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Georgia Bottoms: A Novel Hardcover – February 23, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Sassy Southern belle Georgia has a lot of secrets: a rotation of gentleman callers with unique sexual needs, a mother with a tenuous hold on reality, and a lucrative (if dodgy) business of selling at a huge mark-up the folk art quilts she buys and passes off as her own creations. But then 9/11 comes along, Georgia's world of naughty innocence is changed forever, and all the plates she once spun so effortlessly in midair come crashing down: her illegitimate black son shows up on her doorstep; her best friend and town mayor, Krystal, loses her job; her demented mom and drunken brother become increasingly errant; and one of her boyfriends—a spiteful preacher—has an unfortunate attack of conscience and intends to publicly confess his affair and simultaneously condemn poor Georgia to hell. Childress (One Mississippi) is sassy magnolia lit's Truman Capote—sharply observant, unrelentingly honest, and downright hilarious—and his Georgia peach is the freshest bad girl to rise from the South since Scarlett O'Hara. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Perhaps no region of America is caricaturized through stereotypes as thoroughly and nakedly as the South. In Georgia Bottoms, Childress indulges these stereotypes more than he challenges them. Here the reader finds the hypocritical Baptist preacher, the gossipy congregation, and the femme fatale in impeccable dress. It is awfully hot outside, and the townspeople could not be politer. Of course, everyone is talking behind everyone else�s back. This is problematic, as the story�s conflict comes from the protagonist�s struggle to juggle a coterie of paramours, one of whom�the reader discovers early�is the guilt-stricken preacher. All of this can be more cute than entertaining, especially in dialogue, where one finds few surprises. Childress is perhaps most charming between jokes; occasionally, in drawing a simple setting, he dazzles: �The old town seemed suddenly lovely: long green lawns stretched out under live oaks, sprinklers chattering, flinging arcs of bright glitter. Some of the clapboard cottages were as old as the live oaks. Kids made skateboard racket on the broken sidewalks.� --Kevin Clouther

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (February 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316033046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316033046
  • ASIN: 0316033049
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Childress is the author of seven novels: GEORGIA BOTTOMS (Little, Brown, 2011), ONE MISSISSIPPI, GONE FOR GOOD, CRAZY IN ALABAMA, TENDER, V FOR VICTOR, and A WORLD MADE OF FIRE.

Born in Monroeville, Alabama - the same town Harper Lee wrote about in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Childress is one of three sons of Roy and Mary Helen Childress. Roy was a salesman for Ralston Purina, so the family moved a lot growing up: Ohio, Indiana, Mississippi, and Louisiana were some of the stops along the way.

Childress attended Clinton (Miss.) High School and the University of Alabama, where he studied fiction writing under Barry Hannah and Kitty Johnson. He worked as a staff writer for the Birmingham (Ala.) News, and was Features Editor of Southern Living magazine and National Editor of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution before becoming a full-time novelist.

His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday Review, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Travel and Leisure, and other national and international publications.

"Tender," a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection, was named to several Ten Best of 1990 lists, and appeared on many national bestseller lists. "Crazy in Alabama," a featured selection of the Literary Guild, has been published in eleven languages and appeared on many bestseller lists and Ten Best of 1993 lists. "Crazy" was named The (London) Spectator's "Book of the Year" for 1993 and a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year," and was on the Spiegel bestseller list in Germany for 10 months.

"One Mississippi" was a BookSense Notable Book of the Year, nominated for SIBA Book of the Year,and appeared on the "hot summer book" lists of Good Morning America, People, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, O: the Oprah Magazine, and the New York Public Library. The paperback edition is now in its seventh printing.

"Georgia Bottoms" was a New York Times bestseller and appeared on a variety of "hot" lists.

Childress has also written three picture books for children, "Joshua and Bigtooth," in 1992, "Joshua and the Big Bad Blue Crabs," 1996 (both from Little, Brown), and "Henry Bobbity Is Missing And It Is All Billy Bobbity's Fault," (Crane Hill Publishers, 1996).

He wrote the screenplay of the Columbia Pictures film "Crazy in Alabama," directed by Antonio Banderas, and starring Melanie Griffith, an official selection of the Venice and San Sebastian film festivals in 1999.

Childress is now working on his eighth novel and a film project. He lives in Key West, Florida.

(Author photo by Brett Hall)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bama Gal on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mark Childress does it again. He fires an opening salvo that grabs your funny bone and won't let go. But for careful readers there's more meat to the matter. An assessment of conservative values in small town American lampoons the usual suspects and points a wicked finger at sex, drugs, religion, and the ties that bind. And since we're south of the Mason Dixon line, he can't help but take the pulse of race relations and throw in a status report on gays and lesbians for good measure. You'll be highly amused but won't be able to ignore his overarching theme of what makes each of us an insider or an outsider and how we can cross that line in the blink of an eye. His characters race by the mile markers that define our lives -- work, gender, race, sexual preference, religion, wealth, and parental affection or lack thereof -- trying hard to give us a reason to exist in the cosmos. As usual, this writer is slyly subversive - first seducing you with broad humor and then daring you to think.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll be honest. I'm a huge Childress fan and have relished all of his novels from the first word to the last (if you haven't read "Tender," well...), so it is hardly surprising that I enjoyed Georgia as much as I did. I loved her and the steamy town from which she hails, drawn with a drawl that few have captured so well or to such fine effect. This is a wild ride that displays Childress's sleight of hand at every turn -- who else can stab so deeply into damning Southern truths while still making the place so embracing and enticing that you want to leave right this minute and go see it for yourself. And, a word to the wise: savor the last pages, even though you'll be tempted to race to the end. You'll be glad you did. A great, wonderful ride through charming insanity wrought with the adept touch of a master.
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Format: Hardcover
A seven-drawer locked dresser....one for each day of the week. What is in each drawer?....well, all the things Georgia needs to make her nightly lovers believe they are the only one....pictures of their mother, their favorite clothes, anything to make them feel "special." When one of the lovers' wives finds out about the affair, nothing to do but empty that drawer....oh well......done.

Georgia had enough of this worry for now...she had her September luncheon to think of. She couldn't disappoint the ladies...they looked forward to this luncheon each year, and she certainly couldn't let them know how poor she really was.

She hadn't always been poor, and she hadn't always been the pillar of society either....but then a letter arrived from someone who was keeping a secret for 20 years and who she told there was NO contact allowed whether it was in writing or through a phone call....this definitely wouldn't work for her. Things were not turning out the way Georgia had planned. Everything ALWAYS went her way...she couldn't have this happen. She will just send more money this time....yes...send more money and it would be taken care of, but then she found another letter as she was cleaning and that changed everything even more. What will she do now? She knew...she always had a plan....and what a great plan. You will love the book....it was funny and had everyday situations that at times we all have to deal with.

This book had me laughing from the first page....I knew she was another Scarlet O'Hara even before the author commented about it. I really enjoyed the book, and will definitely be reading his other books. 5/5
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, and it main character Georgia. I like the way Childress developed the character of Georgia, and also Georgia's mother. It isn't my ususal type of reading, so a bit "fluffy" for me. I don't mean that in a demeaning way, just thought of it as a fun and entertaining read.
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Format: Hardcover
Georgia Bottoms is beautiful, full of southern charm and goes to church every Sunday. She also cares for her elderly mother and sells hand made quilts all around Six Points, Alabama.

But she is also a woman with a secret life. She entertains some of the town's finest male citizens at night. Six different men and each has his particular night of the week and the night is customized to his particular tastes. They have all been trained to leave her a "gift" to help Georgia take care of herself and her mother. Plus each gentleman caller thinks he's the only lover enjoying Georgia's company.

Things start to fall apart when Georgia's minister, Mr. Saturday Night, decides to confess his sins to his wife and the entire congregation one Sunday morning. She manages to cause a diversion to stop this confession, but knows if she doesn't do something quickly her entire private life will become public knowledge. She has to protect her mother and herself. Six Points, Alabama will never be the same.

Yes, I loved this story so much. I think it will definitely become a sort of Southern Classic. It is funny and heartbreaking. The entire town seems totally dysfunctional and perfect together at the time.

It amazed me that Georgia was able to keep up this ruse as long as she did, but Mark Childress is such a great writer I bought the whole thing, hook, line and sinker. Maybe it's the Alabama heat that drives what would almost be called insanity of this town, but I loved it, each and every word. I may be a little biased here because I live far from the south but have learned that pastors can be some of the most hypocritical persons on the earth, so I had no trouble buying into this pastor's story or the replacement.
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