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Ranchero (Nick Reid Novels) Hardcover – October 25, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Nick Reid Novels (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312583184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312583187
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Full of inspired comic hyperbole, Gavin's rollicking debut does for the Mississippi Delta what Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen do for Florida.
Publishers Weekly (starred review) 
This first novel from Gavin is a little miracle.
Booklist (starred review)
Gavin's first novel is a sure winner.
Library Journal (starred review)


Praise for Ranchero

“Gritty, earthy and often hilarious… The irresistible Ranchero has the humor of a tall tale told by Mark Twain.”
--The Wall Street Journal

“A very colorful trip … Gavin turns out phrase after phrase of ear-pleasing insight into the Delta and those who live there, and dialogue that sounds just right… And when Gavin waxes funny, he really is funny, with enough comedic situations to keep everyone laughing as Reid tries to recover the Ranchero.”
--The Associated Press

“In his debut, Rick Gavin offers a comic romp through the Mississippi Delta, "less a place than a boot on your neck," where eccentricities thrive, pathetic criminals flourish and the absurd can pass for the norm… Gavin's eye for the odd turns out dark, slapstick humor akin to Tim Dorsey's Serge A. Storm novels and Ben Rehder's series set in Blanco County, Texas... Gavin's fine eye for details, his compassion for humanity and his dark sense of humor make Ranchero work… Gavin's dialogue is Elmore Leonard-perfect.”
--South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Ranchero

“This first novel from Gavin is a little miracle. The dialogue is pitch-perfect…. One of the most enjoyable crime debuts in a very long time.”
--Booklist (starred review)

“Gavin’s first novel is a sure winner. Reminiscent of Tim Dorsey’s “Serge Storms” series but with a more likable protagonist, it will appeal to down-home good old boys and their armchair counterparts. Recommended.”
--Library Journal (starred review)

“Full of inspired comic hyperbole, Gavin’s rollicking debut does for the Mississippi Delta what Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen do for Florida… Readers will eagerly await Reid’s next adventure in the Delta.”
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Rick Gavin brings a true ear for dialogue and his gifts as a literary stylist to this series debut. A kick-ass backcountry novel.”
--New York Times bestselling author Randy Wayne White

About the Author

When he's not writing, Rick Gavin frames houses and hangs sheetrock in Ruston, Louisiana. This is his first novel.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very funny and absorbing story with all sorts of great characters.
CatsForever1960
Next time I'll just keep riding around the block because it is impossible to stop following the adventures of these crazy characters.
bar 8 cowgirl
Rick Gavin writes marvelous deadpan sentences that make you laugh out loud.
V. Lawrence

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harris on November 7, 2011
Format: Audible Audio Edition
As someone who is constantly traveling, I've developed an addiction to audio books. They make the endless miles roll by quick and finding a good one can change my entire day. Finding a great one literally changes my face. RANCHERO by Rick Gavin is just that find. Anybody who enjoys a bad-ass REAL story should put this one on the top of their list. The characters are hysterical white-trash brilliance, the prose are smack-you-upside-the-brain literary magic (the kind that has me replaying passages just so I can enjoy the author's choice of words one more time) and the voice of the narrator hits the bull's-eye--- the perfect marriage. This one is definitely a real-deal, double listen.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bar 8 cowgirl on November 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book almost killed me- literally. I got so wrapped up listening to it in my car that I just had to finish the chapter sitting in my garage after I got home and almost passed out from the exhaust fumes! Next time I'll just keep riding around the block because it is impossible to stop following the adventures of these crazy characters.
It's one of the funniest and most absorbing books I've read in ages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Perkins on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a riot! I'm bummed it's Gavin's first book - I'd otherwise have gone straight to the library or amazon for any others. Gavin has a real gift for characterization and imagery. The irreverence, the wryness, the sense of the absurd juxtaposes with the drama of the story and circumstances in a completely hilarious and plausible way.

K-Lo - sitting on the couch (the description of that couch!) getting drunk while singing Bing Crosby (so not what you'd expect from K-Lo). That's when Nick is coming in to borrow some money and get the rifle - without K-Lo noticing, because of his temper. Meanwhile, as is the norm for the Delta, K-Lo is about to get robbed. " ....and one wiry older guy whose job apparently was to wonder why nobody was doing what he'd asked them to do." and "...so there wasn't anything to pry or saw, nothing to draw or cut. Those boys might as well have brought a sugar spoon."

Then Nick sends K-Lo home. "Me and Angie helped him to his Civic and got him situated behind the wheel. We pointed him right and sent him off like he was in the Soap Box Derby. He lurched upon the curbing as he left the shopping plaza." "Will he make it?" Angie asked me. "Always does," I said.

You know, I'm not sure the quotes do it justice because they're without context. It's hard to fully appreciate them without knowing what's come before and after that completes or adds to the picture. Pearl, who "insists" stuff on everyone, especially her deceased husband's clothes - the use of "insists" in this context - what better way to convey that she's always trying to give things to the people to the point of annoyance?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Booe on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know that feeling when you reach into a bag of M&M's and realize you already ate the last one and you wish there were more and that you'd savored them instead of gobbling them up? That's how I felt turning the final page of Ranchero six hours after UPS left it on my porch. Full of vivid characters, memorable descriptions and written in a purely addictive style, Ranchero was a gem of a book.
Protagonist Nick Reid, the low level band of criminals he pursues in his quest to retrieve his insistent landlady's dead husband's cherished titular vehicle in same shape she lent it to him, and the various sordid venues he pursues them through, all left me thoroughly entertained and hoping to see future adventures for Reid and company.
I do have to disagree with one reviewer's assessment of it as parody. I'm a lifetime resident of rural western NC and Ranchero's motley assortment of characters rang, sometimes pleasantly and other times disturbingly, true for me. As always, your mileage may vary, but I highly recommend this ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Bazinet on December 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gavin's first novel is, simply put, a blast. As we tag along with world-weary repo man Nick Reid and his leviathan coworker & best friend Desmond in their efforts to recover a "kidnapped" 1969 Ranchero, we are treated to all manner of exotic species--a dandified metrocracker named Luther, a landlady named Pearl (inadvertent coincidence or intentional nod to Will Ferrell?), and a trio of dim-witted lotharios who, between them, possess all the allure semi-edentulous crackers can muster. Nick and Desmond's road trip becomes an accretion of "dry-land trash" and "swamp trash," as Nick and Desmond criss-cross the Delta trying to track down Pearl's Ranchero.

As fun as that is, the star of the whole escapade, however, is the setting. With a personality as idiosyncratic as any character, the Mississippi Delta feels simultaneously familiar and alien, as if you've discovered that that really cool and unusual house in town turns out to secretly serve as headquarters for a cretin-breeding operation. For those of us forced to lay claim to more than a little flinty New Englander in our own cultural genetics, the Mississippi Delta may as well be from another galaxy. Gavin's novel, in large measure, functions not only as a wild ride but also an instructive tour worthy of firing up a little Google Earth for the visual. Nick's take on the locals, through Gavin's finely focused lens, reveals an authentic intimacy with the regional culture few writers can pull off. Gavin successfully balances a truly unvarnished and forthright assessment of the local color without tipping over into patronizing, mean-spirited mockery--no small feat. And Ranchero is funny as hell the whole way, terrific from start to finish. Curl up on your own "ugly sofa" and have at it. Your only regret will be that it ended.
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