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Mark Childress has written one exceptional novel (Tender) and several good reads of varying quality. One Mississippi works well for me as a great listen, an almost ideal audiobook if you find appealing an easy-to-absorb, engaging, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, often over-the-top coming of age story. It features a cast of lively characters, some rendered with depth and striking originality, and all aided by a narrator whose diverse voices become more winning and convincing as the story unfolds.
The story has some unusual and original conceits and flourishes, but overall I enjoyed the entertainment too much to question the unevenness and improbabilities that may bother other listeners. The climatic scene, I'm sure, will be rightly criticized as derivative, out of place in a story set in early 1970s Mississippi, unbelievable and maybe a cheap shot. I still did not want the story to end, and loved the parting image of a sky blue Pinto rocketing down the highway into the Mississippi night.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
I purchased this because of the reviews, but I thought it dragged on and on. I finished it, but kept checking my iPod to see how much more time was left. I'm really surprised by all the great reviews. It was just an average story in which the author took way too much time discussing characters and their issues - all of which meant nothing in the end.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Race is a dominant theme in this story but it is secondary to the theme of friendship and in the end love. it's difficult to say anything more without giving too much away. I found the by then inevitable denouement quite upsetting, but was glad to have read it and am glad to recommend it and this good performance.