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Georgia Bottoms: A Novel Hardcover – February 23, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Sassy Southern belle Georgia has a lot of secrets: a rotation of gentleman callers with unique sexual needs, a mother with a tenuous hold on reality, and a lucrative (if dodgy) business of selling at a huge mark-up the folk art quilts she buys and passes off as her own creations. But then 9/11 comes along, Georgia's world of naughty innocence is changed forever, and all the plates she once spun so effortlessly in midair come crashing down: her illegitimate black son shows up on her doorstep; her best friend and town mayor, Krystal, loses her job; her demented mom and drunken brother become increasingly errant; and one of her boyfriends—a spiteful preacher—has an unfortunate attack of conscience and intends to publicly confess his affair and simultaneously condemn poor Georgia to hell. Childress (One Mississippi) is sassy magnolia lit's Truman Capote—sharply observant, unrelentingly honest, and downright hilarious—and his Georgia peach is the freshest bad girl to rise from the South since Scarlett O'Hara. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Perhaps no region of America is caricaturized through stereotypes as thoroughly and nakedly as the South. In Georgia Bottoms, Childress indulges these stereotypes more than he challenges them. Here the reader finds the hypocritical Baptist preacher, the gossipy congregation, and the femme fatale in impeccable dress. It is awfully hot outside, and the townspeople could not be politer. Of course, everyone is talking behind everyone else�s back. This is problematic, as the story�s conflict comes from the protagonist�s struggle to juggle a coterie of paramours, one of whom�the reader discovers early�is the guilt-stricken preacher. All of this can be more cute than entertaining, especially in dialogue, where one finds few surprises. Childress is perhaps most charming between jokes; occasionally, in drawing a simple setting, he dazzles: �The old town seemed suddenly lovely: long green lawns stretched out under live oaks, sprinklers chattering, flinging arcs of bright glitter. Some of the clapboard cottages were as old as the live oaks. Kids made skateboard racket on the broken sidewalks.� --Kevin Clouther
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (February 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316033046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316033046
  • ASIN: 0316033049
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bama Gal on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mark Childress does it again. He fires an opening salvo that grabs your funny bone and won't let go. But for careful readers there's more meat to the matter. An assessment of conservative values in small town American lampoons the usual suspects and points a wicked finger at sex, drugs, religion, and the ties that bind. And since we're south of the Mason Dixon line, he can't help but take the pulse of race relations and throw in a status report on gays and lesbians for good measure. You'll be highly amused but won't be able to ignore his overarching theme of what makes each of us an insider or an outsider and how we can cross that line in the blink of an eye. His characters race by the mile markers that define our lives -- work, gender, race, sexual preference, religion, wealth, and parental affection or lack thereof -- trying hard to give us a reason to exist in the cosmos. As usual, this writer is slyly subversive - first seducing you with broad humor and then daring you to think.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll be honest. I'm a huge Childress fan and have relished all of his novels from the first word to the last (if you haven't read "Tender," well...), so it is hardly surprising that I enjoyed Georgia as much as I did. I loved her and the steamy town from which she hails, drawn with a drawl that few have captured so well or to such fine effect. This is a wild ride that displays Childress's sleight of hand at every turn -- who else can stab so deeply into damning Southern truths while still making the place so embracing and enticing that you want to leave right this minute and go see it for yourself. And, a word to the wise: savor the last pages, even though you'll be tempted to race to the end. You'll be glad you did. A great, wonderful ride through charming insanity wrought with the adept touch of a master.
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Format: Hardcover
A seven-drawer locked dresser....one for each day of the week. What is in each drawer?....well, all the things Georgia needs to make her nightly lovers believe they are the only one....pictures of their mother, their favorite clothes, anything to make them feel "special." When one of the lovers' wives finds out about the affair, nothing to do but empty that drawer....oh well......done.

Georgia had enough of this worry for now...she had her September luncheon to think of. She couldn't disappoint the ladies...they looked forward to this luncheon each year, and she certainly couldn't let them know how poor she really was.

She hadn't always been poor, and she hadn't always been the pillar of society either....but then a letter arrived from someone who was keeping a secret for 20 years and who she told there was NO contact allowed whether it was in writing or through a phone call....this definitely wouldn't work for her. Things were not turning out the way Georgia had planned. Everything ALWAYS went her way...she couldn't have this happen. She will just send more money this time....yes...send more money and it would be taken care of, but then she found another letter as she was cleaning and that changed everything even more. What will she do now? She knew...she always had a plan....and what a great plan. You will love the book....it was funny and had everyday situations that at times we all have to deal with.

This book had me laughing from the first page....I knew she was another Scarlet O'Hara even before the author commented about it. I really enjoyed the book, and will definitely be reading his other books. 5/5
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first couple of pages were sort of off-putting, for me anyway, since Georgia is an atheist who never misses church and is having an affair with the preacher. I didn't think I was going to like her character enough to read the book, but I'm glad I stayed with it. The book is full of interesting people- her best friend, Krystal, the men in her life, her Mama who hates black people. I know- that sounds terrible, but she has dementia and is very funny. And when Georgia's black 20 year old son shows up- Mama really heats things up. So I kept reading and finished the book in a day.

Two things that were handled in a way that was so subtle that they almost could have been missed, but had a great deal to do with the story. The events of 9/11 was one, and without giving away the ending, I was stunned by the last couple of paragraphs. I certainly didn't see the ending coming-- I had to re-read it twice. I love surprises like that in a book. It shows me that the author wasn't just writing an entertaining book but he incorporated actual events into the story at the end without even mentioning what they were. Good job !
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, and it main character Georgia. I like the way Childress developed the character of Georgia, and also Georgia's mother. It isn't my ususal type of reading, so a bit "fluffy" for me. I don't mean that in a demeaning way, just thought of it as a fun and entertaining read.
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Only a lack of restraint keeps Mark Childress from a five-star review. His novel is filled with delightful characters and EVERY possible comic circumstance. It is a fast-paced easy read that will keep you laughing, but it is frothy with little room for character development. I wanted to like his characters but found them one-dimensional. Funny without depth. And, get serious, sometimes that is exactly what you want to read. Mr. Childress can always be counted on for a good time.
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