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One Mississippi

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,953 ratings  ·  489 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 f

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 19th 2007 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2006)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,953 ratings  ·  489 reviews

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Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-fiction

Blurb from the book:
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 finds fellow outsider Tim Cousins. The two become inseparable, sharing a fascination with ridicule, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and Arnita Beecham, the most bewitching girl at Minor High. But soon things go terribly wrong. The friends commit a small crime that grows larger and larger, and threatens
2.5 stars

"I knew better than anybody how a harmless little lie could turn into a Lie, and take over your life."

This book was full of these seemingly harmless ‘little’ lies and secrets… lots of secrets. It takes place in Mississippi at the time of desegregation in the schools. Many 1970s references abound in this one, which many readers may appreciate - I was a bit too young during that era to appreciate some of these; rather, I was a teen of the 80s. It’s also a coming of age story about a guy n
Diane Barnes
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The whole time I was reading this book, some of the details just weren't adding up for me, but then I kept reminding myself that I don't know everything, and plus, the setting of the story was 1973. That's 45 YEARS AGO, people! 45 YEARS! Two years after I graduated from high school myself. A different world, when teen-agers were still saying gosh, worrying about their first kiss, trying to figure out how to get places because they didn't have their own car. Schools were slowly being desegragated ...more
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Patricia Williams
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
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
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Daniel Musgrave and his eccentric family move from the North to Mississippi in high school he soon finds another outsider Tim Cousins to befriend. With a " you only need one friend to survive high school" theme the two become inseparable and then almost unintentionally commit a crime that becomes larger than life in their small town.
I love it when I enjoy a book more than I expect. This coming of age tale (which reminded me of something John Irving might write) along with being humorous ta
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Tom Mathews
I found this coming-of-age tale of a friendship of two high school misfits entertaining and engaging although some of the people who I read this with found that it didn’t ring true to them. That could be because they were raised in the South during the 1970s and saw few similarities between the novel and their own experiences growing up. It could also be that the author, Mark Childress, has a habit of injecting a high degree of absurdity into his novels. (Readers of Crazy in Alabama will know wh ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
After some consideration, I have lowered my rating to 1-star. The more I think about this book, the less I like it. I suppose for me it was not "okay", so I am revising accordingly.

This book was a big disappointment to me. For the first 3/4 of the book, I found the plot ludicrous. I attended high school in the 60s in the South. The events portrayed in this book could never have happened in my school at that time nor in any school in my state.

In last 1/4 of the book, there was improve
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a novel about a teenage boy coming of age in Mississippi with a quirky family trying to hold their heads above water, a wise-cracking friend and a multitude of decisions that build to several unexpected outcomes. At some point, I felt like I was on a runaway train careening down a mountain pass bound to certain doom.

The author Mark Childress is a master storyteller. At first he takes his time building unforgettable characters and putting all the other elements in place. This may sound b
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
**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
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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.
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it
A solid 3.5 stars….takes place in the 70's in Mississippi, new boy in town becomes friends with another boy….story dealt with racism, coming of age, friendships, relationships….I liked the references to things that were going on at that time period…I thought it was going to be a "lighter" story than it was, but it did have some teen age humor & it was a pretty sad book….
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nancy H
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I could not put this book down, especially as the end approached and I had to find out what happened. This is a very intriguing story of people who get involved in things they don't quite understand and can't control, and they make decisions that are not the best, with ramifications that will follow them the rest of their lives. There are those who try their hardest to be good friends, and those who don't know what good friends are, but who are destructive forces that change everyone around them ...more
Jason Robinson
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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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
“Mom was a flower of the south” 0 likes
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