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Southern Discomfort Paperback – April 1, 1983


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Southern Discomfort + Six of One + Rubyfruit Jungle
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Revised edition (April 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553274465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553274462
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Only Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle, could have written a novel as passionately delightful as Southern Discomfort. Here is a witty, warm and pentrating tale of two decades in Montgomery Alabama--a world where all is not what it seems. Meet Hortensia Reedmuller Banastre, a beautiful woman entrenched on old money, white magnolia and a loveless marriage--until she meets an utterly gorgeous young prizefighter. Amid such memorable characters as Banana Mae Parker and Blue Rhonda Latrec (two first-class whores) and Reverend Linton Ray (who wears his clerical collar too tightly for anyone's good), Hortensia struggles to survive the hurricane of emotions caused by her scandalous love. How she ultimately triumphs is a touching and beautiful human drama--an intense and exuberant affair of the heart.

From the Inside Flap

Only Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle, could have written a novel as passionately delightful as Southern Discomfort.  Here is a witty, warm and pentrating tale of two decades in Montgomery Alabama--a world where all is not what it seems.  Meet Hortensia Reedmuller Banastre, a beautiful woman entrenched on old money, white magnolia and a loveless marriage--until she meets an utterly gorgeous young prizefighter.  Amid such memorable characters as Banana Mae Parker and Blue Rhonda Latrec (two first-class whores) and Reverend Linton Ray (who wears his clerical collar too tightly for anyone's good), Hortensia struggles to survive the hurricane of emotions caused by her scandalous love.  How she ultimately triumphs is a touching and beautiful human drama--an intense and exuberant affair of the heart.

More About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sister Jane novels-Outfoxed, Hotspur, Full Cry, The Hunt Ball, The Hounds and the Fury, The Tell-Tale Horse, and Hounded to Death-as well as the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries and Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, and The Sand Castle, among many others. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Devlin on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
And that's saying something cause I've read almost all of them, and loved most! The characters in this novel are so vivid and well developed you'll finish the novel feeling like you know them personally. Fast, smart, funny and ultimately heartbreaking (I cried for an hour after the ending), this is definitely a must for any fan of Rita Mae Brown.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Hunter on June 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rita Mae Brown's Southern Discomfort is warm and fuzzy in all the good ways. She earns the pleasurable feelings from her readers through the creation of her dazzling cast of characters and spinning them through a marvelous narrative. I laughed and I cried and sometimes often at the same time. The author writes beautifully and easily allows the reader to soak into the Southern pool of charm she creates. I have enjoyed many of her novels but this is the one that always draws me back. It is the perfect novel for a summer day sipping a mint julep and wondering how eccentric your friends and neighbours could be if only they were Southern.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Southern Discomfort is pure delight that is enhanced by author Rita Mae Brown�s wit, wacky characters, wild tales, and wonderful writing style. Southern Discomfort spans two decades in Montgomery, AL, in which beautiful, old-money Hortensia (married) meets the man of her dreams: a spectacularly gorgeous young prizefighter. You�ve got your small-town scandal, complete with Banana Mae and Blue Rhonda, a couple of high-class whores. Wonderful writing accents this surprisingly touching story.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "waxwingslain77" on January 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
It is difficult for me to dislike anything which is well written, let alone a book with characters named "Blue Rhonda Latrec" "Hercules" and "Banana Mae." Hercules, a 16 year-old black youth in segregated society, has a few trysts with a white, "society" woman many years his senior; only to die shortly in a railway accident, but not before impregnating the older white woman. This smacks a little contrived, as does Rita Mae's overuse of cliches, but the book is still a joy to read. The author writes characters SO well that I find it difficult to dislike this book except for a few complaints (probably because I'm a man and don't understand women :). And as a former Virginian, I love anything which excoriates my former state--yet manages to keep ALL humanity in full flower. I preferred "Venus Envy" and "Rubyfruit Jungle," but "Southern Discomfort" remains a minor treasure!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite books of all time. I laughed and laughed...when my father read it, even he was rolling on the floor in stitches!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Miss D. AwesomePants on June 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a little different than the other Rita Mae Brown books i've read, but just as enjoyable.
It takes place during the 20's in a southern town... and tells the story of people from all walks of life - blacks, the wealthy whites, and some white prostitutes. She tells the story of each group of people in a very authentic way and gives each group a sense of pride. And of course... the stories mingle as the characters begin mingling outside theor social circles.
The way i'd say this book was different than some of her others (and i've read about 10), is that it's more... well... more like a soap opera. (along the lines of V.C. Andrews). There is incestual sex, illigitamate pregnancies, etc.
This book was definately fun to read though... and has a beautiful message...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Su-Z-Q on January 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was both hilarious and very sad. It spanned a broad range of topics and emotions. There was a large cast but characters were very easy to get to know and it was easy to form opinions about them. There were several surprises in the book from near the beginning to the very end, some easy to predict and some came as a real suprise to me. Much of it was a real cultural learning experience for me- a New Englander! I would recommend it for the laughter and the tears. It is a fairly fast read, though complex, and I had trouble putting it down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
When "Rubyfruit Jungle" bubbled up from the radical lesbian underground to become a cult best-seller back in 1977, a new literary star was born. As books go it was boisterously funny, unself-pitying, straightforwardly sapphic,eons removed from that old Radclyffe Hall, "Well of Loneliness," love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name genre. It left readers wanting more.

So "Southern Discomfort"was more, but also less: it's a skinny book. It's a romance set earlier in the century in Montgomery, Alabama; and skinny though it is, it's generous in the ways that count. Just bursting with fanciful characters, unorthodox sexual couplings, preposterous happenings. It's even funnier than "Rubyfruit Jungle," as it's not so autobiographical, and its canvas is bigger. It gives us more of Brown's talent for establishing place, and elucidating the ties that bind. It demonstrates her knack for making the bizarre seem appropriate, and for delivering it in an understated "isn't all the world like this" style.

Plainly, while Brown's an avowed lesbian and lesbian themes are important to her, she's also working in the popular Southern Gothic style, as exemplified by Flannery O'Connor and others.

Brown's rendition of Montgomery, Alabama, its mores, its minor characters, and its annual Halloween Great Witch Hunt is delicious. We learn that "people could tell you that an Orange captain of 1835 went on to become a Confederate colonel, or a Black captain of 1852 made a fortune in railroads. As it turned out, most captains did well in this world: a few degenerated into drunks or scoundrels, but not many. Lila Reedmuller was Orange captain of 1891. She was one of the four girls ever chosen for that honor, and Lila went on to reign over Montgomery society....
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