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On the Road with Del and Louise: A Novel in Stories

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  51 reviews

Del’s a small time crook with a moral conscience—robbing convenience stores only for tuition and academic expenses. Brash and sassy Louise goes from being a holdup victim to Del’s lover and accomplice. All they want is a fresh start, an honest life, and a chance to build a family together, but fat
Paperback, First, 284 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Henery Press
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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Andrea Stoeckel
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising]

Louise, a young cashier at the local 7-11, meets Art in the strangest way. He robbed the store and then called her and ask
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it
There are two facts I can write without hesitation, as I think about this book. First, I've never been much of a fan of short stories. However, that fact leads me to the second: I liked this book. It was different for me, and I say that in a positive way. I was happy and engaged while reading, and eager to get back to the stories when I had to stop.

On the Road with Del and Louise steps outside of the bounds of just one genre, in my mind. There are elements of mystery and romance and travel and d
Caroline Bock
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A novel-in-stories, a rollicking trip that takes you on the road with the down-and-out Del and Louise, with enough twists and turns through New Mexico, California, North Dakota, and North Carolina to keep the story humming and you wondering what's next for this couple. I may have wanted it to do a bit more, cut more to the bone. There's almost a genteel niceness to the characters, a Southern politeness, a desire transform, to have second acts, and maybe I'm just too dark and pessimistic at the m ...more
Mark Baker
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, mystery
This book is a collection of six stories starring Del and Louise, a couple constantly on the move. Some of it is trying to outrun crime, and some of it is trying to start a life together. We meet them in New Mexico as Del is planning on last robbery to set them up in a life on the right side of the law. Will it work? If not, will they be able to survive without turning back to crime?

I must admit I had a hard time getting past the fact that this duo are criminals, but as they grew as characters,
Debbi Mack
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A highly-original short story collection. The characters come alive as Louise tells the story of her life with Del (short for Delwood) on the road. One of the most unique concepts for a novel I've seen recently.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of movies like Raising Arizona! I can easily picture Nick Cage playing Del. :)
Christopher Irvin
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First off - I'm a sucker for a novel in stories, so Art Taylor's debut is already sitting well with me. But I've also been fortunate to stumble into a string of books with fantastic voice over the past several weeks, and On the Road with Del & Louise is right at the top.

Louise is a wonderful character, and the way Taylor plays with the setting and tone of each story works well to show off both his range and Louise's growth as she and Del struggle through their adventure.

The back cover copy per
On the Road with Del and Louise is a funny, insightful novel through stories that shows the development of Del and Louise from robber and victim to something much more. We watch as they struggle to build a relationship, then a shared vision, and finally a trust that will carry them through a lifetime, all the while just trying to stay one step ahead of the law.
Del, the itinerant small-time criminal, has visions of the big time. Louise is a dreamer of a different kind, but sees through the holes
It's probably what happens when I fail to see what I'm signing up for - an extreme form of avoiding spoilers - but I wasn't expecting a novel in stories. Well, it is. The vignettes tell the story of a couple, Del and Louise, who, despite a whole lot of effort, end up on the other side of the law more often than not. And it is charming. I loved the two of them, and was rooting for them, even in the hard to accept chapter, The Chill. They make it worthwhile, because they have their own code of mor ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting characters. I didn't want to like them, but I just couldn't help myself. I liked the way the author used a series of stories, each set in a different town, to tell Del and Louise's story. ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The stories are fine, and this is, as billed, a novel in stories, but since it is also being touted as a mystery novel, and indeed is a finalist for a best first mystery novel Agatha award, I could not help but be disappointed. By my definition of the genre, this is not a mystery.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
(I received this book through this site's giveaway program.)

I'd call this a 3.5/5 (or 7/10), but this site doesn't do half-stars, so I'm gonna round down. There are just a few easily editable flaws in the prose that, if fixed, would've made this a 4/5 in my book, is most of it. Otherwise, I mostly enjoyed reading this book!

Taylor uses mystery/crime tropes in order to tell regular human stories, and that's a combination that I hadn't seen before. I'd say that the "regular human stories" part is a
Edythe Hamilton
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
On the Road with Del & Louise is the story of a woman while employed at a 7-11 convenience store robbed by the man whom she eventually falls in love and alongside Del begins to lead a life of crime. Their romance and Del’s criminal activities lead to living life on the lam from New Mexico to California, and from North Carolina to Las Vegas to North Dakota.

Del & Louise’s adventurous travels include mayhem in the world of real estate, sophisticated art galleries, wine tasting in Napa Valley to cha
Kathleen Moriarty
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is not often you have an opportunity to spend an afternoon at you local library discussing "How to Run a Successful Book Club" and meet not only a George Mason English Professor but also the author of this delightful book. In the publishing world of "formula" mystery novels, Art Taylor's writing is a breath of fresh air. If this book where a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, the label would read "light with a splash of witty banter, humorous mis-adventures, and a hint of human drama." Like all good ...more
Gayle B
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and the characters. This book asks the question; can you root for a protagonist that is on the other side of the law? Yep Del did all kinds of small crimes. But we got to read his thought process and he really believed it was o.k., that he had good reasons for what he did.
Louise actually tries to keep Del under wraps, de-escalate situations when needed. Except when she finds herself shoplifting, which leads to something a bit more serious. They are both so misguided and warp
Leslie Karst
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved spending time with Del and Louise, as they made their way around the country getting themselves involved in a variety of capers, mysteries, and other shenanigans. If you’re looking for a modern day road trip read, this “novel in stories,” as it’s billed, will be right up your alley—or highway, to be more exact. An entertaining and smart page-turner.
Rob Saunders
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A male author, a female protagonist, a male reader (me). There's that. Seems to be a correct portrayal of female sensibilities. The male characters were in most regards stereotyped, sadly forgettable. Tight prose but predictable plots. Less intrigue and depth than I had hoped. More lark than dark. More The Sting (1973) than The Grifters (1990). ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it

Quirky story of a couple living an edgy life: not quite legal, not quite financially secure, not quite married. Del and Louise meet when he robs the convenience store where she works. They set off on a series of misadventures, but their story has humor, grit and honesty. An entertaining and fresh read.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Taylor's debut expertly weaves a series of what could be standalone stories into a wonderful mystery novel. Clean, gorgeous writing and walk-off-the-page characters make this a book no one should miss. ...more
Marylu Sanok
Aug 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Didn't care much for the story. This was a book club choice. The characters were not interesting at all and while there were a few interesting things, I would not recommend this book. ...more
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Is it OK to say a book by a male author is “charming”? Regardless of possible gender-bias, this book is. Del and Louise are a couple brought together by crime. They met when Del was robbing the 7-11 in Eagle Nest, New Mexico, where Louise worked. They stay together during a succession of American-style self-reinventions aimed at getting a “fresh start,” reinventions that invariably wind up in one shady enterprise or another, and they ultimately . . . well, read the book and find out.
Taylor is an
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review copy provided by publisher for review.

When I first began reading On the Road with Del and Louise, I expected a lighthearted and funny collection of short stories, only loosely tied together. Art Taylor's novel is so much more than that. It's the story of a couple, Del and Louise, who meet, fall in love, face difficult times and must make hard decisions. There is quite a bit of humor mixed in with many more thoughtful moments. I genuinely loved Taylor's writing style. He makes it seem so e
Lynn Farris
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, short-story
Art Taylor is one of my favorite short story writers. An Associate Professor of English at George Mason University, he has won two Agatha Awards, a Macavity Award, and three consecutive Derringer Awards for his short fiction. Art has twice been named a finalist for the Anthony Award. So I was eager to read his first full length mystery novel, “On the Road with Del & Louise.” It is a novel in stories.

The stories center on Del, a small time crook, who robs to pay his tuition and Louise, Del’s one
Robyn Madar
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Things I liked: genre-bending (I didn't realize it was a mystery/crime novel-in-stories until later than I care to confirm), and thought a couple of the stories were really standout. Liked the changes in tone/setting throughout.
Things I wanted: wanted the characters to be developed more (though perhaps a limitation of this genre). Also didn't like being blindsided by a very unsettling story in the midst of lighter, more caper-ish ones.
Overall liked, and would recommend.
Nash Norden
I'm not sure what to expect when I first read this book, but, the title and the cover look fun, and I decided to give it a try. Del and Louise met when Del robbed the convenience store where Louise was working at, and he asked her out. All they wanted was a fresh start and an honest life. That was when their journey began. But it wasn't easy. Trouble seemed to follow them wherever they go, and forcing them to break the law again.

I really like how the story begins. The author's writing was easy t
Eleanor Jones
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely beautifully written book. I was alternately charmed, sad, gleeful, terrified, and hopeful. I suppose that means I bought into the viewpoint of Louise, one of the main characters. To her mind, her love, Del, never gets it--except he ultimately does get it, every time. Thus lies a great deal of the charm.
One thing for sure, the author gets it. Not just an adventure book but a love story and a mystery and a travel book all twisted into a remarkable story told in a wonderful arra
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
Short stories held together by the MCs Del and Louise. Del robs convenience stores to get tuition fees. Louise is a clerk at one he robs and becomes his partner. Travel with them as they search for the right place to start a new beginning. Our first stop is southern California where Del's sister betrayed them. After tricking her they head for the Napa valley. There events happened that they moved Las Vegas to be married. A holdup at the wedding chapel prevents the marriage. Leaving there we find ...more
Edythe Hamilton
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the Road with Del & Louise is the story of a woman while employed at a 7-11 convenience store robbed by the man whom she eventually falls in love and alongside Del begins to lead a life of crime. Their romance and Del’s criminal activities lead to living life on the lam from New Mexico to California, and from North Carolina to Las Vegas to North Dakota.

Del & Louise’s adventurous travels include mayhem in the world of real estate, sophisticated art galleries, wine tasting in Napa Valley to ch
Peter Ackerman
I wanted to really like "On the Road With Del & Louise" as it really had a snappy beginning. Great dialogue and a pacing that drew me right into the story, into the life of the characters and though they are skirting the law, I enjoyed the ride with them. Alas, that did not last long, and when we get passed the exciting start of this work, it then becomes a slow where it does not have to be, plodding, bore. This is probably due to the author trying to make this a series of short stories - some a ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
On the Road... is a well written, professionally edited, and unique novel. Unique because it is a series of short stories that when read in sequence form a full length novel.

Del robs the store where Louise is working and she is intrigued by his eyes (he is wearing a ski mask). He is working his way through college by being a robber. When he graduates they take off on a road trip to start new lives, hopefully crime free lives. But the straight and narrow is tough on a young couple with very littl
Criminal Element
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
There are six short stories in this novel. Each one tells a part of Del and Louise’s story and often brings in other unforgettable characters, because making the reader connect to the characters is clearly Art Taylor’s forte. Louise as narrator is a masterful stroke as we can hear how much she wants a better, stronger, different life and through all the chaos, criminal activity and occasional danger, she wants it with Del. I was absolutely enchanted by my cross country trip with Del and Louise a ...more
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Art Taylor won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Short Story for "English 398: Fiction Workshop," originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel for On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories, and his short fiction has won three additional Agatha Awards, an Anthony Award, two Macavity Awards, and three consecutive Derringer Awards. His work ...more

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