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Showing 1-10 of 13 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 24 reviews
on February 13, 2005
Wow, where do I start? I read this book in one sitting and laughed and cried while I was at it. Being from Arkansas myself, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, "What would people think?" It was a mantra in my household, particularly when I was trying to do something as outrageous as leaving the house without lipstick. I turned about every other page over to show my husband later, so he would understand me better!

I felt Ms. Reed presented both sides of the South well... the backward (and oft times embarrassing) ways, and the strong traditions and attitudes that make a real (positive) difference in a person's life. I bought it for my mom and her three sisters, as I knew they would laugh as hard as I did at how she nailed so many aspects of Southerners. I've also given this book to several young women, as I think it portrays the strength of Southern women. Ms. Reed finally gave me a way of explaining to blue-state Northerners (where I live now) why I'm so proud of being Southern.
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on June 15, 2013
This was such a funny and nostalgic book. I saw so many of the "characters" I've grown up with or known in this book. The used copy I received was in terrible condition, I may have to find another copy that's in better condition to keep. This is a Southern classic.
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on August 9, 2016
I laughed out loud multiple times reading this collection of essays. The stories about her family and friends are so familiar to anyone raised in the South.
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on January 21, 2014
Only a Southerner could have written this. The stories not only ring true, but made me laugh out loud on the NYC subway. This is a FUN read.
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on February 4, 2016
Such a good read, started and finished on our way to Hawaii
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on May 15, 2013
I decided to read this book when I saw an article on it in our local paper. It is based in MS & LA & since I live in LA close to MS, I decided to read it. I even bought an extra copy to give to my sister for her birthday.
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on February 5, 2016
A good, funny Read!
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on September 11, 2015
story not as well written as some others
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on August 30, 2009
While Mrs. Reed embraces her homeland and all its quirks, from queens of various things to deep fried, farm raised catfish, a certain ambivalence toward her southern heritage and the people who represent it lurks between the lines. I suppose, like the south itself, Mrs. Reed is bound up in contradictions.

Still, this book is entirely enjoyable because it is more than a memoir; it's an historical account. Queen of the Turtle Derby isn't just a narration of southerners' behavior, but also an explanation, no, a justification, of why we do the things we do.

I loved it.

Lucy Adams, author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny
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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.
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