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Goodnight, Texas Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Unbridled Books (October 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932961445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932961447
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,097,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Goodnight by the Sea, Tex. (not to be confused with Goodnight in the Plains, 600 miles away), is a dying gulf coast town where global warming and international trade have made the once-reliable vocation of shrimping unprofitable. Alligators run amok while the West Nile virus picks off the elderly. When Russian restaurant owner Gusef learns a gigantic and thought-to-be-extinct zebra fish has beached itself nearby (replete with a dead horse in its belly), he dispatches his good-natured juvenile delinquent fry cook Falk to photograph it. As Gusef concocts schemes to capitalize on the dead fish, a hurricane brews in the gulf, portending possible doom for the town. The characters aren't particularly unique, but Cobb manages to breathe tragicomic life into them: Una, Falk's co-worker who wants more than Goodnight has to offer; Falk's adolescent cousin Leesha, who falls for Una's ex-boyfriend, Gabriel, the drunken bad boy turned driver's-ed instructor who in turn has it in for Falk. Though Cobb (The Fire Eaters) sometimes strives too hard for colloquial legitimacy ("nowadays you'd be lucky to catch a gafftop catfish a pound"), he expertly exploits the claustrophobic and incestuous atmosphere of smalltown Texas. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Almost as if out of a dream, an enormous, zebra-striped fish the size of a Volkswagen washes up on the shore of the little fishing town of Goodnight, Texas. Even stranger still, there is a small horse stuck in its giant maw. The locals are intrigued, especially Falk, a teenage expellee who wears his heart decidedly on his shirtsleeve, and Gusef, who wants to stuff and mount the giant fish above his little gumbo-serving cafe. Una, a waitress at the cafe, has had it up to (her very diminutive) here with her alcoholic, quick-to-rage boyfriend, Gabriel, and falls immediately into the willing arms of Falk. As the giant fish finally makes its way onto the top of the cafe, a devastating hurricane threatens the already down-and-out inhabitants of the little town. Cobb, who focuses more on atmospherics than plotting, lets the relationships between his characters swirl and ebb without attempting to assert too much, but in so doing leaves much unresolved. Vivid yet gracefully understated at times, he paints in broad swatches that look great from afar but up close reveal some distinct, though promising, flaws. Ian Chipman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Texas gulf town of Goodnight by the Sea, Texas is dying as the once profitable shrimping industry has tottered towards extinction due to the unfair global market and the destruction of the natural habitat by warmer temperatures. Former shrimper Gabriel Perez teaches driver's-ed and is now girlfriendless as Una Vu, a waitress, dumped him apparently for a fry cook Falk Powell.

Russian restaurateur Gusef learns that an alleged extinct zebra fish has landed on the nearby beach with a dead horse inside its stomach. He wants to use the fish as bait to bring in some new customers. He sends his fry cook Falk to at least photograph the gigantic corpse while he works on ways to make money off the caucus before the hurricane that is coming blows it back out to sea at a time when Gabriel plans to harm his teenage rival.

Readers will appreciate this look at a dying small Texas town with no future as events well beyond their control have destroyed their livelihood, aspirations, and future. The characters are a solid cast who make for a fine ensemble look at no tomorrow (except for the hustling Gusef) at least here with the hurricane symbolizing the end. Fans of strong character studies will want to visit GOODNIGHT, TEXAS where denial battles reality as hope is abandoned there.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
Goodnight, Texas, on the vulnerable Gulf Coast, is home to a variety of eccentrics, regulars and snowbirds that cling to a fading future in a once productive fishing town, now tapped out and fading, over-fished and left to die, littered with the remnants of nowhere lives and nonspecific discontent: "This was the year the light of Goodnight was fading." Faced with a ravaged economy and the threat of an incipient hurricane, the residents of Goodnight plod through the days, many oblivious by choice, stubborn and cranky from the hardships they have come to expect.

Peopled with extreme characters, Goodnight is a catchall for the hopeless, the discontented and a handful of terminal optimists, like the Russian owner of the Black Tooth Café, Gusef. Inside the Café, a small drama unfolds, a flirtation-cum-romance between Falk Powell, a seventeen-year-old high school dropout and Una, a Vietnamese-Hispanic beauty a few years older: "One can imagine she must have broken many hearts, men turned to fish and left to swim sadly beneath the pier lights, hoping to catch a glimpse of her." Until recently, Una was in an unsatisfying relationship with Gabriel Perez, a newly-unemployed fisherman with a bad temper, a predilection for drunkenness and an urge for revenge against those he believes have wronged him. Then there are the crusty old salts who have seen everything, café habitués who render judgment on a daily basis with the wink of an eye.

Throw in a few wealthy tourists to rub salt in the depressed-economic wound, dead mammals poisoned by their natural habitat and a hurricane on the horizon and the recipe for disaster is complete.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel A. Scott on August 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
How many of us grew up in a small town similar to that, where tourist dollars and a few local businessmen were what kept the local economy going? I enjoyed the book in the fact that it provided hope for some of the seemingly hopeless, youth of Goodnight. Gusef was a great character, as well as Falk who seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. It's not one of the joyful, light stories that leaves you smiling when you finish, but more like a semi-realistic look at a few people that in the end, you hope everything works out for them.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Pelovsky on June 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr Cobb who writes in a style unlike Jack London, carried the story line through three quarters of the book. He however failed the ending. What happens to the charecters at the end? Did Gusef's restaurant reopen? Did Una and Faulk go off into the sunset? What happened to Leesha and Gabrial, or did he never come back to Goodnight. It's as though he got tired of writing the book and just ended the story. Though his description of the characters were well written,the ending left you with unanswered questions. 2 1/2 stars!
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