Top critical review
18 people found this helpful
Tremendously Fun Read, HOWEVER...
on June 4, 2004
I LOVED this book. It was so much fun to read, and it was educational in places. Unfortunately, it was also VERY MISLEADING to anyone who does not have personal knowledge of the South. (I speak from the vantage point of being a native of Memphis, Tennessee for fifty-five years.)
The author repeatedly makes blanket statements about the South as though we were all just alike. Over and over she begins with "Southerners...." and then she goes on to imply we all carry or at least own a gun, set our tables with a gun, have very little regard for the ideals of truth and justice, and have no intellectual curiosity. Granted, there are many Southerners who do indeed fit this profile, but neither I, nor many of my friends, deserve this description. In addition, unlike the author, we consider cock fighting to be cruel and inhumane.
I shudder to think what someone from another region of the country will think when reading this book. I only hope they are wise enough to realize this is just one aspect of the South, not a balanced picture of all its people. Julia Reed has given the impression that we are ALL a bunch of ignorant rednecks. I fully understand that in order to write an entertaining book such as this one, one must focus on the nuts and the crooks, but the continued practice of stating that "Southerners......" and going on to write about only the least enlightened Southerners, is hardly what one would expect from someone who claims to love the South.
Read this book and enjoy it, but please remember it's just one aspect of a complicated region.