Pictures of the Shark

Bittersweet stories from adolescence.

A sudden snowfall in Houston reveals family secrets. A trip to Universal Studios to snap a picture of the shark from Jaws becomes a battle of wills between father and son. A midnight séance and the ghost of Janis Joplin conjure the mysteries of sex. A young boy’s pilgrimage to see Elvis Presley becomes a moment of transformation. A young woman discovers the responsibilities of talent and freedom.

Pictures of the Shark, by award-winning Houston writer Thomas H. McNeely, moves from its protagonist Buddy Turner’s surreal world of childhood into the wider arenas of sex, addiction, art, and ambition. 

(from Goodreads)

More reading

Author website – Thomas McNeely

Interview with Thomas McNeely in the Houston Chronicle


“Stories that will stay with you a long time after you turn the final page” – Boys’ Mom Reads blog

“A painful look at a dysfunctional family” –

“This book is raw and heartbreaking, but it is engaging as well because a messy life is still worth living, even if it is only viewed through rosy gossamer or a drunken haze.” – Ruthie Jones, Reading by Moonlight


This site is a labor of love so many entries could benefit from more quotes, links to interesting background material, author interviews, etc. If you have material for the collection on this page, please get in touch.

Unless otherwise noted, the blurb is adapted from Goodreads.
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