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Give Us a Kiss: A Novel Paperback – Jun 19 2012

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 19 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316206202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316206204
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #465,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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, Washington Post

"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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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 29 2013
Format: Paperback
With the reading of this book, I have now completed Daniel Woodrell's backlist of novels. This is my least favourite of his books. Even though Woodrell has written several different genres and no two of his books ever follow a template, I found the narrator of Give Us a Kiss different than his other books and just couldn't get as comfortable with him. It's not that I didn't like him, and I don't have to like characters to like a book, but Doyle Redmond is a homegrown Ozarks inhabitant who had the intellect to leave and get educated but not enough intellect to stay away and not get involved in the Ozark underworld of drugs, sex and murder. He acted low-born and talked higher-born than seemed natural and that's what rubbed me wrong with him. This is how Doyle is supposed to come across though, so it works, but Woodrell's other books, especially the Ozark novels have much better narrators. Another thing that is different about this book from the others is that it has a happy ending ... well, comparatively speaking, and I actually found that and the actual ending disappointing. There is a good story in here; it is a violent, dark, gritty, country noir crime; with a bit of explicit sex not found in Woodrell's other work either. Other than Doyle, I liked all the other characters, even those I wouldn't want to know in real life. Smoke, Big Annie and Niagra are all remarkable persons populating Woodrell's Ozarks. This particular edition also includes a wonderful essay by the author entitled "How Much of the Ozarks Is In Me?" that ends the novel on a perfect note.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa7860ad4) out of 5 stars 36 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8d933c0) out of 5 stars Pure entertainment, a page-turning "take you there" story Sept. 6 2012
By Kim-dle - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After being completely blown away by Winter's bone, then underwhelmed by the collection of short stories, I decided to give this one a try. I'm back on the Woodrell train. What a story! All the imagery you'd expect.....that actually plops you down on the shakey lounge chair on the dilapidated front porch of a sap-stained house trailor in the middle of the woods with a Miller Highlife in one hand and a Marlboro light in the other and get the picture. Just a great read, a fantastic story where you sense the dark coming as the pull in the driveway with the wife and kids offering a just-killed doe with some suspicious timing.........well, read the book. The sex and drugs only enhance the entertainment. You get to know that look very well, where you just know.....there's going to be a shootin'.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Pamela A. Poddany - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

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.

Thank you.

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8d935d0) out of 5 stars One of the best writers working today July 25 2012
By R. Michael Oguin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The man is gifted, what more can you say. I've read a lot of his work and he continues to get better each outing. The dialogue is spot on, the images are graphic, and the storyline flawless. I always find myself anticipating his next work while I'm still reading his newest one and I've read and reread the ones I've read several times each. I don't do that with most authors and I appreciate him making the literary world a better place by his efforts.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8d938c4) out of 5 stars Give Us a Kiss Oct. 2 2012
By sharris - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Woodrell is great. I first got word about this author after watching the film version of Winter's Bone. A friend of mine had read all of his books so I started reading him. Give Us a Kiss, then The Death of Sweet Mister; could not lay these books down. Next is Woe to Live On. Fantastic author in a world all his own. He writes about the area and people that he grew up with and apparently paid close attention. I suspect he also participated in his share of these "adventures" personally. I am from rural Southern Illinois and have had "adventures" like these myself. The book really hits home with me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8d93924) out of 5 stars Like going back home!!!! Read "Give Us A Kiss" right away, go buy it now. Dec 29 2013
By Melanie Warren - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a true blue hillbilly, "Bred and buttered" to borrow a line from Ree Dolly in "Winter's Bone." I was raised in a small town smack dab in the Ozarks. (Fordland, Mo.) This book was like going back for a visit. Woodrell nailed it. This book is funny, gritty, irreverant and so very, very, accurate. Doyle is! He's educated (a lot of us are) and a so-so author but more than anything, loyal to his family, his raising, and his roots. Woodrell immerses us in the sounds and smells of an Ozarks summer, the unwritten rules of living out in the country (mind your own business. help your neighbor) the simple joys of float trips on the icy cold Current River and the bliss of fried bologna. Just like the Ozarks, this book has tough women who love their rough men, crime, drugs, a lot of beer and whiskey, sex, loyal dogs, and so much more. I'm a Kansas Jayhawk now, because it really is tough to make a living in the Ozarks, but I still roam my daddy's woods when I go home. Who knows, maybe I'll see Smoke or Doyle out there sometime.

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