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One Mississippi

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,680 Ratings  ·  464 Reviews
This exuberantly acclaimed novel by the author of the bestselling Crazy in Alabama tells an uproarious and moving story about family, best friends, first love, and surviving the scariest years of your life. You need only one best friend, Daniel Musgrove figures, to make it through high school alive. After his family moves to Mississippi just before his junior year, Daniel ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 19th 2007 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Maybe you had to be around in the 70's to understand this book.If you have ever encountered true racism, had a friend commit suicide, dome something totally stupid and dangerous as a teenager, felt completely alienated from your parents, or tried to save someone from himself, you will still find an element to identify with in this book. This is one of my all-time favorites. If you are too young to have know the 70's. read this book anyway.
Dec 13, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm not sure of what kind of judgment to make about this book. When it starts you think "oh, another coming of age book" but the seemingly average characters have some dark and hidden secrets. Also the setting of Mississippi in the 70's (I think) gives a racial unsettling to the events. At times almost humorous but the book also has it moments of fear and tragedy.

Finished the book last night and it definitely had its tragedy. To me it was interesting that although it was set in the early 70"s so
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and thought to yourself, "That was messed up"? That was pretty much how it went for me today. At first, I was really enjoying One Mississippi by Mark Childress, our book club selection for August. The book begins as a kind of coming of age novel about a sixteen-year-old boy, Daniel, who has just moved to Minor, Mississippi, from Indiana. He has to make new friends and adjust to the culture of the deep south that is so n
The GOOD . . . The BAD . . . The UGLY . . . . and the downright DESPICABLE. I love a humorous, gritty, quirky, era-specific southern-fired tale - with a dollop of regional eccentricity on the side. "One Mississippi" started out as a strong four-star great read, but sadly fell far short by book's end.

A teenager of the seventies myself, I readily identified with many of the era's nuances and pop-culture fads and trends. And for the most part, the characters and circumstances felt spot-on accurate
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an incredible story. What starts out as a tale of youthful innocence ends up as so, so much more. The results of that first, relatively small lie cannot be imagined even by the reader. Despite the dark undertones and serious subjects tackled by Childress in this portrait of the South in the early 70s, there is a lot of laughter and fun here — the Fullflower Baptist Church musical, what Daniel’s father does after he loses his job, Daniel and Tim’s meeting with Cher, for example ...more
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read with snappy language that really deals with some complex and hefty social issues.

It starts off simple, innocent, and I found myself thinking--okay, I've seen this before. Yet another coming of age story. But very quickly, I realized that there was oh-so-much more going on in this novel. By the time this novel finishes, Childress has addressed everything from racism to homophobia, from the social ostracism of high school to how ridiculous religious zealots can be.

The main criticism t
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Half way through this book, I'm irritated with yet another story that "needs" to use sex and language to sell it. The premise, however, is captivating and the writing style engaging. I'm going to finish the book but would be slightly embarrassed to recommend it.
Like Mark Childress' novel, Crazy in Alabama, and later movie with Melanie Griffith, it is a topic that covers Civil Rights and integration in the South during the 1970s.
It's confusing that is how I previously viewed the
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in a high school in Mississippi during desegregation in the seventies; a formula for disaster, which the author delivers. It is a coming of age story for Daniel Musgrove and filled with other interesting characters. I found this novel disturbing even with the tongue-in-cheek humor throughout. Although very well written, it hurt to read it.
Review here at my blog.

Now and then, I wish I weren’t restricted to five stars on my reviews. Sometimes I want to give so many stars they stretch across the page. An over-the-top reaction? Definitely. But this book is so worth it.

One Mississippi is the story of Daniel Musgrove and his family who move to Mississippi from Indiana in the summer of 1973 when his father receives a transfer from the chemical company he sells products for. Daniel and his siblings, Janie and Bud, are against the move.
Courtney Allen
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A blast back into the 1970s. Buckle your seatbelt for the opening chapters-laugh out loud funny. Very imaginative story, a good sense of time and place with well written characters. This is an enjoyable journey and a great portrayal into the post human rights era of the south. This is a trip through the past with a look at not only the times but at ourselves as well. Good writing style and character development. Overall, a good ride but a tragically shocking ending. Mark Childress is a masterful ...more
Thomas Holbrook
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The opening paragraphs of this novel do what a good opening to a novel is supposed to do – draw the reader in and let them know what they are about to read without giving the story away. In its opening scene, One Mississippi shows a group of 15-year-old boys spending an afternoon “following the mosquito truck through the streets, breathing the sweet-smelling clouds of DDT because we’d heard it would get you high.” p. 3. The message – no matter how sweetly it may smell, poison is still deadly. M ...more
Jun 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
**Whatever you do...don't read the reviews on here, the first review contains HUGE spoilers!!!!**** My review does not contain spoilers, hoewever!

This was the first Mark Childress book that I read and cannot wait to delve into another one!!

Set in Mississipi during the early 70s when they were just allowing blacks to attend public schools...Starts a tale of two new best friends trying to make it through the school year one day at a time. Juniors in high school battling teenage issues of family, b
Patricia Williams
This is one of the best books I've ever read. This author is a real southerner and he also was at one time a teen-age boy and he understands teen-age boys. Daniel the main character is wonderful. You never don't love him even when he does something wrong like steal a bicycle. This story has everything love, hate, racial issues, heart, family, high school issues, humor and sadness with redemption. Some parts of the book were so funny I was laughing outloud. I don't think I've ever laughed so much ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one day. The kind of marvelous day when the kids have swim practice and then have friends over and it's cloudy so you can sit in a chair and read and read. That's a big run-on sentence, I know, but I don't care. I may give this book 5 stars actually; it was that good. For me, on this day. I love the title. Does everyone count by Mississippis or is it only a southern thing? In one Mississippi--one second--everything can change. I was on the edge of my seat, knowing that laught ...more
Feb 15, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I picked up mostly because I liked the cover design. And it's set in Mississippi, where I have spent a lot of time visiting family. Turned out to be a good read. I like the fish-out-of-water main character and felt for him as he struggled with guilt, love and conflicted feelings about his best friend. The twists and turns were intriguing, if slightly predictable. I liked the mix of darkness with humor. And I identified with the southern-ness of Daniel's mother — she re ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is humor here, but I would definitely NOT call this a humorous book. There are plenty of opportunities to absorb the examinations of racism, bullying, social and family dysfunction, and growing pains that Childress describes with painful accuracy and identify to some extent. But the subject matter and shocking (DISTURBING) ending left a bad taste, and I was not able to get over that enough to give it a very high recommendation.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Thought this would be just a coming of age book, but it was so much more. I loved Daniels family, so quirky and yet so real. I grew up with friends who's Dads were that way. No spoiliers, but I would recommend this as a good read
Jason Robinson
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow- what a fantastic read. sort of like Pat Conroy meets Fannie Flagg meets Larry Brown meets Stephen King. One of the best novels I've read in a long time, one of those types of books that usually makes your next novel seem like a let down.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
At the start, this appears to be your basic southern childhood adventures memoir. Led by the famous "My Dog Skip" by Willie Morris, it's a genre that can be enjoyable, but pretty predictable. Kid moves to a small town. His parents are troubled. He's a loner. He bemoans that there is nothing to do there until he makes a wild new friend who leads him on dangerous adventures that help the kid find some true core of himself.

This started that way, but took some interesting diversions. It's set in 70
Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now I know why Stephen King recommended this book: He has a long history of creating predatory, pathetic gay characters in his novels ("Needful Things" is the worst--couldn't finish it). This book has a record three sad, tortured, variously criminal gay characters. Oh, and a black girl who rejects her race.

I realize Childress is trying to deal with the destructive impact of racism and homophobia in the Deep South in the 1970s, but in his effort to push readers' limits he just offends in his own
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like it was about three books in one, and in this case, that's not a bad thing. It wasn't that the book was disjointed, but it progressed in unexpected ways, took surprising twists, that moved the plot and the story in completely different directions.

At the start, this felt like a nice, comfortable coming-of-age novel, set in a small town in 1970s Mississippi, where school integration has only just begun. Daniel, the narrator, had just moved to the area, and was having a hard time fit
Sep 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on the "staff picks" shelf at my favorite library. I love love love coming-of-age novels like this book, especially if they're set in the south. (See also The Secret Life of Bees, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, Wish You Well). I also loved that I busted out laughing several times while reading this book.
16 yr old Daniel Musgrove is forced to move with his family in the 1970's to Mississippi. He befriends Tim and soon they are inseparable. They have a bond
Philip E.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I borrowed this book from my daughter. She did not like it. As I read, I thought it was one of those "coming of age" books for teens. I was wrong. The protagonist is a high school junior, but the book is way beyond teen reading. It hurts to read it. Set in Mississippi in the 70's it reopened for me a time when I was in college, seminary and starting my ministry. Raw language. X-rated in parts. You have been warned.

This book reminds me that my life has been easy compared to many of my fellow Ame
Sep 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 ...more
This was highly recommended everywhere a few years ago, but as usual, it takes me some time to actually get around to read those hyped-up books.

In this case, the hype was justified. "One Mississippi" has everything a book needs to become a bestseller without selling out - warmth. humor, honesty. I'm sure they are turning this thing into a movie as I write.

But what appears to be a light summertime-reading set in the South, suddenly takes a way more drastic and tragic turn than I expected. Conseq
Mar 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.5 Stars. I would say that Daniel had a very miserable junior year as a transplant to Mississippi. He has a father like "The Great Santini," a recently and very uncomfortably integrated high school, so-called friends from sundry high school "groupings," and without his knowing it is sitting on a multitude of powder kegs. It was 1973.

Unless it was a satire, it was over the top. Too much happened in a small town that somehow supported the strangest collection of teenagers and educators I have re
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a marvelous read! I've read some of the reviews listed here and I think what's important when reading this story is that it's written from the point of view of a 17 year old boy in the 70's. For me the reminders of that era were fantastic. I don't like to divulge anything about the stories I read because I don't want to spoil anything for the reader, but what I loved most was the quality of writing. There are sentences in this book that I had to read over and over because I was simply e ...more
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Did this book change anyone else's life? 1 20 Jul 27, 2013 06:22PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: One Mississippi by Mark Childress 1 4 Jul 07, 2012 02:03PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: One Mississippi 1 4 Apr 22, 2012 10:46AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: One Mississippi 1 3 Feb 11, 2012 08:47PM  
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Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Alabama. He is the author of the novels A WORLD MADE OF FIRE, V FOR VICTOR, TENDER, CRAZY IN ALABAMA, GONE FOR GOOD, ONE MISSISSIPPI, and GEORGIA BOTTOMS. Childress has received the Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Author, Thomas Wolfe Award, the University of Alabama's Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Alabama Library Association's Writer of t ...more
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