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Beluga Hardcover – October 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250015227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250015228
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,093,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Nick Reid and his massive African American friend Desmond are sitting on $200,000 liberated from a Louisiana meth dealer, and they want to put their money to work for them. Against their better judgment, they finance Desmond’s ex-brother-in-law Larry Carothers’ plan to hijack a truckload of Michelin tires and sell them in small lots across the Mississippi Delta. Their better judgment reminds them that Larry is an idiot who legally changed his name to Beluga LaMonte while in Mississippi’s infamous Parchman prison, but Desmond remains in thrall of Beluga’s ultravolatile ex, Shawnica. Beluga, of course, bungles his own heist. Soon, family clans of Delta ne’er-do-wells—possessed of “raging shiftlessness”—are hunting Beluga, Nick, and Desmond. So is a “ninja schoolgirl assassin” who is determined to see that their deaths are slow and very painful. Ranchero (2011), Gavin’s debut novel, was lauded by many reviewers, and Beluga is a worthy successor. It’s exciting, violent, gritty, and often very funny, and the knowing portrait of a region largely unknown to most readers is almost revelatory. Gavin also has a distinctive narrative voice that could be described as Delta baroque. It might take a page or two for some readers to adapt to his rhythm, but once they do, they’ll be under its spell. --Thomas Gaughan

Review

“Stellar. . .a captivating and frequently hilarious series.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Gavin updates the good-old-boy charm of the Smokey and the Bandit movie series but adds some sharp narration by a hero who’s still plenty dumb enough to get into some seriously funny trouble.”
Kirkus


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lone Star Lady on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the author's RANCHERO so much that I preordered BELUGA, and boy, am I glad. It's another wildly entertaining bout of Mississippi Delta mayhem.

The title refers to shiftless lowlife Larry, who while in prison legally changed his name to Mr. Beluga S. LaMonte. Our protagonists, Nick and Desmond, unwisely lend Larry $30,000 to finance his theft of tires from the shady scion of a plantation family. The scion, Lucas Shambrough, pursues the tires and the thieves with murderous vengeance.

Shambrough is Nick's and Desmond's problem, too, because Larry is the brother of Desmond's ferocious ex-wife, Shawnica, who still has an inexplicable hold over him and as mysterious a fondness for Larry. Nick - who narrates the tale - and Desmond are repo men by trade and regularly have to get tough to repossess TVs, sofas and the like from violent deadbeats. They need those skills and all their wits to keep Larry out of the hands of Shambrough and his equally sadistic female ninja assassin.

Author Rick Gavin makes all this laugh-out-loud funny with his idiosyncratic way with words. For example:

- He had enough hair on his back for a throw.
- I liked Kendell. He was what I had instead of a stout, unwavering conscience.
- She looked like she wanted me deboned with violence.
- He was hobbled with arthritis and either seventy or two hundred years old. I couldn't tell which.
- (of Nick's own ex-brother-in-law) ...a Lutheran minister and a narcotic in human form.

This is a unique voice. I'm not quite finished with BELUGA, and I'm ready to preorder the next half-dozen Nick & Desmond novels. Who knew the Mississippi Delta was saturated with as much humor as history?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fanfan on June 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All right then, what happened to Pearl's Buick Regal? We last saw it in a Wal-Mart parking lot, in chapter 17, driven there by Larry and Skeeter, who in the next chapter end up in a hospital or arrest, and never bother to return to complete their shopping experience. Somehow Pearl (and the novel's editor, if there was such animal, since in recent times, and to my knowledge, the publishing houses have not even bothered to outsource editor jobs to Bangalore, and just killed them!) never misses it. All is well, I know, the Buick re-appears on the first pages of "Nowhere Nice", which is the last T.R. Pearson/Rick Gavin novel I haven't yet finished reading, and when I do I see that I'll have to re-read "A Short History of a Small Place" for the 6th time while waiting for the next installment.

I hope that explains sufficiently the five star rating above, and I'm not like some teenage fan of a boy band that thinks everything put out by the boy band is amazing and awesome, I'd give a couple of the author's novels measly four asterisks. Other than that everything about this hilarious fun ride has been said by other reviewers. (I only wish I could find another American writer who writes as well, with such well drawn characters, insightful observations and humour.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doc on January 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My review of Rick's first book said he was one of the top five writers of comic crime novels. This book keeps him there. He still is laugh out loud. Consider the following quote from the book

I grabbed one (a garage jack) out of its socket. Four feet of tubular steel with a rubber grip on my end and just bare metal on the other. I decided to go for knife boy first, and he giggled his way right into trouble. I gave him a lesson in not bringing a knife to a Walmart jack handle fight.

The book is loaded with comic comments on people who are known as crackers and live in the Mississippi Delta.

His characters are well developed, real, earthy and downright believable, even the ones who are dumb as a skunk.

Buy his books and read them, but read them in order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Massenzio on August 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
having set expectations quite high with his debut novel Ranchero, Nick Gavin does not disappoint: in fact, this 'sort-of' sequel turns out to be just as funny and, in fact, better developed, with a more interesting plot.

Not that the plot really matters - as I remarked in my review of Ranchero - the reason one really wants to read a novel by Mr Gavin is in the sheer pleasure and fun of reading his quirky style and the witty, funny remarks about the population of the Delta.

This is a highly recommended read - but if you haven't read Ranchero yet (what's wrong with you?) I would suggest to read that one first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Along with Ranchero, the first in the series, very interesting new series. The Mississippi Delta settings are unique as are the characters. Fun reading.
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By kathryn walter on October 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent.... No beyond excellent. If you haven't had the pleasure of spending some quality time with this author (Rick Gavin AKA T.R. Pearson) you're in for a real treat. Kindness, intelligence and just forgiveness for the humanity of people shines through his work and feeds your soul. Funny? No one, but no one rivals T. R. Pearson for humor. I belly laughed through the entire book. People thought I was bi-polar or something at the gym because I roared the whole time I was on the treadmill. Read the other two by Ric Gavin. You won't be sorry, it's an honor.
Kathryn Walter
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