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The Fourth of July
Copyright © 2012, Kevin Dowd

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"It's summer 1974 on an island off the coast of Connecticut, and all Jack Smith wants is a vacation like he enjoyed in his youth: swimming, sailing and sunshine. But Jack finds his summer plans quickly spiraling out of control. His estranged wife follows him to the island looking for money. The priest and constable are conspiring his ruin. And the local Lolita is intent upon seducing him. Jack suddenly has more problems than he can handle, and he deals with them the only way he knows how: with rum and romance, all leading to a calamitous Fourth of July in Kevin Dowd's hilarious first novel."


"The Fourth of July reminded me of such gin-soaked comic classics as A Confederacy of Dunces and The Ginger Man. Dowd's hero, Jack Smith, joins the rank of those lovable rogues, a man who spends his summer tippling into all sorts of trouble with only the best intentions. I laughed out loud."

-Rand Richards Cooper, author The Last To Go.

"It only takes a minor event—that one extra drink, a nosy neighbor rapping on the front door, an alienated spouse's unexpected entrance—to spark the collapse of a relaxing summer escape... And thats what makes The Fourth of July enjoyable: the constant feeling that we're experiencing a long lost Saturday afternoon matinee designed to provide a few laughs and a couple hours of zany diversion."

-Benjamin Woodward, Rain Taxi Review of Books

"Were this a film, the parts would be played by Chevy Chase and Catherine O'Hara. Jack returns to the island for the holiday weekend in 1974 (think Mungo Jerry, no cell phones, no texting, no Internet) to nurse the psychic wounds of middle age, little suspecting that all hell would soon break loose."

-Alan Bisbort, Hartford Advocate

Portions of this web site copyright © 2014, Kevin Dowd, president Atlantic Computing

How the book came to be

The editing and production efforts for The Fourth of July are the work of a start-up publisher, Roundabout Press, created by a Dan Pope (author In the Cherry Tree; graduate of Iowa Writers' Workshop; professor at Western Connecticut State University) and some of his MFA students. The manuscript was chosen through a competitive review process. Funding for the initial printing was raised through a Kickstarter campaign. The result is a polished, enjoyable, hilarious tale of a dysfunctional summer island community on the week leading up to the Fourth of July, 1974. Help support Roundabout in their efforts to become an established alternative literary press. Available for Kindle and in paperback; be the first in your circle to discover The Fourth of July!

Goodreads reviews (more here)

Published by Roundabout Press.