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Wild at Heart Paperback – April 3, 1996


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Paperback, April 3, 1996
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (April 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080213453X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802134530
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the visual equivalent of sound bites, novelist and poet Gifford ( Ghosts No Horse Can Carry ; Port Tropique ) cuts to the heart with sharply focused shots of young lovers on the lam. "You mark me the deepest," says 20-year-old Lula Pace to Sailor Ripley as they're reunited after Sailor's two-year stint in prison for manslaughter. Though it means breaking parole for Sailor, the two leave North Carolina to escape Lula's fiercely disapproving mother Marietta, who hires a friend, short-story writing private eye Johnnie Farragut, to track them. Innocents on the road but wise to the needs of their hearts, Lula and Sailor tool along from Louisiana to Texas in a white '75 Bonneville convertible, and, when the money runs out, land in Big Tuna, where Sailor will run afoul of the law again. Sweet and foolish, pure but ordained to be defeated, Sailor and Lula represent a bittersweet ideal. A film of the novel, directed by David Lynch, is in the works.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Tucker on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
One of those books you don't want to end. I feel this book is far superior to the Lynch film that came out later. Gifford definitely has a magic touch for character development. Though a VERY short book (only about 160 pages) all the characters in the book are fully developed, as is the plot. One of those great summer reads, and it'll only take you a few hours to finish.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By emingok@students.uiuc.edu on November 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Wild at Heart" was filmed by critically acclaimed director David Lynch and it is easy to see why he found this novel exciting to put on widescreen. Gifford does have distinctive look at some certain people's lifestyles in our society who are usually ignored by the makers of fiction. "Wild at Heart" is a strong book that grips you from page one. One should be noted, however, that Gifford is an author to adour or to hate, like the characters in his books he is no person of gray. Two artists' collobration continued this year with the movie "The Lost Highway."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
barry gifford's "wild at heart" is a quick read, and by that i mean, you don't want to stop reading it. the entire novel seems to be a seamless unraveling of stories within stories; each major character in the novel tells at least two stories or has some dialogue revealing the unique niches of their personality. gifford's book reveals the strange and fascinating lives of people you sometimes meet travelling through the underbelly of the deep south; it probes a lot of anthropological and psychological territory without being pretentious or trite. it's a terrific book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Niduaza on January 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
First off, I must admit that the novels of Sailor and Luna (Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango, The Wild Life of Sailor and Lula) should definitely be published in some sort of omnibus edition. This first novel is essential reading before moving on to the sequels but is a bit thin plot-wise. Reading the novels together just feels, to me, more broad and complete and thus a more satisfying read.

That said, I love the dialogue in this book! Barry Gifford writes entertaining dialogue through which he manages to define the character's dilemmas, feelings and backgrounds. And it's surprising how natural it all sounds. Because the dialogue is so natural, the characters don't feel forced or unnecessary.

The last thing I wanted to mention was the short stories, written by the character Johnnie Farragut, that intertwine into the novel. Aside from the dialogue, these are my favorite parts of the book. The stories are an entertaining and interesting way to peek into the mind of the Johnnie Farragut character. They also juxtapose well with the main storyline, enhancing it's symbolism and themes.

Overall a good story and a smooth, fast read but just a bit thin on the plot side. Again, I would have given this book five stars if there was an anthologized edition.
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