2009 Georgia Author of the Year for FIRST NOVEL
2009 IPPY Award Finalist: Best Popular Fiction!
2009 IPPY GOLD MEDAL!
Best Regional Fiction, Southeast
The Front Porch Prophet is an intriguing and clever tale, highly recommended for community library fiction collections. Midwest Book Review
Atkins' writing is impeccable and he is clearly in his element with this wonderful piece of Southern fiction. Shana Schmadeke, Literarily.com
Unique characters, Southern charm, and a gripping story make this book an excellent read. The Front Porch Prophet will make you laugh and will make you cry. Raymond Atkins is an extremely talented author. The writing style is pleasant, fast-paced, and rewarding. I suspect this book will be a best seller.
Debra Gaynor, Reviewer
The story is rich and lively. A fantastic read. T.C. Robson, Reviewer, Bookshelf Reviews
I really enjoyed this book, and I hated to reach the last page. I look forward to visiting wherever Mr. Atkins next decides to take us.
Ferris Yawn, Reviewer, North Georgia Living
As southern as a slice of peach pie and nearly as sweet, this amusing yet piquant tale set in Sequoyah, Georgia revolves around the lifelong friendship of Eugene Purdue and Arthur John Longstreet. These and a host of other entertaining characters provide a warm view into the mind of a man trying to make sense of an unfair world.
Raymond Atkins tells a story at once comic and deeply tender, a story of friendship, love, unexpected brotherhood, and redemption. I don't have to be a prophet to predict you'll adore this book. Man Martin, Author, Paradise Dogs Atkins is the new Twain. Ken Anderson, Author, Someone Bought the House on the Island, The Statue of Pan, Sea Change
A really interesting, intriguing book. Atkins plays with humour, wit and mortality within each chapter and introduces the quirkiness of the characters superbly. This is ultimately a deep, emotional novel that questions friendship and life itself. I loved the book.
The novel is reminiscent of the longtime favorites coming from such Georgia penners as Erskine Caldwell and Flannery O’Connor but with Atkins’ unique voice leading the way into and through the tradition of quirky characters doing quirky things in quirky ways. Kenneth Robbins, Author, The City of Churches and Buttermilk Bottoms.
THE FRONT PORCH PROPHET is a deep poignant look at friendship in a small Georgia town. Fans will appreciate this insightful glimpse at life in the South. Harriet Klausner, Reviewer
The Front Porch Prophet is, like Eudora Welty's Losing Battles, a book of tall tales about the members of a small community. Most of the stories are hilarious, making this the funniest book centering on the inevitable death of one of the central characters you will read in a long time. Yes, it's a book about death, but it's also about life.
The Front Porch Prophet is an incredible blend of humor, insightfulness, sadness, and discourse on the human condition. It's creative and clever beyond comment. I laughed out loud, chuckled, grinned, felt sad, found hope, and burst into tears.
The joy of this book comes from the variety of characters and their tangled relationships. It’s really a fun read. If The Front Porch Prophet were an article of clothing it would definitely be a soft, worn, slightly dirty brown leather jacket that’s been heated in the sun so that it’s snug and warm and has that perfect old-leathery smell to it.
THE FRONT PORCH PROPHET is a fine piece of southern fiction—by turns poignant and hilarious. Atkins knows his front porches; the rustics who inhabit his novel are real people who walk right off the page, but he's also had some book learning...in the rich, lucid prose, one finds moments of breathtaking elegance. With a knack for storytelling, a sly sense of humor, and a Faulkneresque sensibility, Ray Atkins enters the literary scene with aplomb, and he plans to stay.
Melanie Sumner, Author, The Ghost of Milagro Creek, The School of Beauty and Charm and Polite Society
The Front Porch Prophet is one of the most unusual books I have read. It is also one of the best. The quirky characters, even at their worst, are thoroughly entertaining. Their words and actions are consistently unexpected and yet so human. These are the kind of people I would like to know; yet in many ways they very much are the kind of people we all know. If these remarks seem rather cryptic, read the book and you will understand. Raymond Atkins writes with heart and The Front Porch Prophet is a delight to read.
Mr. Atkins moves seamlessly between the past and present, and his gift for description helps build a sense of place and atmosphere. The dialogue is strong and realistic, giving voice to the people and reinforcing their character. Once I was drawn in, I had trouble putting The Front Porch Prophet down. I loved the characters; I loved the town. The ending was satisfying, but I was sad that it was over. If you enjoy quirky characters and plots driven by those characters, you’ll definitely enjoy The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond L. Atkins.
When you pick up a good novel written about the south by a Southern author, you can tell. It took a Southerner to shed light on the Southern life in such an honest, warm and loving way. Atkins does just that in his debut novel.
Atkins writes with a sly wink as he brings us into the novel; what could be a series of yarns or tales of “the fish that got away” are pulled together in a wonderful story of friendship, personal growth, sacrifice and love. The Front Porch Prophet was a very satisfying read, which truly made me both laugh and cry; it would make a nice addition to any bookcase, especially for those with a love of regional humor.
Dawn Rennert, Reviewer
Highly recommended to all readers, because no one should miss out on this touching tale of friendship, family, and southern culture.
Brooke Carleton, Reviewer, Apex Reviews
Amidst humorous dialogue and unusual townsfolk, Atkins weaves a tale that will have the reader hard-pressed to set the book down. The Front Porch Prophet is a touching and clever novel that looks at life, death, and friendship with a warm Southern slant. If you like John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield War), you’re gonna love Raymond L. Atkin’s new novel. This book does all the things a good novel should do: It inspires, brings on the tears, makes you laugh out loud.
This is an absolutely wonderful novel. Period. It is so wildly humorous, so unrealistic and so down-to-earth at the same time, so gosh darn in-your-face enjoyable, I am afraid that the next few books I read are destined to pale in comparison.
There is much to enjoy in this wonderful book, and the use of language that is so precise and so evocative is just one aspect. The characters are fascinating, quirky, and they come in and out of the story with ease. The dialogue is some of the best ever written. It is natural, true to each character, and so funny in places readers will be hard pressed to stifle their laughter when finishing the book at work because they couldn’t bear to leave the story at home.
Front Porch Prophet is an incredible novel. This is an engaging and powerful read that has been made more tangible by the addition of everyday events and humour. I cannot recommend Front Porch Prophet highly enough and I look forward to many, more novels from this talented author.
I quite enjoyed reading it. It has been awhile since I've read a book that so fully captured my attention that I wasn't able to put it down until the end. I give this book my star of approval.
Rebecca Adler, Reviewer, The Inside Cover
The Front Porch Prophet, by Raymond L. Atkins, combines a zany bunch of characters in unforgettable predicaments set in small town Sequoyah, Georgia. Mr. Atkins has written a heartwarming, witty, Southern tale with likeable characters, that will stay with the reader long after turning the last page of this wonderful debut novel.