Writer Digest Review
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 3
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 4
Voice and Writing Style: 4
I wasnâ€™t quite sure what I would make of Phil Thompsonâ€™s 97 MILES SOUTH, since I didnâ€™t think I would initially find the subject matter of any interestâ€”Iâ€™m not wildly interested in either Cuba or marlin fishing. But happily, Thompson, while sometimes going a little bit overboard with detail about both the country and the fishing, manages to make a swift-moving and streamlined story, with two compelling characters, Pete and Christina, at the center. The book has a solidly designed interior; the cover image is slightly goofy and cartoonish, and thus doesnâ€™t much match the tone of the book, for me. What keeps the book going is its very solid prose throughout. The dialogue is mostly good, though there are a few leaden moments, particularly when itâ€™s spoken by non-native speakers, as on page 145. (Itâ€™s often difficult to render such speech on the page without it sounding stilted, since it sometimes sounds stilted in life.) But these are fairly minor concerns in a book which I otherwise enjoyed a great deal. The author lives in the area, and thus seems to know it like the back of his hand. He conveys the land and the sea and the beauty of both quite vividly.
Just finished your book, in one night couldn’t put it down. Waiting on the next. Anytime your around Wilmington NC shoot me an email. Inshore and offshore fish every chance I get,also into diving. Keep up the great writing.
Thanks again for ” The Trip”
Phil Received your book yesterday, finished it today WOW awesome , I really enjoyed the book.. Having been there and experienced many of the aspects of their culture it made the reading that much more enjoyable..You touched on so many challenges they face in everyday life, it is so true what you delivered to the reader…Thanks… I still am planning to return in the near future.
From John Buckman. Placed the 1st book order and through many unforced errors just recieved his copy. Tks. John
I just finished reading Phil Thompson’s new book 97 Miles South. What a great book! Couldn’t put it down. His knowlege of Big Game Fishing and vivid descriptions of Cuba hooked me. Fishing a Blue Marlin Tournament in an exotic setting such as Cuba-Can it get any better?
The plot takes the reader on a spellbinding ride that exposes the ugly political underside of modern Cuba. Adventure, Romance, Intrigue-It’s all here.
Phil Thompson’s first novel is going to have Randy Wayne White looking over his shoulder. This book is that good. Looking forward to the next Phil Thompson novel.
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Fun, entertaining, and often thought provoking read from a writer with what is obviously a genuine voice from experience. This book is easy to lose yourself in and was hard to put down. I love his expression of Cuba “bicycling its way through the jet age”. No doubt, Cuba is stuck in time, and the nearby island of Key West is full of colorful, rebellious, and adventurous characters. Phil Thompson weaves it all together into a vibrant book. Well done! This “new” writer has a very bright future and I look forward to his next book. (I wouldn’t be surprised if this book was made into a movie).
I ordered the book based on an advertisement in a fishing magazine. The book is well written and moves at at well intentioned pace. The detailed description of the places in Cuba and Key West are spot on and the characters are well developed and enjoyable. Its hard to believe that this is Phil Thompson’s first novel. I can’t wait for the next one?
“I’m really impressed, it’s a polished novel.
… it’s very captivating, and absolutely beautiful when you talk about nature, fishing and ways of life.
THE FINAL MARLIN SCENE IS FANTASTIC!
It really finishes strong! The last 50 pages are super suspenseful.
It’s a bit like Hunter S. Thompson’s THE Rum Diaries.”
David Conway – Managing Editor Florida Sportsman Magazine