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Tishomingo Blues Paperback – Bargain Price, September 28, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062009397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062009395
  • ASIN: B005HKN9FQ
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,073,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Take a high diver who witnesses a murder from his perch 80 feet above a Mississippi casino. Add a cooler-than-thou con artist from Detroit who's out to take over the Dixie mafia's lucrative Gulf Coast drug business. Throw in a crooked deputy sheriff and an honest state cop. Put them all in costume along with a bunch of other "reenactors" bent on refighting an important Civil War battle, season with plenty of historic detail, and you've got all the classic ingredients of an Elmore Leonard novel--except for drama, suspense, or mystery, that is. This is a rib-tickler in the Carl Hiaasen/Dave Barry tradition rather than the kind of thriller Leonard wrote before Hollywood discovered him. As the author himself explains, his intent was to entertain himself by gathering an odd assortment of characters, building a story as they bump heads, and seeing what happens. And as usual, he carries it off with style, wit, and brio. Readers will be casting the inevitable movie in their heads (Samuel L. Jackson is a lock for Robert, who glides into town in a flashy Jag and gets the action going) as they chuckle their way to the last hilarious page. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

On the advance reading copy of this novel sent to PW, the title appears in blue letters half an inch high. Leonard's name floats above the title in red letters a full inch high. A Leonard novel is an event, and for good reason. Over the past 40 years, this writer has evolved into the undisputed champ of the American crime novel, and he hasn't lost a step. His new (and 37th) novel is one of his smoothest, a return to the South of Out of Sight (1996) and numerous earlier Leonards though this is the author's first foray into deep country Mississippi, birthplace of the blues. Men and women who scrape at the margins of the American dream are Leonard's forte, and here he presents several such folk, all memorable, beginning with his hero, Dennis Lenahan, a high diver who contracts for a gig to perform at the Tishomingo Lodge & Casino. While setting up his rig, Dennis witnesses a murder by local members of the Dixie Mafia. So, perhaps, does a mysterious, very slick black guy, Robert Johnson, down from the North in his Jag to run a con on a local powerbroker or so it seems. But Robert, who befriends Dennis, and the Detroit mobster and moll who join him at the Lodge & Casino, have other, more complicated, more ambitious plans, for Tishomingo, for the Dixie Mafia and for Dennis, plans that come to a head during the Civil War battle re-enactment that provides the unusual and fascinating backdrop for the book's second half. As usual, Leonard's characters walk onto the page as real as sunlight and shadow; the dialogue is dead-on, the loopy story line strewn with the unexpected, including sudden flourishes of romance and death. Prime Leonard, prime reading. (Feb. 1)Forecast: Backed by a $250,000 marketing campaign and Leonard's ever-soaring rep, this title, his first with Morrow, could be his biggest seller yet, buoyed by a seven-city author tour and simultaneous HarperAudio (abridged and unabridged cassette) and HarperLargePrint editions.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey's Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Justified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard's character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story "Fire in the Hole". He was a recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the 'Dickens of Detroit' and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.

Customer Reviews

All flash but not much you can sink your teeth into.
Don M Howard
He doesn't really require much of a plot and frequently doesn't bother giving us one.
Larry Scantlebury
Elmore Leonard has a mix of so many colorful characters with a devilish plot.
Charles Yi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on January 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Elmore Leonard, King of the Crime Novel, returns with a new publisher for his thirty-seventh book. This time out the author heads for the Deep South, probing the dirty doings in the Delta Blues area of Mississippi. With casinos comes corruption, and Tunica, Miss. has its share of both -- thus giving Leonard an excellent setting to work his magic.
Dennis Lenahan is a high diver, one of those daredevils who jumps off an eighty foot tower into a plastic swimming pool with a foot of water in it. As you'd expect, he's one cool customer. Cooler still is his new friend Robert Taylor, a jive-talking gangster from De-troit who's gone down South to run a con based on a hundred-year-old postcard of a lynching -- or so he says, anyway.
As you'd expect from Leonard, the wit is sharp, the characters are delightfully bent, and the dialogue is honed to a razor's edge. Robert is one of the author's best creations, his sporty Jag and penchant for the Blues tasty accents to his wise patter.
The plot of "Tishomingo Blues," though, lacks the mystery and intrigue of a typical Leonard novel. Most of the time this reads more like a Carl Hiaasen "buncha whackos" story than the crime gems that we've come to expect from Dutch.
Even if the plot isn't his best, however, all the other Leonard elements are in place, and that makes "Tishomingo Blues" a book well worth reading.
Reviewed by David Montgomery, MysteryInkOnline.com
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Standiford VINE VOICE on September 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Once again, Elmore Leonard has managed to put together a wonderfully delightful book featuring the antics of bumbling criminals and flawed heroes all in a strange backdrop of unique characters.
This time the setting is a casino in Mississippi and our hero is a high diver who is hired by the Casino as a sideshow to attract gamblers. Along, the way, our hero will encounter alluring women, murderers, conmen, tough drug dealers, the FBI and crooked businessmen. Like almost every Elmore Leonard book, the story is almost impossible to describe because it takes a number of strange turns that are impossible to predict. You aren't always sure who are the good guys or the bad guys and sometimes the status of a hero or bad guy changes rather quickly. Of course this all happens thanks to great dialogue and a snappy writing style that makes it hard to put the book down.
The strangest part of this book regards the "hobby" of Civil War Re-Enacting which becomes a critical part of the plot. If you aren't familiar with this endeavor, I suggest you read Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz.
In any case, pick up this book and enjoy it. As usual for Leonard, this book won't win any awards for being serious literature but it is fun to read and I hope that it is treated well by Hollywood when they option the book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on February 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Elmore Leonard has to be the king of weird plots and characters among authors currently writing. Who else could combine a high diver, a Native American ex-professional baseball player, Civil War reenactors, members of the Dixie Mafia, and other assorted oddballs into a coherent narrative, and make it work? It's almost impossible to relate the plot of this book, for sometime I wonder if he just wasn't making it up as he went along, and didn't know where it was going himself until it got there, but I was laughing out loud a lot of the way through this work. I found it so well written that I read it almost in one sitting, just to see where Mr. Leonard was going with some of his outrageousness! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on September 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Somewhere in the United States there are schools that teach "Leonard Dialogue" in their writing courses, don't you think? Because clearly nobody writes dialogue like Elmore Leonard.
He doesn't really require much of a plot and frequently doesn't bother giving us one. He can be in Cuba at the time of the Maine or Rawanda 10 years after the genocide. It doesn't really matter. Leonard writes about people, not necessarily good people, and what they say to eachother. And the thing is, as we traverse life's highways, even if we've been lucky to avoid hit men and racist scoundrels and drug traffickers, scammers, con men and con women, we end up believing that if we had known such people, this is what they would say to eachother.
Here we have another collection of oddballs bent on an entire panoply of various goals. Dennis wants to keep diving the 80 foot board and fall in love, probably not in that order, and Robert wants to love the wife of his boss and make a lot of money, probably not in that order. And involved with them is a cast of the usual suspects, villains, idiots, lost souls, alcoholhics, exiled lovers, misplaced wives and bad guys. And girls.
With Tishomingo, we get a course in Delta Blues Music, con games, and falling in love. A little violence, a little sex, and the best dialogue being written today. The heroes aren't that heroic and the choices are vague and ambiguous. And the stories that are told and the promises made are usually lies.
But it's enjoyable and a must read if your a Leonard fan. And I will read him again. And probably again, in that order.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert S Stone on February 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Plot synopses aside, you will find most of the things here you want in a Leonard novel: an understanding that evil goes way past banal, and far into kitsch; a lively mix of characters who don't fall neatly onto anyone's side but their own; and an ear for dialogue that is unmatched in the genre. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, what begins at breakneak speed and lures you in with a compelling situation (can Robert Taylor's brillian confidence man lure Dennis Lenahan to "sell his soul" to a particular Tishomingo devil?), turns lazy about two-thirds of the way into the novel. Leonard's portrayal of Robert Taylor is so dazzling that the nominal protagonist, Lenahan, becomes boring by comparison. Leonard throws a number of southern hotties in Lenahan's path, but the one that he chooses by the end is not so much surprising as simply unmotivated--an amor ex machina. The interesting relationship is Taylor's clever seduction of Lenahan throughout the bulk of the book. The speed and ease with which Lenahan meets the girl of his dreams and solves his moral crisis at the end deflates all the tension Leonard so skillfully builds beforehand. And, as one character points out in the last pages, the ease with which all the nasty characters take care of each other is almost too convenient. No, it is too convenient. Leonard should have been less in a hurry to see this on bookstands and sell the film rights; a little more care in the last 50 pages could have made this a sparkling read from beginning 'til end.
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