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Sorrow Floats: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402241739
  • ASIN: B0058M7U1W
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,865,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Able storytelling and an engaging cast of dysfunctional modern American pilgrims animate this winning tale of the road. When tipsy, 23-year-old Maurey Pierce Talbot accidentally drives through her Wyoming town with her baby on the roof of her car, she realizes just how far she has sunk since her father's death left her distraught and almost unhinged. (She writes him daily picture postcards, knowing full well he is gone but unable to come to terms with her loss.) After attempting suicide and being thrown out by her philandering husband, she meets Lloyd and Shane, two recovering alcoholics who have devised a scheme to smuggle Coors beer to the East Coast. Longing to be reunited with her eight-year-old daughter Shannon in North Carolina (Sandlin chronicled Shannon's birth in Skipped Parts ), Maurey decamps on an unlikely odyssey, pulling a horse trailer full of beer behind a broken-down old ambulance, sipping Yukon Jack from the bottle as her companions search for AA meetings. Maurey is not yet ready to deal with her alcoholism or her reluctance to be loved, but the hardships of the road and the bonds that unite this group of refugees (others join them along the way) will change that. Maurey's wry, cocksure voice evokes both her cowgirl roots and the novel's '70s setting. Despite the bickering, sarcasm, cynicism and personal tragedy that season the lives of his colorful, credible characters, Sandlin fashions a convincing tale of redemption.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Another yahoo yarn from Sandlin (Skipped Parts, 1991; Western Swing, 1988), who steps out in narrative drag this time as Maury Talbot, a dipso Wyoming cowgirl who hits the road, dries out, and grows up en route to North Carolina. Like all good drifters, Maury heads away on a pretext because she hasn't any choice: The eight-month binge that started at her Daddy's funeral has left her living in a tent behind what used to be her home, while a local bimbo nurses her baby inside and waits for the Talbot divorce to come through. Under the circumstances, then, an opportunity to drive a hundred cases of Coors cross- country in a derelict ambulance with an obese cripple and his unlicensed friend appears as an attractive alternative to suicide- -which has already been tried without much success. Maury's road companions, as it happens, are both reformed alcoholics who plot out their itinerary along an uneven line that touches every A.A. meeting on the way. Poor Maury. She knows that sooner or later she'll have to relent, but she's too tough to give in without a fight, and it takes a string of catastrophes reminiscent of the Pharaonic plagues to beat her eyes open. Robbery, rape, and mutilation conspire to show her what life is like down below, and her friends in the backseat help her make the causal connections and work out an alternative. Once that has happened, her story suddenly seems a lot less intriguing, but fortunately (for us) it doesn't happen until the very end. Readable and obvious: Sandlin doesn't have much of a tale here, but plays it with panache. Good for your next long flight. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Under my point of view i found the main line of story pretty poor.
Xavi Albacete
Maurey is a good example of someone who screws up her life and then somehow manages to learn that she is worth saving.
Penny Thoughtful
I especially love the way he captures the characters' personalities.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Wetherbee (rainmaker3w@hotmail.com) on November 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have to say that I was not seriously searching for a book when I was browsing down at the local book store. I ran into the "out of print" discount table, and happened apon this book *Sorry Tim* I read the first few pages and laughed out loud in the middle of the store -- From that moment on I was hooked to Tim Sandlin. I finished this book in 3 days (would have finished it sooner but school and work call) and it has become my all time favorite. It wasn't until I was half way through the book did I realize that it was the middle book in the GroVont Trilogy, and I was thrilled that there were other books out there by him with the same humor (at times dark, off-color, and hilariously inappropriate) realness, and charm as this one. I went on to read the other books in the Trilogy -- Social Blunders, and the finally tracked down Skipped Parts. I highly recommened this book if you want a book that is a witty, realistic, and exciting adventure through and about life. I laughed at this book, and laughed some more, and cried some, but more than anything it made me feel -- I could relate to the characters in a way that I never thought that I could in a book. Read it. If you would like to chat about his books, e-mail me.
Katie
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Goldfarb on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
You sort of knew that the Maurey Pierce that Sam Callahan described in his first-person narrative in Skipped Parts wasn't as together and perfect as he made her out to be. In Sorrow Floats, Maurey takes up the narrative herself, and we see not only the sadness and insecurity that Sam missed, but the guilt she felt about how her life had gone and her inability and unwillingness to parent the daughter she had on her 14th birthday and eventually over her father's untimely death, while riding her own beloved show horse.

This has led Maurey to pursue a marriage with Dothan Talbot, her high school boyfriend, that she knew would be disastrous, and to drink. The real love of her life, she thinks, is Yukon Jack, and she nearly kills her infant son Auburn (all Talbots are named for Alabama towns) and loses her marriage, self-respect and her standing in her hometown of Gro Vont, Wyoming.

To begin her redemption, she begins a picaresque journey with two unlikely characters, Lloyd, pursuing a lost wife who is never found, and Shane, wheelchair-bound but hardly wheelchair-ridden, and given to apparent exaggeration of his personal exploits, which included bedding Katharine Hepburn in unusual circumstances and dating Priscilla Beaulieu before Elvis, to whom he introduced her. Both are recovering alcoholics who never miss a meeting, but the mission of their trip, besides finding Lloyd's wife and saving Shane's sister, is to sell Coors beer east of Arkansas for a large profit. Maurey can provide money and a horse trailer to drag behind the hearse named Moby Dick, and on they go, headed to Shane's grandmother in North Carolina, which is also where Sam now lives with Shannon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles Sikkenga on May 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Its a real testament to Tim Sandlin that he can return to the territory of the wonderful Skipped Parts and write a sequal that lives up to its predecessor. Its even more remarkable that he can pick up the story 10 years later and from the point of view of Maurey Pierce, Sam Callahan's junior high love interest from Skipped Parts and still make it ring true.

This is a different type of book than Skipped Parts. Its considerably darker, due in no small part to Maurey's struggle with severe alcoholism. The characters in this installment, although no less colorful or multidimensional than those in the first book are leading more painful and more desperate lives. Although it has its funny moments, Sorrow Floats is not a comedy.

Yet it is ultimately uplifting, although not alwasy in the way you'd expect. Like most road stories, Maurey's journey is as much metaphorical as literal and along the way Sandlin really allows you to feel her anger, pain, confusion and tenderness. Of the three books in the GroVont trilogy, this is the most difficult and definitely the least fun, but in many ways its the most rewarding. Hats off to Sandlin.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Feetsy on December 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Maurey Pierce-Talbot is a lost soul never to be found without her gun in her pocket and a bottle of whiskey in her hand. When Maurey leaves her baby on the hood of her Bronco during one of her many drunk spells, she realizes that what she has done is beyond redemption and decides to hit the road. Off she heads across the country in a big white ambulance with two recovering alcoholics and a band of assorted vagabonds picked up along the way.
The story is compelling and even touching at times, but ultimately, Maurey's selfishness and insecurity is a little irksome. Sandlin does a fine job of explaining some of the reasons for her behavior, and her little idiosyncrasies can be charming (i.e. she writes postcards to her dead father because of a joke he once made that when he died, he was going to San Francisco). However, most of her personality traits are more obnoxious than anything else. For example, her habit of naming her bottles of whiskey as though they were lovers is a tad overboard.
There are strokes of genius abound, however...for instance, Maurey's partners on the run are wonderful characters; primarily Shane, the obese, wheelchair-bound compulsive liar. His epic lies and grandiose behavior call to mind Ignatius J. Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces in a most entertaining way.
In all, I give this book 4 stars, because it was a great read and because Sandlin has such a way with words. Maurey as a character is a little despicable, but he does a good job of redeeming her in the end and making her a bit more bearable.
To be quite frank, the tale of Maurey is my least favorite in the Grovont trilogy, but this is still a gem of a book.
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