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B-Four, B-Four, 0817310495, 0-8173-1049-5, 978-0-8173-1049-3, 9780817310493,


Quality Paper
2000. 288 pp.
Price:  $24.95 s

Newspapers, the Civil War, love, barbecue . . . Nothing escapes Hodges's
twisted sense of southern culture in his outrageous novel B-Four.

Beauregard Forrest has been a faithful son to his wealthy
and quirky father, joining him in Civil War reenactments and morning coffee,
and an uncomplaining second fiddle to his brother Jackson, an ex-Crimson
Tide football player.

To please his father, Beauregard works as a cub reporter
at the Birmingham Standard-Dispatch, a job his father hopes will
raise Beauregard's college entrance test scores and gain him admittance
to prestigious and gentrified Washington and Lee University.

Far from honing his skills and sharpening his wit, however,
Beauregard's assignments at the Standard-Dispatch--Pet of the Week
and obituaries--promise to bury him in Section B, Page 4, hence his nickname.

Beauregard's road to Page 1 is filled with more potholes
than an Alabama back road. Assigned to cover a speech by a British cleric,
the young reporter believes he may have escaped journalistic limbo, only
to discover the entire sermon delivered in Latin. When he files his story
partly in Latin, he finds himself once again covering breaking news at
the Humane Society.

Hoping to woo his love interest, Lorena, and wow his fellow
reporters with a sizzling front-page scoop, B-Four investigates an anti-Atlanta
campaign organized by the Birmingham Boosters. The hilarity that ensues
launches him on the road to self-discovery.

Sam Hodges is currently a Washington Correspondent for Newhouse News Service and has been a staff writer at the Birmingham Post-Herald and the Orlando Sentinel. Born in Georgia, Hodges now lives in Washington, D.C. and is a correspondent for the Mobile Register.

"B-Four is smart, sassy, and as Southern as collardgreens. But he doesn't go easy on us! He chooses his targets carefullyand demolishes them thoroughly. This book is fun all the way through."
—Fred Chappell

"This gem of a novel has more quirky characters than ahalf-dozen country stores--from a Birmingham booster frustrated by Atlanta'ssuccess, to Taco Bob, a Vietnamese refugee who becomes a barbecue king."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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