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Bingo [Paperback]

Rita Mae Brown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

July 6 1999
In the sequel to her beloved Six of One, Rita Mae Brown returns with another witty tale of passion and rivalry in the small Southern town of Runnymede, Maryland. Newspaper editor Nickel Smith is scrambling to save the local paper from corporate extinction, even as she is engaged in an affair that would shock the town as much as it amazes Nickel herself. Meanwhile, her mother, Julia, and her aunt Louise, the infamous Hunsenmeir sisters, who’ve set the town on its ears for decades, keep an eagle eye on Nickel. No matter that she’s a grown woman and that they’re going on ninety; they need someone to gossip about! Not even the town’s weekly bingo games can keep Louise and Julia out of trouble when Ed Tutweiler Walters, an eligible newcomer, arrives in townand has the sisters fighting over him like schoolgirls. A telling look at the foibles of modern relationships, Bingo is full of wisdom about the comforts, trials, and absurdities of small-town life and especially of our own nearest and dearest.

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From Publishers Weekly

The author of Rubyfruit Jungle packs an astonishing number of characters and severed loyalties into this amusing, poignant tale, set in fictional Runnymede, Md., a town divided by the Mason-Dixon line, where feuds erupt with the regularity of the weekly bingo night. The queens of contention are the octogenarian Hunsenmeir sisters (introduced in Six of One ), who slug it out with repartee and second-childhood antics when both fall in love with visiting widower Ed Tutweiler Walters. Nickel Smith, daughter and niece of the Hunsenmeir sisters, has reached her late 30s with well-defined roles in the community: as a respected journalist for the Clarion and as a tacitly accepted (read discreet) lesbian. But Nickel's history comes unraveled when she falls into an affair with her best friend's husband, and the newspaper is sold to big-money interests. Along with sketches of zany homegrown characters, Brown offers unpredictable plot resolutions that reinforce her reputation as a writer unafraid of new directions. Similar to, although not as much fun as, Six of One , this is vintage Brown nevertheless. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The Hunsenmeir sisters, Louise and Juliafirst encountered in Six of One ( LJ 9/1/78)have been fierce rivals almost from the cradle. Now in their 80s, they're competing for the affections of the new man in town . The town of Runnymede watches gleefully as the sisters battle it out, although Julia's daughter wishes they'd pick another time. She needs all her energy to deal with two surprising new relationships and the possible loss of her job. A rowdy bingo game, an unexpected pregnancy, and the cannon in the town square combine to produce an explosive climax. Brown paints an entertaining picture of the tangled web of small-town relationships. Her cast of lovable eccentrics is the novel's real strength . A rollicking good book. Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Also a tale of a woman's love for newspapering May 11 2002
Format:Paperback
First off, I loved Bingo and have re-read it many times. Many of my general thoughts are already well said in other reviews, so I want to add an offbeat one. Bingo also tells a story about a woman's love for her career, newspapering, and how that career is endangered by the sale of "her" paper to a big company. Brown nails that part of the story -- her descriptions of how it feels when the "big guy" arrives on the doorstep of the little paper are dead on. I lived through that same situation, with less happy results, and Nickel's reactions ring very true. In this era of mergers and buyouts, that's another reason to read Bingo. Share the book with a friend or three.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Can't-Put-It-Down, Laugh-Out-Loud Romp April 14 2002
Format:Paperback
Nicole "Nickle" Smith's life is more than slightly schizoid: she lives in Runnymead, a small town that straddles the Mason-Dixon line, with all the cultural division that implies; her life is dominated by her elderly adoptive mother Julia "Juts" and Juts' equally neurotic sister Louise "Wheeze;" the tiny newspaper she loves and works for is about to be sold out from under her; and she is a self-avowed lesbian having an affair with her best friend's... husband? Needless to say, the situation is ripe for comedy--particularly when St. Rose of Lima's weekly bingo game, at which most of the townfolk meet without fail, begins a move toward a big-pot game known as "Blackout" and Juts and Wheeze, both in their eighties, begin to compete over the same man.
BINGO is not one of Rita Mae Brown's most literary efforts--it is too loosely structured for that--but it is surely one of her most beloved novels, effectively juggling eccentric characters and ridiculous situations with Brown's own take on modern morality. A particular joy are the supporting characters, which are presented with tremendous appeal: Mr. Pierre, the town's effeminate hairdresser; the massively overweight Verna BonTon and her endless family; the feuding law enforcement officers; the yuppie cub reporter--all presented with considerable aplomb and charm and sharpness. Everything adds up to one of the most hilarious things you'll ever read, a real can't-put-it-down, laugh-out-loud book that will have you sitting up half the night trying to silence your hoots lest you wake the neighbors. The setting, characters, and one-liners are extremely memorable, funny, and remarkably honest, and this is one you'll return again and again. I know I have! Recommended.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was a great little read. Interesting, unusual, themes. Great characters, great plot. Held my interest all the way through. A book which reflects hope, the human spirit, and humor. Not a waste!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Three cheers for Runnymeade! Jan. 10 2002
Format:Paperback
Those crazy Hunsenmeir sisters are back, and this time, it's personal.... Julia and Louise, after 80+ years of sibling rivalry, still don't have it right. And when Ed Tutwieler Walters saunters into Friday night bingo, the fireworks are on autopilot. Vying for the attentions of the town's newest bachelor, Julia and Louise pull out all the stops. And often at hilarious consequences....
Told through the perspective of Julia's adopted daughter, Nickel, readers are treated to small town life in all its glory. Gossip, disputes, affairs, friendships and, yes, even pesky family troubles, run amok in Runnymeade, Maryland, and Rita Mae Brown uses every ounce of her literary talent to create this unforgettable story. I was very impressed by what I read, and despite all their cat-fighting, Julia and Louise are two women I'd love to have lunch with!
I read the first book in the Hunsenmeir series, Six of One, a couple years ago, and I truly enjoyed Bingo so much more. Funnier and more wisecracking, Bingo will have readers yearning for weekly bingo dates in the Catholic Church basement, socializing at the town square, and the chance to take your pets with you everywhere you go, even to the doctor's office during your annual check-up. Wonderfully endearing. Can't wait for Loose Lips.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the cannonballs. Jan. 9 2002
Format:Paperback
Runnymede, MD has to be the oddest town ever created in fiction. Full of well-intentioned nuts such as the feuding town sheriffs and the protagonist's mother and aunt--Juts Smith and Wheezie Trumbull--Bingo picks up where the equally implausible Six of One left off. This time, the story is from the POV of Nickel Smith, the adopted daughter of eighty-something iconoclast Juts. Nickel watches as the town newspaper battles corporate takeover and her mother and aunt battle one another over, well, everything, particularly the available octogenarian Ed Walters.
At times, it's hard to believe that the town could be so crazy--there's no way Nickel's pets could be unconditionally welcomed wherever she goes--but if you stop and think about the desperate actions a small town will take to ward off ever-threatening ennui, then perhaps there really is something believable about local yokels who fire a Civil War-era cannon in an attempt to separate two brawlers and who obstruct justice to pull Aunt Wheezie's fat out of the legal fire. Who knows.
Despite the frequent necessity to suspend disbelief, I laughed out loud several times and felt good whenever I dipped into Bingo. Rita Mae Brown obviously has fond memories of her past, and that reverence is clear and convincing in this semi-autobiographical look at Runnymede. If only my hometown had a cannon.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars She's just a nice, normal lesbian
I did not find this book nearly as well written as Rubyfruit Jungle, but it did feature a more "mainstream" lesbian character who was believable and funny. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2001 by F. Mercer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story of the Town of Runnymeade
This appears to be the first in the Juts and Wheezie series, told by Jut's daughter Nickel. The story moves well and the antics of the two elderly Hunnsemeier sisters are as... Read more
Published on July 5 2000 by Moe811
5.0 out of 5 stars "Number 29,number 29, to win is divine!"
"The stands cheered the skunk, not Ursie. The skunk stood her ground and shooed her babies back into the nest. Read more
Published on March 27 2000 by Ashley
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed after Rubyfruit Jungle
I really was bored with this book. I had found a great author (and still think she is) after Rubyfruit Jungle and Six of One, but Bingo was a BIG disappointment for me. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars very slow moving,preachy,no comparison to Six of One
I read more than half the book and still nothing much had happened. I found not a whole lot to really like and cheer for in Nick. She seems flat and one dimensional. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want it to end
Whenever I need a good laugh I read Rita. I re-read Bingo every Spring to get over the blahs. I really wish she would take us all back to Runnymeade. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars HYSTERICAL!!!! I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING!!!!!!
A girlfriend of mine from work lent me the book - you've got to read it she said. As I was reading the book, people thought I was crazy because I would just "bust out"... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars A tender and humorous commentary on life and relationships.
Our book group (four years old) just read and discussed this book tonight on my recommendations. Everyone liked the book, particularly the fully formed characters and the... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 1998
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