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Dove Season (A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  850 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Jack Veeder is dying. Soon. And that impending event brings his son Jimmy back to the Imperial Valley of southern California just north of the Calexico/Mexicali border. Jimmy hopes he can spend what time his father has left laughing and reminiscing. But Jack’s got one dying request. He needs Jimmy to find a Mexican prostitute named Yolanda.

Enlisting the help of his boyhood
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2010 by AmazonEncore
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,481)
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Dan Schwent
When he finds out his father has terminal cancer, Jimmy Veeder returns home for the first time in over a decade. His father has one last request: one last visit with a bar girl named Yolanda. Little does Jimmy know the shitstorm his is about to unleash...

Since Plaster City was part of the Kindle First program this month, I thought it was high time I read Johnny Shaw's first Jimmy Veeder novel, Dove Season, and I'm very glad I did.

Dove Season is a crime tale that feels like something Joe Lansdale
The Reading Gods had been tapping me on the shoulder for a while about Johnny Shaw, but I foolishly ignored their omens.

Dove Season was one of the ARCs I got in the freebie bag at Bouchercon last fall. I thought it looked interesting, and then I got into a conversation with a young woman who worked for Amazon and asked me what books I’d received. When I mentioned this title, she told me I should put it at the top of my list. So after I got home I put it on the To Read pile with every intention o
I've been wanting to read this book since I first laid eyes on the cover. I mean, look at it! We all know booze and firearms always lead to trouble. Here in Pennsylvania, at least once each deer season some drunken hunter bags a trophy that upon closer inspection is actually a cow...or a brother-in-law.

There are no hunting accidents in this book, but plenty of people drink and carry guns, and sometimes shoot them at other people.

Jimmy Veeder is an educated professional loafer. He works a variet
James Thane
This is an excellent novel set in the Imperial Valley on the border between California and Mexico. Jimmy Veeder, the main protagonist, grew up there but put the Valley in his rearview mirror years ago, without looking back. Since then, he's been drifting from one place and one job to another, rootless and with no real ambition beyond taking each day as it comes. But then Jimmy learns that his father, Big Jack Veeder, is dying of cancer and Jimmy returns home to be with his father and to offer wh ...more
Dan 2.0
“There is something about the desert that pisses everything off.

It could be the heat. Or the barren landscape. Or the stark desolation. It doesn’t really matter the why. The fact is the desert brings out the desperate worst in a thing. In an environment where nothing is meant to survive, life seethes.”

Quite the opening, to a solid, debut novel, that defies conventional genres. Is it a crime novel, a coming of age story, a comedy, hick lit, or possibly all of the above? The book’s cover calls it
Initially I was anticipating something along the lines of the Frank Bill/Donald Ray Pollock school of car-wheels-on-a-gravel-road noir.
I was forced almost immediately to reconsider my expectations.

The narrator the reader will eventually discover is one Jimmy Veeder returning to his small hometown in The Imperial Valley to spend –hopefully- a few remaining months with his cancer stricken father.

Early on Johnny Shaw delights with excellent set-ups for passages such as the following:

I had been mak
Jonathan Peto
In naming his novel Dove Season, Johnny Shaw definitely seemed to be trying to lay out his priorities. His characters do not participate in the seasonal hunting that apparently takes place in the Imperial Valley of Southern California during the time of the story. That's okay. Shaw's goal, I think, is to make a character of the setting. He succeeds. I've never visited this part of the world but enjoyed Mr. Shaw's introduction to it: alfalfa, desert, excursions into Mexico, water rights, and ille ...more
Tracking down a Mexican prostitute named Yolanda, bleeds life into a story derived from impending death. Protagonist, Jimmy Veeder returns to his old stomping ground and quickly becomes reacquainted with lost friends. Author, Johnny Shaw, spotlights the unsettled dust between youth and adulthood leaving festering wounds wide open and past grudges in the forefront of Jimmy’s predicament. The borderlands of California and Mexico are as much a character as the colourful inhabitants of the environs ...more
“Is it better to have responsibility and fail or to choose to remain irresponsible?”

Dove Season is a hell of a debut novel, and might be the most twisted coming of age story you’re likely to read. Jimmy Veeder returns to his hometown in the Imperial Valley of California, a bleak, blistering hot farming region near the Mexican Border. Jimmy has spent his life avoiding responsibility, taking menial jobs that are easy to quit, despite a college education. He’s returning home after many years to car
Benoit Lelievre
DOVE SEASON swiftly shifts into fourth gear during its first half, but it doesn't really have a fifth gear. It's a very good novel and a very consistant novel (which is an admirable trait for a first novel), but the unusual intimacy of the narration and its rugged naturalism swept me away so quickly, I was disappointed it never became transcendent.

I'm still giving DOVE SEASON 5 stars because it's a hardboiled crime novel that doesn't feel formulaic and recycled. It exists within a paradigm it c
A story about a man who returned to his hometown after 12 years of absence, when he learned that his father was dying. He rekindled bonds with his best friend and former girlfriend. He discovered secrets. He uncovered a murder. He decided to stay. There were exciting twists and turns along the way, and a lot of swearing, but nothing too extraordinary. The setting was realistic, since the author grew up in the same place, so the genuineness is there. There is also a uniqueness in the friendship b ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Skip rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
I am not sure why I did not like this book more, especially since some of my GR friends gave it 4 stars (Dan S., Kemper, James T.), but I didn't. Jimmy Veeder returns home to the Imperial Valley, on the U.S. Mexico border when news of his father's impending death from cancer finally reaches him. He reconnects with his long ago abandoned friends, helps his Dad with belly laughs and connecting with the mysterious Yolanda, before finding himself in a world of trouble in connection with the latter. ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

Jimmy Veeder hasn’t seen his dad, Jack, in years, but he’s back home after Jack finally discloses to him that he’s suffering from cancer and living out the rest of his days in hospice. Jimmy is a college grad, but his degree in English literature isn’t doing him any good, and he’s been wiling away his days doing a variety of manual labor. Jimmy loves his father, and is glad to be back with him, even if it’s for a short time, so he opens up the old house, n
Jimmy Veeder comes home after twelve years to deal with his father's cancer. "Pop" is dying. Though he hadn't been home in all those years, the two men had talked frequently on the phone, often for hours at a time, mostly making each other laugh.

At first, that's what they did in the convalescent home.

Then his father made a strange request. He wanted Johnny to find a prostitute named Yolanda and bring her to him. All he could tell was that she was somewhere in the Calexico/Mexicali area of southe
Terrific setting description and sense of place and a host of strong and interesting characters bonded in their youth. Life can be messy and the lives of Jimmy Veeder and his friends prove the point as they hurtle toward rough justice and perhaps salvation. I loved the humor that the protagonist, Jimmy Veeder, saw in almost every situation and relished the politically incorrect one liners: "A Trisket is a brown cracker.","Nature is beautiful only if you find cruelty beautiful." are scattered thr ...more
Jason Fernandez
Dove Season gets the reader invested from the very beginning. The book opens with a man, Jimmy Veeder, on a road trip back to the town where he was born and raised. We get to know him from his plainly spoken yet poignant observations about everything around him.

It's hard to tidily label Dove Season in a genre. There's a murder but it's not a murder mystery. There is a love interest but it's not a love story. It's really about relationships: the relationships between the main character and his f
Josh Stallings
What fantastic book. Full of heart and heartbreak. I feel like I have spent the last week on the California Mexico border. Johnny Shaw effortlessly blends a drama between a son and a father, a man trying to outrun adulthood, with a crazy fast paced crime thriller. Insightful work that leaves me wanting more from the talented Mr Shaw.
AJ Henning
Reading this book is like sharing a massive pile of carne asada fries with a few of your closest buddies at 2am in a C-grade taqueria. The language is crass, the prose pops and sizzles, and the Big Laughs happen at just the perfect moments.

I'm looking forward to future Jimmy Veeder fiascos.
Max Everhart
In my mind, this novel can be broken down into two parts, and both of them are satisfying, but for different reasons. Part One is about Jimmy Veeder, a good guy drifter with a sense of humor, who returns to the Imperial Valley in California to visit his dying father, Big Jack Veeder. The highlights of this section are Shaw’s descriptions of Imperial Valley and Mexico, which is right on the border nearby. Here is one of my favorite sections from the beginning of chapter six:

"All the fun stuff is
I think I wrote my review on the wrong edition... so I copied and pasted it here.

SCORE! This is a fantastic first book! Johnny Shaw is very adept at character and 'world' building, I knew within 10 pages that I was going to really like this book, even though it started slow and the main character was rather blah in the beginning.
This is a gritty human nature story that takes place in the Imperial Valley of California about loss, growing up, changing and friendship and life and death and the bira
(Note: Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program)
I don't always pick up books by new or unfamiliar authors, but the synopsis of this book intrigued me, so I took a chance. I'm very glad that I did. This is an incredibly fun read about a 30 year-old college graduate ne'er-do-well, Jimmy Veeder, and his return to the Imperial Valley area where he grew up and where his father is dying. As a dying wish, the father asks his son to go find a Mexican prostitute he knew. This outrageous request is
'My friends in different cities found it charming, even romantic, that I grew up on a farm. It was neither. Ask a farmer.'

DOVE SEASON is the second book I have read recently by Johnny Shaw, the first being BIG MARIA. DOVE SEASON is a little less slapstick than BIG MARIA. Some serious subjects are actually looked at, such as poverty, racism, dying, cancer, growing up, murder, but it is no less fun to read.

The main protagonist of the story is Jimmy Veeder. Jimmy comes home when he finds out his da
Jan 17, 2012 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Nicole
I probably wouldn't have picked this one up from reading the synopsis, but having been handed the book by another reader, I found the writing style interesting and easy to stay engaged, so I kept reading.

It's an interesting tale, don't get me wrong, but I would have liked it better if the ending was stretched out a little. It was almost anti-climatic at the end how fast it was over, and (while avoiding spoilers) the reason the main character did the act he did against the villain at the end was
Daniel Ray
Dove Season by Johnny Shaw is a home-run. A wonderfully engaging novel by a terrific author. This is the best book I have read in a long time. The book came recommended by my Uncle and I bought it on my kindle and probably passed over it for six or seven months. When I finally started it I was grabbed right from the get go. Dove Season has some wonderful prose. The first half is very relatable (at least to me). The protagonist of the story has come home after being gone for a very for long time. ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
This first novel by a screenwriter has the air of having been sketched out first on a story board. The journey on which Jimmy Veeder embarks - to find a certain prostitute for his dying father - has its "surprises" carefully placed with the intention of keeping the reader engaged. A reasonable enough desire by any author. How far that succeeds will depend in this case upon the reader. If you are drawn to a tale with no single admirable character, laced with drunkennes, violence and language whos ...more
Marc Strozyk
Great story telling. The setting of the Imperial Valley felt more like a main character. The bromance and the relationship between father and son was very well done. I'll definitely be reading more from Johnny Shaw. Thanks Michael Stockinger for the review.
Domino Finn
Great story. A mix between funny and serious, irresponsible and moral. It's not often you pick up a book with this much character. Simply amazing for a debut novel.
Hot and wry

Hot and wry

This is a first novel that is as hot as it's setting in California's Imperial Valley on the border with Mexico. Johnny Shaw has written a crime novel that is rich in atmospherics, character development (and there's a bunch of distinctive characters in the book) and wry humor that provides vivid contrast to the violence and language. The book is readable, understandable and a very, very fun ride. Jimmy Veeder is a disconnected wanderer who returns home to be with his dying f
Marc Jentzsch
So I picked this up after getting hold of the sequel, Plaster City. Thought I'd get to know the characters first.

This book is definitely not in my normal vein. Thrillers are one thing but noir has always eluded me on some level. I like capable heroes more than accidental ones, but Shaw does a good job of making the violence, the fear, the little moments of confusion, all stand out. While it doesn't quite feel lived in, it does feel genuine. Sure one can say that the author has an intimate famili
Rhok Mhaan
I am a total Heroic Fantasy fan. I'll read some James Patterson, Dean Koontz, and some others, but primarily I read only Heroic Fantasy. When Amazon gave me Plaster City free with my prime membership, I tried it, and loved it. It was the first time I had read a Johnny Shaw book. It was fantastic. The only problem was that Plaster City was the second Jimmy Veeder Fiasco type story.

I do not believe that Dove Season and Plaster City have to be read in any particular order. Dove Season and Plaster C
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Johnny Shaw was born and raised on the Calexico/Mexicali border, the setting for his award-winning Jimmy Veeder Fiasco series, which includes the novels DOVE SEASON and PLASTER CITY. He is also the author of the Anthony Award-winning adventure novel, BIG MARIA.

His shorter work has appeared in Thuglit, Crime Factory, Shotgun Honey, Plots with Guns, and numerous anthologies. He is the creator and ed
More about Johnny Shaw...
Plaster City Big Maria THUGLIT Issue 1 Blood & Tacos #1 Blood & Tacos #2

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“Even a desert hare will take a finger off the dumbass that tries to pet it. If the desert can make a bunny that angry, imagine what it does to the people.” 3 likes
“Anything can be a curse if it ain't a choice. If it's all you know. If you do it because your father did it. And you do it because it's familiar and safe and you're afraid to do something else. Even if all you want to do is anything else.” 0 likes
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