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Rebel Yell

2.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Abel Jones Jr., a civil rights lawyer's son turned black Washington neo-con, has met an unlikely end: collapsing at the Rebel Yell dinner theater, surrounded by actors in Confederate regalia, with his white second wife at his side. Hope Jones Blackshear, Abel's first wife and mother of his only son, is left confounded by the turn his life took in his later years.

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Hardcover, 370 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Bloomsbury USA (first published July 1st 2009)
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Kelley Anne
Feb 19, 2010 Kelley Anne rated it did not like it
I received this book as part of a first-reads giveaway. I really feel that if you receive a book in a giveaway, it's your job to read the book and write a review. If it wasn't for that, I would probably never have made it past the first 50 pages. As it was, I kept trying and trying to get through this book, and finally gave up about 175 pages in. For those of you who know me, it's extremely rare for me to not finish a book!

Part of the hard part for me was the culture and lifestyle that was descr
Nov 14, 2009 Tatesha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: military wives, historians, the talented tenth.
Wow. It is really hard for me to tell all the things I have learned from this book after just finishing less than 4 minutes ago. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, mysteries solved and unsolved in this wonderful work of art by Ms. Randall that all I can say is please go pick up a copy and indulge in it.

It is not an easy read. There are many characters and references that you will need to keep track of, but it is all worth it in the end.

I loved living Abel and Hope's lives as the aut
Mar 25, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Judy by:
Alice Randall is an African American writer who has written two previous novels as well as many hit country songs. She lives in Nashville, where she teaches at Vanderbilt University. In other words, she has been living a full and interesting life.

I loved reading Rebel Yell. The writing is excellent, the characters are alive and leap off the page. Her theme is the many scars left on American people of color because of slavery, racism and their fight for freedom but her story is in no way a retell
Sep 02, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok
I am having a very hard time getting through this book. I was given the book by the publisher through a contest on Goodreads. I am going to read the complete book, but I am hoping that it gets better. I am ready to give my review on this free givaway from Goodreads. It is not worth the time it takes to read it. It is very jumbled up and does not follow a straight storyline. As you are reading it, you can easily forget what the story is about. Also, there is a book within a book, which I still ha ...more
Aug 05, 2013 J.M. rated it liked it
Hmm, what to say? I didn't care for the author's style; many times I felt she could've been better edited, or encouraged to explain more in the story. Overall I didn't feel the story really solved anything about what Hope knew of Abel's life, and it left more questions than anything else.

However, I did enjoy looking into the lives of black Americans who lived during the Civil Rights Movement. That was very interesting, and I think set an excellent backdrop to the story.

I'm not sure I'd read anot
Mar 19, 2015 Mari rated it liked it
I found this novel to be an engaging and complicated (with enough characters to populate a Dickens novel) personal tale addressing the impact of history (specifically Black experience in the United States from the Civil Rights era to the present) on the formation of the self. Though I found sections to be a bit negative (does the suggestion that Obama provides a way forward specifically because he's outside this history seem depressing?), the novel's treatment of terror is particularly effective ...more
Diann Blakely
A natural successor is to Michael Thomas's *Man Gone Down* is *Rebel Yell*, by Nashville’s Alice Randall, whose first novel, *The Wind Done Gone*, a parody of the Margaret Mitchell classic, landed Randall in court and in the pages of *People* magazine. With *Rebel Yell*, Randall jolts us into more contemporary territory, beginnning with Birmingham’s 16th St. Baptist Church bombings, whose foment and repercussions were documented with furious yet restrained precision by Spike Lee in *Four Little ...more
Aug 26, 2009 Alicia rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I have to admit, I didn't really enjoy this book. It was about the life of Abel Jones, Jr. (or III, that was actually never clarified to me at least). He was an African-American civil rights attorney, married an African-American woman and then at some point had some sort of life crisis and became obsessed with being conservative and considered "white," he marries a white woman and works for a conservative government. Though, throughout the book it references he has been some sort of spy througho ...more
Sep 17, 2009 Aurali rated it it was ok
Recommended to Aurali by: goodreads giveaway
Shelves: first-reads
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.
1. The flashback portions when Abel was a child were interesting and telling about the man he was to become.
2. The country music loving, hard drinking, biracial protagonist was an interesting viewpoint.
1. The biggest weakness was the obtuse nature of much of the writing. I felt like writing to the author and saying "just spit it out already". For example, the sections discussing Barack Obama - just say his damn name! T
Nov 09, 2009 Tracy rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book was ok but it went off an a tangent often and it lost me a few times. There was a spy understory that I'm not sure you ever got the full story on. There was a spy and the author just called him S_____ and I never figured out who he was. I think they told you in the last few pages but it didn't seem to add anything to the story that I saw. The book discussed issues that black people had to deal with in the South and that was interesting but after awhile it felt like we kept talking abou ...more
Oct 06, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
Rebel Yell opens with Abel Jones Jr. passing away after eating at the Rebel Yell restaurant. After his funeral his first wife Hope reexamines their life together and puts together the pieces to discover the true Abel that she never knew. Both Abel and Hope grapple with issues of race and racial identity and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. I also liked how the author weaved real historical events throughout. However, some parts of the book were too cryptic for me and I felt like I wasn ...more
Helen Southall
Jan 02, 2010 Helen Southall rated it liked it
Written by an African-American female describing the life of her ex-husband following his death. The husband’s father was a civil rights leaders in the 1960’s – the young boy grew up attending rallies, etc with his father. The story is told through flashbacks of his work with his father and how it shaped his future. The book treats the conflicting issues of race, culture, geography, wealth vs poverty, and personal integrity vs ambition. While scholarly-written, it was a little ponderous.
Nov 25, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
Rebel Yell: A Novel is the first book I've read by Alice Randall that did not take as its jumping off point another work of fiction. I applaud Ms. Randall for striking out on her own, but I found myself adrift in her prose without another author's work to ground me. While I was lost amidst her plot and her characters, I found her message far too heavy-handed. I could have done with more clarity in the former, and more subtlety in the latter.
Dec 17, 2009 Alice rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
After finishing the book I'm still confused about some key characters and story line. Maybe Randall intends to be ambiguous, but I found it hard to follow. However, there were some flashbacks in the novel that were vivid and memorable. I wanted more pieces of Abel's life story, but was left with too many holes. If I could give half stars, I would give this book two and a half.
Pamela Larson
Oct 16, 2012 Pamela Larson rated it did not like it
I can't really add this to my READ shelf because I could NOT get into this book. I tried several times and even later heard the author talk about it. It is very, very unusual for me to not "hang" with a book until the end no matter how challenging or poorly written it is. Unfortunately, this book was I simply did not want to invest any more time in.
Dec 27, 2012 Innerdiva1 rated it liked it
Beautiful prose wrapped around an old story with a New Jack twist ... The Tragic Mulatto turned American spy. Although I love Randall's prose, this book rambled to the point of being painful. At the end, I was just determined to finish. If it had been edited "mo' betta," it might have made for a more enjoyable read.
Nov 03, 2009 Glenn rated it did not like it
There is a decent book somewhere in here. However, the passive tone to the narration sucks any urgency from the story. The peripheral characters are interesting and the central character is largely unlikeable. It was a quick read so I kept thinking that it would get better. It didn't.
Nov 28, 2009 Sydney rated it it was ok
I had a hard time getting into this book. Right when I starting to understand who everyone was and what was going on there was a story shift. I don't feel like the characters were well developed and I had no desire to get to know them better.
Nov 05, 2011 Michelle rated it it was ok
above my weight class...while some of the vignettes were quite compelling, I was unable to piece the shattered narrative into a satisfying whole. "Literary" does not have to be synonymous with painful to read.
Jul 16, 2011 Flora rated it liked it
It was neat to be taken into an American subculture and hierarchy that I never really thought about. Also, her writing is generally lovely, but the subplots (and main plot!) were rather difficult to keep straight.
Jan 04, 2010 Michelle rated it did not like it
I won this book from a goodreads giveaway. Once it arrives I will read & review it. :)

Edit: Boring read! Had it not been given to me for free I would have been very disappointed.
I Be Reading
Jul 22, 2012 I Be Reading rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This book was extremely disappointing. The concept was incredibly awesome and I was excited to read it, but the writing was absolutely terrible. It wasn't even worth finishing.
Nov 05, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
so i won this book through goodreads and i must say i am enjoying this book already. i am only a few pages in but can't wait to read more when i get out fo work
Dec 18, 2009 Christina rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
Did not like this book. The only reason it got one star is because the premise was a good one, but the way in which it was delivered was in poor taste.
Feb 13, 2010 Joanne rated it really liked it
Interesting insights into understanding African Amerian perspectives.
Jan 14, 2010 Keith rated it it was amazing
One word. Brilliant.
Started off good but in the end the writing style turned out to be a but to much for me. marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
Irina Popescu
Irina Popescu rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2016
Diana marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
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Alice Randall (born Detroit, Michigan) is an American author and songwriter. Randall grew up in Washington, D.C.. She attended Harvard University, where she earned an honors degree in English and American literature, before moving to Nashville in 1983 to become a country songwriter. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is married to attorney David Ewing.

Randall is the first African Amer
More about Alice Randall...

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