Captain Saturday

Copyright 2002 by Robert Inman

Published by Little Brown & Co.

ISBN 0316089737


Read the First Chapter

When Will Baggett drove his automobile in Raleigh, North Carolina, a lot of people honked at him. Of course, the personalized licensed plate—ZATUWILL?—had a lot to do with it. Read more.


Will Baggett, TV weatherman, is the biggest celebrity in Raleigh, North Carolina. With adoring fans, a nice house, a son in medical school, and a wife who's one of fast-growing Raleigh's top real estate brokers, Will has the perfect life. But suddenly, his well-ordered world comes crashing down about him. Stripped of his celebrity and his dignity, he begins to realize that his marriage is coming apart and his son doesn't like him very much. Captain Saturday is the story of how Will comes to terms with the past he has tried to forget, sorts out his personal dilemmas, reinvents himself, gets to know his son, and attempts to recapture the magic of his marriage. Little, Brown calls Captain Saturday a "graceful, comic and poignant novel. In a larger sense, this is also a novel about how the New South, with its booming economy and newly minted cities, is stamping out the Old South, losing in the process a sense of tradition and identity."


From the Christian Science Monitor: "Captain Saturday" is a book full of hard-won hope, a celebration of the power of renewal, and some wise advice about how to live well in any weather. >> Read the review.

From FictionAddiction.net: Robert Inman's created a fine cast of characters. Each one grows so much from beginning to end, you'll feel like you know them. Especially the main character. There's a little bit of Will Baggett in all of us.   >> Read the review.

From Publisher's Weekly: "It's all about how we let outside influences--job, status, celebrity--define who we are and how we relate to the people around us. The plot examines the quandary of how to go about finding out who we really are when the rug is pulled from under us. I hope Captain Saturday resonates with our wake-up call."   >> Read the review.

Praise for "Captain Saturday"

"...a beguiling tale of the New South. Ruefully wise, it warms and cheers like the best kind of southern comfort."   (Kirkus Reviews)

"At once deeply affecting and warmly humorous, this fourth novel by Inman faintly echoes the bittersweet inflections of such literary forebears as Flannery O'Connor. Peopled with vivid, endearingly quixotic characters...this richly textured epic is a paean to the vagaries of the human heart." (Publishers Weekly)

"Inman knows the ins and outs of Southern family life and the ties it imposes even on those who rebel against it. In stark contrast to Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again, Inman's novel develops the theme that the Southerner never gets away. People with strong family connections will recognize whereof he speaks." (Library Journal)

"Spread the word--Captain Saturday is the best novel yet from one of our very best novelists. The adventures of a popular TV weatherman who runs face-first into the cold front of his own life is by turns engaging, hilarious, painful, and moving--sometimes all at once. It's a measure of Robert Inman's immense skill that his characters are never less than real, and never more than human." (Mark Childress, author of Crazy In Alabama and Gone For Good)

"There are some storms that not even a seasoned and popular TV weatherman can predict. Will Baggett has to lose everything before he finds out what really matters. Robert Inman once again demonstrates his talent for masterful storytelling in this midlife whirlwind adventure that uncovers old wounds and stirs up forgotten history before finally settling on love." (Lynne Hinton, author of Friendship Cake and The Things I Know Best)

"If you had John Cheever's eye for suburban drama but without the ironic detachment, and you replaced the despair in Richard Yates with genuine affection for the characters, and then looked at the New South of North Carolina--you'd have Robert Inman's Captain Saturday. Inman's story opens with the simple, happy life of Will Baggett, Raleigh's favorite weatherman. Simple and happy dissolve in thirty pages, and then things really turn bad. Will Baggett has to go back to the Old South and recover his life, to understand what we all finally understand--that we make, as well as are made by, our own history. Falling from community icon to media joke, Will is finally redeemed by two acts of heroism--one private, one public--eventually saving much more than himself. Along the way, Will must juggle a supporting cast of uppity in-laws, assorted black sheep relatives, chameleon lawyers, and country singers. Told with ample humor, insight, and empathy, Captain Saturday is the latest in a long line of memorable fiction from Robert Inman." (Larry Baker, author of The Flamingo Rising)

"Robert Inman has written a solid, sure-handed--yet tender-hearted--novel about finding yourself in places you never thought you'd be. The characters are so real, the story so close to home, the anxiety so intense, you just about jump out of your shoes. And you can't stop reading. Toward the end of this ultimately uplifting book, Inman writes that 'finally, it came down to this: On the surface, everything is gone; but if everything is gone, anything is possible.' Captain Saturday connects us with our deepest terrors and consolations." (Judy Goldman, author of The Slow Way Back)