Mark's Reviews > One Mississippi

One Mississippi by Mark Childress
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Sep 23, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction
Read from September 23 to 27, 2010

Stylistically, this was a very well written book that drew the reader into its world of the turbulent 60's with tongue-in-cheek humor and social commentary that seemed fresh and relevant to today. But several elements of the story just didn't seem to fit with the time and the place in which the novel was set. One finds it easy to understand Daniel's loyalty to his troubled friend, Tim, and his attraction to the girl, Arnita. But the explosive ending, and the ease with which these children of the Deep South accepted an inter-racial couple while adjusting to forced desegregation just felt out of place. One feels it would have worked much better in a later time period, and because of that one wonders what it was about the sixties that drew the author. The initial enjoyment of the story slowly faded, the deeper one got into the story, until the ending came as a relief. Not a cathartic release from tension, but merely glad that it was over. This then could ultimately be termed a disappointment.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Heather Mize correct wally, its mentioned multiple times that it was the seventies. even in the article at the end of the book from the newspaper. i see some of mark's points, but i thought the book was good. i thought childress did navigate and illustrate the issues for an interracial couple.

Mark If it was indeed set in 1973, then I still have problems. Attitudes had changed some but not enough to find people so willing to accept an inter-racial couple. Not in the Deep South. But the historical context seemed more suited to the sixties than the seventies, and to be honest, it isn't worth going back to see if my impressions are born out. I still find this a disappointing read.

Heather Mize Mark, I do see your point about the acceptance of an inter-racial couple at the time. I liked the book, and I love Childress's style of writing, his southern voice and eccentric characters... However, I myself did think the school massacre subject was more suited for a different era than in the seventies. So, that further supports your point that the timeline of the novel wasn't the best fit. Have you read Crazy in Alabama by Childress? It's his best book in my opinion.

Mark I don't think I've read his Crazy in Alabama, although we did see the movie. I'll keep an eye out for it.

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