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Southern Ladies & Gentlemen Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (July 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312099150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312099152
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in 1975, King's long spoof of Southerners and all they hold dear comes across as brittle and occasionally arch.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"The funniest book I've read in years." --Cosmopolitan

"She is witty, charming, infuriating, pretentious, naive, shrewd, saucy, innocent, and outrageous. Sometimes her mind works like an Ole Miss cheerleader who jis loves to twirl her li'l skirt; sometimes she is as analyticall cool as the most insightful ethnologist...Her prose sparkles like bubbles in champagne." --New Orleans States-Item

"Though the book is terribly funny--viciously, lovingly, outrageously funny--it is also a remarkable piece of popular anthropology...This book is to Southern manners and morals what Trollope's and Austen's novels were to English life in previous centuries." --Journal of American Folklore

"A polished sophisticated dissection. Only a Southerner could have written it." --Greenville [South Carolina] News

"This is the best book ever written abou the South...And on top of that it's delectably funny."
--Chattanooga Times

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I had read the hardback copy which I lost through loaning it.
Samuel D. Thomas
Florence King defines the southern lady and gentleman, in each of their various incarnations, to a "tee" in this riotous book.
SC Belle
Beyond hilarious but poignantly faithful in describing Southerners!
Charles C. Turley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Smith on July 24, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I'm a lifelong Richmonder, I have to admit that much of the Southern mindset confounded me as I grew up. Perhaps this was because I grew up in the '50s and '60s when television showed us a wider world, so I viewed the provincial quirks of family and neighbors as being just that. I was taught by Miss Frances, Buffalo Bob, and Captain Kangaroo, and saw the Cleavers and the Andersons, and their heartland towns of Mayfield and Springfield as "normal." The media SHOWED one set of accepted behaviors and I was TAUGHT another by relatives from Richmond and Charleston. ("The REAL Chawleston, my deah, not that one in Wes' Vuhginyah!) Perhaps my confusion also stemmed from the fact that many of my playmates were children of transplants and also saw a larger world. Whatever the reason, so much of what went on around me defied logic of any kind. Reading this book as a young adult, however, cleared up every mystery for me. Now it all makes sense. (Southern sense, that is!), and I've been privileged over the years to have enjoyed a friendly written correspondence with Miss King. This lady knows her stuff. The book is a must-have for anyone who plans on spending any measureable amount of time in the South, or for anyone who needs a good laugh at the human condition. Perhaps those of you from other environments might not hoot and cackle as knowingly, but believe me, you'll still hoot and cackle!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Constant Librarian on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Florence King and the late Molly Ivins were the two funniest contemporary American writers. Miss King writes for the _National Review_, and Ms. Ivins wrote for _The Progressive_.

When I moved to the South to attend graduate school, I dutifully read _The Mind of the South_, to ready myself. I was utterly unprepared nevertheless. I simply had never met people who talked about their ancestors, or didn't know the price of a movie ticket because: "Mah escort always buys the tickets!"

Then, a kind soul told me to read _Southern Ladies and Gentleman_. After reading it, nothing Southern surprised me. Thanks to Miss King, I knew about the tombstone twitch, i.e. geneaologists who desperately wanted to prove they had royal blood, self-rejuvenating virgins, why you never, ever cross
a Dowager, Rock or a Dear Old Thing--three varieties of southern old ladies, and the Pert Plague, that is the tendency of some southern women to shriek loudly and at length about the strangest things. This behavior will greatly puzzle anyone who is a stranger to the south. If you read _Southern Ladies and Gentlemen_, gentle reader, you will UNDERSTAND.

So, if you are about to spend substantial amounts of time south of the Mason-Dixon line, spare yourself much anxiety, and read this book. I predict that once you have read this title, you will immediately want to read everything Miss King has written.

It's a comical examination of the south, written with a stilleto rather than a pen. And yet, that stilleto is an elegant instrument. Florence King is a wonderful writer.

Miss King, I beg of you, write another book, please. Soon.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Bonds (uunicorn@dzn.com) on March 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Today, when I checked Amazon.com for another copy of Southern Ladies and Gentlemen it came to mind that this will be the nineteenth copy I have purchased since the late 1970's when I found the book at the Birmingham Public Library in the Travel section. I keep buying them and then lending them and never getting them back. For some reason my friends never manage to return them. The bittersweet truth is I married two "Good Ole Boys", have done the cemetary crawl, know first hand about the "Upton Womb" and aspire to become a "Dear Old Thing" within the next decade. My best friend in college could have been Florence King's mother and my own mother was related by spirit to Granny. No matter how many times I read this book, I still laugh until I cry. This time, I will not lend the book. I will not lend the book. I will not lend the book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jetjoc@webtv.net on November 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
Southern Ladies and Gentlemen was the first book by Miss King that I read. Since that time several years ago I have read every title I could find. S L&G is a laugh out loud, wipe the tears from your eyes look at a group of people that I have always thought to be just a little boring. How wrong I was. After looking at them through Miss King's eyes and with the help of her biting humor and mastery of the language, I always look forward to my travels in the south. It seems I can almost point out the folks in Miss King's book and I find myself trying to classify them according to her "system". I'm a professional pilot and although I usually have one of Miss King's books with me to read on layovers, I don't dare peek at one when I'm on the flight deck. Belly laughs aren't appreciated there.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By SC Belle on August 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Florence King defines the southern lady and gentleman, in each of their various incarnations, to a "tee" in this riotous book. The perfect gift for any yankee who's been transplanted and can't seem to figure out his neighbors. And a journey of self discovery for any southerner who appreciates a good laugh--and a little irony. Funny how little we have changed in the thirty years since it was first published.
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