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Baby, Would I Lie?: A Romance of the Ozarks [Audio Cassette]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
_Baby, Would I Lie?_ is the sequel to Donald Westlake's _Trust Me on This_. That book concerned Sara Joslyn's time working for the Weekly Galaxy, a sleazy tabloid. At the end of that book Sara and her editor, now lover, Jack Ingersoll, manage to escape to New York and respectable journalism, in the form of Trend, a weekly modelled as far as I can tell on the New Yorker.
As this book opens, Sara is on her way to Branson, MO. Her latest assignment is to cover the murder trial of Ray Jones, a middle-aged country music star with a theater in Branson. One of Jones' employees was found murdered and dumped in Table Rock Lake, and Ray's car was seen with incriminating bloodstains. The evidence against him is purely circumstantial, and fairly weak, but the trial is also being held in the court of public opinion.
As Sara arrives, she encounters to her dismay some of her former colleagues from the Weekly Galaxy. Naturally, they too are covering this celebrity trial. And before long Jack is in Branson as well, chomping at the bit to nail the Galaxy at their nefarious journalistic tricks.
The story is told from several points of view, but mostly those of Sara and Ray Jones. We soon learn that Ray is also in trouble with the IRS, and we get hints that he is not guilty of the murder but that he knows more than he is letting on, and that he has some curious scheme afoot. Much to the dismay of his legal team, which is confident they can get him off if they can keep him reined in. Meanwhile, he is mysteriously letting Sara have significant access to his legal preparations, much to the further consternation of his lawyers. Is he setting up Sara somehow?
The resolution is pretty clever with a nice twist or two. Westlake's portrayal of Branson, a town I know reasonably well, is not bad.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hearken to this, or not, I really don't care Jan. 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An open letter to all those who assumed that they were cheated by Mr. Westlakeke's " Baby Would I Lie". Westlake has been writing for more years than you have drawn breath. Exit criticism 1. "Trust Me On This" was so fun that I gave it to some Journo pukes to lighten them up. I,Phil, did want to know what happened afterward, the drama queers had no interest. I,(fanfare of trumpets) would seldom criticise (sorry about the spelling, but sometimes an "S" is better than a "Zed") a man who has afforded me so much thought provoking entertainment. "The Winner" is the finest human drama story that I know. "Nackles" is the creepiest. Loose your venom on a worthy target, you little coney-catchers, Read "Anarchaos" or a little Parker and shut up. Pinkyprime
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unabridged Audio Tape is delightful Oct. 2 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
Like a book you can't put down, this audiodisc is one I couldn't turn off. Nicola Sheara (Reader)brings a unique -- and believable -- voice to every character and enthuses the prose with a sense of lively anticipation. Other reviewers have commended the writer; I want to be sure that audio tape/disc listeners know that they won't be disappointed in this rendition of a very entertaining tale.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Westlake is to clever & funny as the Mint's to green & money June 7 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
As a long-time fancier of humorists and funny writers (there is a difference), I have found that Mr. Westlake, in "Baby,Would I Lie" combines a fine comic sense with the careful crafting of an excellent story. The location, Branson, Missouri, has a veritable mother lode of material for this writer -- and he mines it to hilarious result. The character development, plot lines, sub-plot lines (and sub-sub plot lines) all make for an entertaining mix that I found absorbing. As an added little bonus, the setting of a trial, involving an accused murderer, a crime of passion, and comical prosecutors and defense attorneys, predates (or presages) the O.J. fiasco, but juxtaposing the two makes for an even more sardonic twist as one reads. "Baby, Would I Lie?" is a fun book, if you can imagine, and one that adds to Mr. Westlake's reputation as a great writer who has a wonderful and ironic sense of humor. Compared to much that passes for writing these days, his words and sentences captivate, tickle and inform. How much more can you ask of a novel set in Branson
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and biting look at murder, country music, and tabloids July 12 2002
By Richard R. Horton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
_Baby, Would I Lie?_ is the sequel to Donald Westlake's _Trust Me on This_. That book concerned Sara Joslyn's time working for the Weekly Galaxy, a sleazy tabloid. At the end of that book Sara and her editor, now lover, Jack Ingersoll, manage to escape to New York and respectable journalism, in the form of Trend, a weekly modelled as far as I can tell on the New Yorker.
As this book opens, Sara is on her way to Branson, MO. Her latest assignment is to cover the murder trial of Ray Jones, a middle-aged country music star with a theater in Branson. One of Jones' employees was found murdered and dumped in Table Rock Lake, and Ray's car was seen with incriminating bloodstains. The evidence against him is purely circumstantial, and fairly weak, but the trial is also being held in the court of public opinion.
As Sara arrives, she encounters to her dismay some of her former colleagues from the Weekly Galaxy. Naturally, they too are covering this celebrity trial. And before long Jack is in Branson as well, chomping at the bit to nail the Galaxy at their nefarious journalistic tricks.
The story is told from several points of view, but mostly those of Sara and Ray Jones. We soon learn that Ray is also in trouble with the IRS, and we get hints that he is not guilty of the murder but that he knows more than he is letting on, and that he has some curious scheme afoot. Much to the dismay of his legal team, which is confident they can get him off if they can keep him reined in. Meanwhile, he is mysteriously letting Sara have significant access to his legal preparations, much to the further consternation of his lawyers. Is he setting up Sara somehow?
The resolution is pretty clever with a nice twist or two. Westlake's portrayal of Branson, a town I know reasonably well, is not bad. (There are one or two missteps, and it's rather out of date. (The book was published in 1994, and depicts the town as it was in perhaps 1990 or so.)) He tries somewhat to avoid stereotyping Midwestern tourists, with limited success. He is pretty sound (and on the whole, sympathetic) on the country musicians themselves, though. The lyrics to Ray Jones' songs are all by Westlake, and they are quite good country pastiches. Ray Jones himself is well depicted -- not exactly a nice man, but not a monster, either. And the book is quite funny.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Westlake always makes me feel guilty!! Sept. 18 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Donald Westlake writes books with characters that you just can't help but like. They can be, as in the great Dortmunder series, felons, burglars, kidnappers, but they are all likable. In this book, his characters are tabloid journalists, who are only a step above the lowest of the lows, defense attorneys. He skewers them, but some of them, DARN IT, you can't but help liking.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unabridged Audio Tape is delightful Oct. 2 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
Like a book you can't put down, this audiodisc is one I couldn't turn off. Nicola Sheara (Reader)brings a unique -- and believable -- voice to every character and enthuses the prose with a sense of lively anticipation. Other reviewers have commended the writer; I want to be sure that audio tape/disc listeners know that they won't be disappointed in this rendition of a very entertaining tale.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great but not bad Oct. 29 2012
By Devil_Monkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An interesting little tale from Donald E Westlake in which he manages to take aim at and skewer tabloid journalists in particular, country music and its fans in general, and, to a lesser extent, small town justice.

The story goes something like this: In the bustling down-home entertainment mecca of Branson, Missouri one time big star Ray Jones is going on trial for the murder of a young woman who had, prior to her violent death, been employed at his concert theater. Ray is someone who's a few years past the big hits but still draws a crowd, something of a lesser country music icon. As the trial proceeds the little town is overrun with media people out for a big story.

Conspicuous among the news folk is a small army of sleazy, scuzzy, drunken, and downright disreputable operatives from The Weekly Galaxy, a tabloid newspaper that makes The National Enquirer look like Time magazine. Their mission is to find the story, make it bigger, bolder, more seedy and in the process throw all other reporters off the track with their usual tactics of chicanery, treachery and what ever else it takes.

Among the competing journalists is one Sara Joslyn a former Galaxy operative who's gone straight by taking a real journalistic job at a New York style magazine. Her mission is to try to get exclusive access to the accused and his people while keeping the tabloids at bay.

It all makes for something of a media circus train wreck to the tune of banjos and fiddles.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with both The San Diego Union-Tribune and The Washington Post Book World, whose blurbs appear on the back cover, I didn't find this particular book to be either "A LAUGH-OUT LOUD NOVEL" (so said The Union-Tribune) nor "DOWNRIGHT HILARIOUS" (Washington Post Book World). It was a good -- not great -- little mystery novel that had a few moments of chuckle worthy humor. Definitely not one of Westlake's funnier endeavors.

Donald E. Westlake really hits hard at Branson, country music fans and the culture around them as represented in this novel, almost as if he has a personal vendetta of some sort -- I picture Mr. Westlake stuck in traffic for several hours behind a modern day wagon train of motor-homes all with country music bumper stickers and signs saying "Branson or Bust" plotting out this novel as his revenge.

I have no great affinity for country and western music or its fans but there were several times when the attempts at humor at the expense of the culture were so mean spirited they made me wince a little (and I'm a Westlake fan!).

There are fun moments involving the various tabloid characters and their shenanigans. It's a decent book, less mystery than character study in my opinion. The whole did he or didn't he kill her thing doesn't really come into play much until the last 15 pages or so when that whole thing begins to heat up to a rapid boil.

There is some sex and violence -- mainly implied rather than graphic -- and the language gets a little salty once or twice but nothing too seriously bad.
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