

“In A Plot for Pridemore the leaders of a small town embark on a wild scheme to breathe life back into their dying community. The results are sad, comic and ultimately terrifying. Stephen Roth keeps a steady hand on the wheel as he negotiates the twists and turns of the story and deftly introduces the reader to a diverse cast of characters, each with their own secrets, sins and heroic qualities. The result is a supremely entertaining ride.”

—Jaclyn Weldon White, author of A Southern Woman’s Guide to Herbs and The Greatest Champion That Never Was.