Give Us a Kiss: A Novel Paperback – Jun 19 2012
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"Woodrell knows deeply the subjects he writes on . . . Most important, he knows the voices of his people, and he never sounds a false or condescending note."―Pinckney Benedict,
"He celebrates blood kin, home country and hot sex in this rich, funny, headshakingly original novel. Woodrell is a ladystinger of a writer."―Annie Proulx
"Slick, sparkling, stylized....takes on a mythic quality."―The New York Times Book Review
"A backcountry Shakespeare....The inhabitants of Daniel Woodrell's fiction often have a streak that's not just mean but savage; yet physical violence does not dominate his books. What does dominate is a seasoned fatalism....Woodrell has tapped into a novelist's honesty, and lucky for us, he's remorseless that way."―Los Angeles Times
"Woodrell is a marvellous writer."―Roddy Doyle
About the Author
Five of Daniel Woodrell's eight published novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
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Oh, Daniel Woodrell, you keep me up way too late at night reading your books and I love you for this! I haven't met a Woodrell book that I haven't just loved and hated to see GIVE US A KISS come to an end.
GIVE US A KISS is my latest jump into the Woodrell pool and the water is more than fine. In this book we meet Doyle Redmond who has returned to West Table, Missouri, to talk to his brother, Smoke. Smoke is wanted by the law and their parents have sent Doyle back to the Ozarks to try and convince Smoke to turn himself in, pay his dues, and then get on with his life.
Doyle agrees to return to Missouri, which he does -- and then events take a turn in the wrong direction. Once back in his old stomping grounds, Doyle gets pulled into a drug scheme that Smoke has cooked up. Doyle meets his brother's woman, Big Annie. But mostly, Doyle is attracted to Annie's daughter, the lovely Niagra.
Trouble ensues as it is supposed to in Woodrell's books. There's the law, drugs, crazy town people, and the ever-lasting and on-going feud between the Dolly family and the Redmond gang. Both the Dollys and Redmonds have a take no prisoner attitude and their battles are brutal, constant, and swift.
Doyle had thought he had left all of his Ozark lust for life back in Missouri -- especially since he married well and has four published books under his belt. But since having marital problems and arriving back in Missouri, Doyle jumps right back into his old ways and life. The results? You MUST read this book. It is action-packed, SO very well written, full of characters that are more than down-to-earth, humor, wit, a fast paced plot, and a dog named Damned Spot. The people you meet are down-on-their-luck, hillbillies if you will, with their own laws and their own ways of enforcing those laws. Woodrell never disappoints and this book just shines.
Woodrell's writing is smooth, bumpy, gritty, abrasive, and like silk. For example --
"Over at the porch light a jamboree of june bugs and so forth were tapping out an insect jig against the light shade and the screen door."
"General Jo and Uncle Bill had dreams of buying back their vast acres, and they applied for an unsecured loan of sorts on payroll day at The Sunnyside Dairy near Lebanon. They made their applications with shotguns in hand and stockings over their faces."
Woodrell, as you may have guessed, is one of my favorite authors. I love his writing, I love his stories, I love his grace, charm, wit, and his wisdom. If you haven't had the pleasure, waste no time and get yourself a book or two of his and you will see exactly what I mean.