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Handling Sin Paperback – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402239335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402239335
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Demonstrating a spirited grasp of the genre, Malone (Dingley Falls has written a "romance novel" in the original sense: a long tale of chivalrous heroes and extraordinary events. This madcap book bubbles with a frenzy from the first pages, an initially disconcerting pace that rarely allows the reader to catch a breath. With a wink to Cervantes and Dickensas well as the Marx Brothersthe narrative recounts the two-week odyssey of Raleigh Whittier Hayes, an upstanding citizen of Thermopylae, N.C., and Mingo Sheffield, his Sancho Panza. They encounter a bizarre cast of characters during their adventures, including Raleigh's criminal half-brother Gates, his prison buddy Weeper Berg, and aging jazzman Toutant Kingstree. Their quest, to unfairly simplify it, is to recapture Hayes's ailing father, who has escaped from the hospital with a young black woman, and who has left Raleigh a strange set of tasks to fulfill before a planned rendezvous in New Orleans. While tantalized by the promise of a secret treasure at the end of the journey, Hayes uncovers family secrets and Raleigh is granted a large measure of self-enlightenment. This is a highly refreshing tale in which Malone has managed to make the bizarre hilariously credible. 75,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

With braggadocio, Malone says in his acknowledgments that he expects a major movie company to buy Handling Sin. And his novel's scenario does seem designed to outdo Cannonball Run , Peyton Place and, at times, Porky's. It stars Raleigh W. Hayes, Baptist Church stalwart, Civitan regular, staid insurance agent, who miraculously metamorphoses overnight into Bruce Lee/Rocky/Rambo as he totes a pistol, battles the KKK and the other gangsters, poses as an FBI agent, and shades of Mickey Spillainehas sensuous women swooning as he travels from Thermopylae, N.C. to New Orleans with excessively contrived adventures. This episodic novel panders with explicit sexual encounters, manipulated incidents/coincidences, and flagrant reliance on deus ex machina. But, alas, there is little reading pleasure in it. Glenn O. Carey, English Dept., Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

These characters come alive, with distinctive personalities.
Eliza Bennet
This is a laugh out loud book and a quick and easy read, but with some meat to it.
S. Mitchell
Each person agrees that it is one of the funniest books they've ever read.
Victoria Compton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Jimok580 on March 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
OK... I admit I read this book well over a decade ago for the first time. I've read it twice since. "Handling Sin" is just one of those really great books. I don't mean great like "Bonfire of the Vanities" or something like that. I mean great like 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" or "David Copperfield". I'm talking classically great. And "Huckleberry Finn" is good for comparison as "Handling Sin" is a journey book as well, where the main character, Raleigh Whittier Hayes, travels throughout the south in search of his father, only to find, you know i'm gonna say it, himself.
First and foremost, "Handling Sin" is belly-laugh funny. I've never laughed with a book as much as I did with this one. And it's touching as well. I came to really like the characters that people this book. At the end, I really wanted to continue knowing them. I could go on and on praising the merits of this book, but you people don't know me so I'll keep it short. There is one last thing to be said: none of Malone's books approach the sheer joy and mastery of this one. I know; I've read and been disappointed by them all.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do not read this book where you are supposed to be quiet because it's sure to make you laugh out loud. I first read this book about ten years ago and recently reread it and it was even funnier the second time around. Michael Malone characterizes Raleigh Hayes, his family and friends not as buffoons but as real (if somewhat eccentric) people that get swept up in extrodinary situations. If you've ever felt you were the only sane person in a world gone mad, you will be able to identify with Raleigh. Not only did this book make me laugh till my face hurt but there are some very touching moments as well.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is my all-time favorite book, and I have read a LOT of books. I bought this book over ten years ago at a grocery store, and have read it about once a year since then. I've loaned it to many friends, it's been mailed to Hawaii and Tennessee, I've dragged it across country with me on vacation (I ALWAYS take it on vacation trips). I had to quit reading it while eating lunch because I would laugh so hard, I was afraid I would quite literally choke to death.
"Handling Sin" is an absolute must-read, a hilarious and touching story about family, love, friendship, and accepting life as it comes to you. Raleigh Hayes and his neighbor Mingo set off on a quest to return Raleigh's father Earley to the hospital. Earley has taken off with an unknown young woman, and has left Raleigh instructions to gather several seemingly bizarre and unrelated objects, and bring them to New Orleans. Desperate to retrieve his ailing father, Raleigh approaches this task with the same determination and focus his applies to everything he does. Life, however, has other plans for our hero.
Join Raleigh, Mingo, Raleigh's ne'er-do-well brother Gates, master criminal Simon Berg, saxaphone player Toutant Kingstree and Peaches the pig as they galavant throughout the South, butting heads with the Marines, Hell's Angels, nuns, and gangsters. Enjoy the Infamous Barbeque at Wild Oaks, and thrill at the derring-do atop Stone Mountain. This story is a joyride from beginning to end. Come join us.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on November 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Wonder, madcap, outrageous, hilarious farce. Raleigh Hayes of Thermopylae, NC, discovers his father has absconded (after escaping from the hospital) with the family fortune and taken off for points unknown in an egg yolk-yellow Cadillac convertible. His companion of choice is a young female - no big surprise - but she's also a mental patient and of a race traditionally looked down upon in the Deep South. Raleigh, following clues on a left-behind list that give him 7 tasks to accomplish, sets off on what quickly and predictably becomes an odyssey. His sidekick is his friend Mingo, and the two of them quickly become the lead comedic characters in their own play as they wend their way toward New Orleans and a "planned" rendezvous - as if anything could really be planned when dealing with this wacko cast.
Wonderful.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Taylor VINE VOICE on December 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading Handling Sin for the second time--something I rarely do, there are just too many books I haven't read yet--and I think I enjoyed it more this time. It is a laugh out loud, fall out of your chair funny story. I loved each of the characters our hero Raleigh takes on the journey his father sends him on. I hated to see the story end -- I want to know what Mingo is doing now, what happened to Gates, and where or where is Weeper Berg. I'm sure I'll read this book again.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By wood@multipro.com on May 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought this book ten years ago at a drug store for $1 thinking it would be a good way to pass the afternoon at my swimming pool. Little did I know that the afternoon of reading at the pool would leave me laughing, crying and shaking my head at the unbelievable adventures of the stoic and sane Raleigh and his roving band of ne'er do wells. I think that Mr. Malone has captured the personalities and quirks of every Southerner I know or have met. Since I am Southern, I read each novel about the South with a very cynical view that the author will never be able to understand what it is like to be Southern and a part of a huge family-but Mr. Malone does and has done it in such a hilarious way that I recommend this book to everyone I know. I just wish he would write another book using this delightful cast of characters in another adventure.
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