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Cry Me a River

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  262 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews

A murder and its consequences in a small Southern town are the backdrop to Pearson's investigations of a fictional world where laugh-out-loud humor is interwoven with some of mankind's darkest impulses.

Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 15th 1994 by Owl Books (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ned Hayes
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit
"Cry Me a River" was the first and is still my favorite of T.R. Pearson's southern Gothic "crime" novels with his laid-back yet amusingly insightful narrator Ray Tatum.

"Cry Me a River" is one of the few books that I've laughed out loud while reading -- and the fascinating thing about the book is that the humor is tied up in the twists and turns of Pearson's masterful control of language, scene, setting, and character.

The plot of the story -- while complicated enough for most writers to be able
...more
Audrey
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book! It is a little bit of a slow read because the author writes the way people speak (and his characters are 'small town Southern' - therefore the sentences ramble a bit and you have to think a little. However I loved the language and laughed out loud at places in this story. He's a great writer and this is good story. I'm going to put some of this other books on my "to read" list and see if they are equally enjoyable.
Carol Jean
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I love Pearson's complicated prose and his wry view of life and the people living it. But this book breaks my heart as well. I've read it five or six times now, and I always forget how strangely sad it is, how the hero has damaged himself with a single act he can never forgive. Trust me, it is beautiful.
R.L.
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Cry Me a River", like much of the author's work that I've read so far, is not so much about plot as it is about characterization; story after story gets told and overlaid on the plot to the extent that sometimes you forget that there is a plot (or in a way, there are very many very short plots); all the characters have their silly foibles; and the narrator, Ray Tatum, seems to be a good-hearted soul with a keen eye who is able to render whatever plot there is and whatever foibles there are in a ...more
Cynthia
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Pearson's lawman narrator never uses five words when 57 will do. He rambles and circles and repeats himself and he's a bit charming, but mostly you want to smack him.

Themes: murder mystery, farting dogs, Polaroids.
Pat
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful...TR Pearson is an acquired taste but I acquired it with A Short History of a Small Place years ago and was delighted to visit his picaresque,droll, poignant, laugh-out -loud population again. Small town /southern life never had a better raconteur.
Christiane
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
There isn’t really all that much of a story here and the reader has to hack his/her way through the dense foliage of words to get at it.

Pearson does make mountains out of molehills at times which can get quite tedious, i.e. spreading over many, many pages a description of the looks and unsavoury habits of a stray dog or the conversion from rhyme to free verse of a local man who fancies himself a poet.

But even though he will never use two words when five will do the job (or because of it), the na
...more
Dee
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a difficult book to read, I know the author was writing it to the tone of the south but it read odd. I would have to re-read it several times to figure out what he meant. If the story itself had not been so good, I would have given up reading it at all. I feel bad at not being able to give a higher rating but just can not warrant doing so. Once you get past the writing style the story is really good giving humor in a joking way but also from everyday living. Remembering, yeah that's the ...more
Ricky Orr
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
My initial reaction that I might not enjoy this read when I first encountered the writing style, prose, and grammatical structure made use of throughout this work by author T.R. Pearson and as narrated by southern small town lawman Ray Tatum thankfully and surprisingly was erroneous and prematurely concluded. Upon taking the time to laboriously read more slowly than I typically might do and to chew, swallow, and digest each sentence and phrase thus encountered before proceeding to the next, I in ...more
Ed
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Novel - A police officer is found brutally murdered in a small southern town, his head so disfigured by bullet wounds that he can only be identified by the distinctive smell of his hair tonic. A fellow officer vows to find the killer. Accompanied by a whisky-addled sidekick who functions as a backwoods Dr. Watson, the investigator assembles clues, interviews suspects, proposes and discards theories, and in the process paints the portrait of an entire community. Laid back, rambling narration by a ...more
Vickie
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
T.R. Pearson's writing style is unique and I guess somewhat Mark Twainish. The story is of a murder in a small town and the detective that sets out to solve it. Along the way you meet the unusual and very colorful characters in the police dept. as well as the town folk. The act happens in the first few pages of the book, but the narrator trails off into many non related tales along the way. I'll definitely read another Pearson novel, but the next time maybe I'll find an audio version because it ...more
Lori
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it
I like T.R. Pearson. He's a good writer. His characters are interesting, his stories are interseting, but this one was over-the-top with the languid Southern thought patterns and language. There were two many flashback scenes that were drawn out and irrelevant to the story and served only to kick you out of the present and find yourself having difficulties wading back in through the weeds of too much descriptive narration.
Jo
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
The back of the book jacket says Pearson is a writer of sentences, long, ornate, baroque and colloquial and they are definitely long and twisty. The narrator is a bumbling, mostly inept, lawman exposing the comedic value of life which I didn't find all that funny. The voice the book is written in is definitely unique.
Renee
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it
this author had a unique style of writing in this book and at first i was unused to it, of course, and i was a bit . . . . . confused, off-put, something like that, but i quickly became used to it and grew to REALLY LIKE this book. i gave it just three stars because i save FOUR and FIVE stars for books of real profundity. this book was just a GOOD novel, not a PROFOUND book.
James
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I enjoyed this book, but adapting to the unique way of talking in the western Virginia mountains took a little work although I've spent time in that area myself. This isn't Pearson's best work, but it's worth a read. I'd say that it's better than Red Scare but not as good as Jerusalem Gap.
Brian
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most entertaining books I've ever read. Have read it 5 times now, going for 6 this summer. The prose is hilarious - regardless of the storyline...which is also excellent. Highly recommended!
Mary Alice
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
It took awhile to get used to the narrator's voice, but the character descriptions were so good I stuck it with it. So glad I did as I later found myself howling with delight over his descriptive details. I could see David Lynch making this into an awesome film.
Steve
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
A murder mystery not quite up to par for Pearson. Some of the characterizations are strong, like the narrator and the narrator's gay upstairs neghbor, but the humor in the prose is a little bit off this time. The "tragic" ending is nicely done.
Christopher
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
I really liked the style and language used in this book. Great use of humor. The plot itself was a bit of a let down. And the narrator reaches his turning point so late in the story that we don't have much opportunity to explore the effects of the changes he has undergone.
Melody
Jul 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
His meandering prose will keep you on your toes and in stitches!
Gina
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I have a great appreciation of Pearson's talent for writing in that deep South stream-of-consciousness vernacular, coupled with his brilliant yarn spinning. Not for everyone, but I'm a huge fan.
Craig
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh my! Pearson's discursive, run-on, lyrical sentences, are a feast to read. The plot is nearly beside the point. Awesome!
Judi
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: rachel, april, chloe
Recommended to Judi by: Susan L - a long time ago.
Read this one a while ago. I love Pearson's prose style. Just my cup of southern gothic sweet tea.
Tony
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
(With apologies to Sling Blade) I like the way he talks.
Thomas Schrepfer
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is another one of those books that's really good, and is really fun to read.
Cindy
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to catch the rhythm of the narrator's speech (imagining Andy Griffith telling the story helped immensely!), but once I had it, it was a hoot to read.
Kevin Tole
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A superb book written in a wonderfully laconic style and just asking to be made into a film
Joann Doughty
Jun 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was horrible!!!!!!
Greg
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely as always, Mr. Pearson.
Peter Holsapple
Sep 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
digging this book a lot. Tom's style is very much what Southern literature should be like; you can almost smell the tobacco curing.
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Thomas Reid Pearson is an American novelist. Pearson was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was a student at North Carolina State University, where he gained a B.A. and M.A. in English. He went on to teach at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina. He started work on a Ph.D. in Pennsylvania but soon returned to North Carolina, where he worked as a carpenter and a housepainter while he beg ...more
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