Books by Geoffrey Norman

STARS ABOVE US by Geoffrey Norman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Norman's first picture book explores a child's fear of the dark as a manifestation of, and metaphor for, acute separation anxiety. Amanda's fear is handily ameliorated before her father's military deployment. The family decorates her bedroom ceiling with cut-and-painted, glow-in-the-dark stars. Daddy shows Amanda the North Star—both in the night sky and in her bedroom—and says, "When I am away, you can look at it and think of me." "On the last day before he went away," Daddy surprises Amanda (but, one hopes, not her mom) with a puppy. Norman's dialogue-rich narrative spans the deployment and includes Daddy's phone call from a remote desert camp. The accomplished Lewis's pictures disappoint, with depictions of Amanda and her parents lacking consistency. Even allowing for variations in light and a year's changes, the child's hair color, features and apparent age seem to waver from spread to spread. Despite the unfortunate visual shortcomings, this useful volume reassuringly examines the effect of military deployment on families. A flawed but welcome addition to the sparse cadre of trade titles on this topic. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Not a book that invites a second reading, but any parent would be impressed by the Normans' achievements, and the understated pride with which Dad recounts them gives it power. "
Novelist and sportswriter Norman (Deep End, 1994, etc.) chronicles the birth, travails, and pleasures of a father-daughter climbing partnership. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

Perkins, former CEO of Orvis, has never had a bad day fly fishing or bird hunting, nor many selling the sports and their accouterments to the public, as reported in this memoir written with sporting journalist and Forbes FYI contributor Norman. Perkins was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but his father encouraged him to go into business: "He knew only a few men who did not work and were happy and that they were inevitably men of very high intelligence—He added that he didn't think I qualified." Perkins keeps this self-effacing tone brewing throughout the book, giving credit to his co-workers and his customers and his own native wits to turn Orvis into the grand sporting emporium it became under his near 30-year stewardship. Equal emphasis is placed on Perkins's business philosophy and his days afield. In a twangy voice, he'll drop his nuggets of business wisdom, most of which possess a Dale Carnegie common sense: love your work, be serious, innovate and stay ahead of the curve, listen to the customer, don't be governed by a cash push but rather by the pull of an idea. These points, and the various tactical moves he made situating Orvis to capitalize on the fly-fishing boom of the 1980s, are invariably nestled in well-paced stories of hunting red-legged partridge in Spain, rough shooting in northern Scotland, going after salmon in Norway's Alma River, trout in the chalk streams of England, and tarpon off Belize. And always he's out there putting the Orvis equipment through its paces: "I tested that rod on the Malleo River in Argentina in late March when the red stags were bugling in the hills and the geese were gathering to migrate." Hunters and fishers will weep with envy at Perkins's life, and those who don't may well be tempted to try them as he writes of these pursuits with humility and genuine relish. (photos, not seen) (First printing of 75,000; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour) Read full book review >
DEEP END by Geoffrey Norman
Released: March 23, 1994

Ex-SEAL Phil Garvey's not the kind of guy who'd get involved with drugs, so when his dive buddy—Florida panhandle investigator Morgan Hunt—sees that he's being hassled by Coast Guard searches, he doesn't waste any time getting his sometime employer, lawyer Nat Semmes, to identify disgruntled dive pupil Frank Loftin as the perjured informant. But no sooner has Loftin apologized and offered a nice cash settlement than Garvey—already bedeviled by a sick kid, big medical bills, and an impatient bank newly taken over by financial buccaneer Vernon Culp—starts telling crazy stories about diving for a Spanish galleon, then disappears. It's up to Morgan to track him down, find out where his dreams of sudden wealth are really coming from, and make the best deal he can for Garvey's wife—or his widow. Another agreeable, lazily plotted John D. MacDonald knockoff from Norman (Sweetwater Ranch, Blue Chipper), who's welcome to keep spinning yarns like this for another hundred years. Read full book review >
BLUE CHIPPER by Geoffrey Norman
Released: Oct. 20, 1992

Hours after Jackson Coleman is arrested for murder—a drug deal went sour, and no-good Jackson admits he pulled the trigger—his brother William, a high-school basketball phenom in the Florida panhandle, has a visitor offering to swap a plea bargain for Jackson for a letter of intent that William will play for the state university. Convinced that the family's been set up by unscrupulous sports recruiters, William's mother goes to maverick lawyer Nat Semmes, who turns the investigation over to ex-con/detective Morgan Hunt (Sweetwater Ranch, 1991). Hunt, who probably has pictures of Travis McGee on his dresser, finds pretty much what you'd expect—crooked cops, rotten recruiters, killer bikers, and some sweet-tasting quail and catfish—but the finding is a heartfelt pleasure: he feels fine and you will too. Read full book review >