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Rebel Yell: A Novel
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Rebel Yell: A Novel

2.95  ·  Rating details ·  82 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In this gutsy novel from the bestselling author of The Wind Done Gone, a woman delves into her own past and her deceased ex-husband's private secrets to make sense of his unlikely transformation into a powerful black neo-con, and his even more unlikely end-at the Rebel Yell, a dinner theater of Confederate nostalgia. Rebel Yell is a novel of resilient love, political intri ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 31st 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published July 1st 2009)
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Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military wives, historians, the talented tenth.
Wow. It is really hard for me to tell all the things I have learned from this book after just finishing less than 4 minutes ago. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, mysteries solved and unsolved in this wonderful work of art by Ms. Randall that all I can say is please go pick up a copy and indulge in it.

It is not an easy read. There are many characters and references that you will need to keep track of, but it is all worth it in the end.

I loved living Abel and Hope's lives as the aut
Kelley Anne
I received this book as part of a first-reads giveaway. I really feel that if you receive a book in a giveaway, it's your job to read the book and write a review. If it wasn't for that, I would probably never have made it past the first 50 pages. As it was, I kept trying and trying to get through this book, and finally gave up about 175 pages in. For those of you who know me, it's extremely rare for me to not finish a book!

Part of the hard part for me was the culture and lifestyle that was descr
Beautiful prose wrapped around an old story with a New Jack twist ... The Tragic Mulatto turned American spy. Although I love Randall's prose, this book rambled to the point of being painful. At the end, I was just determined to finish. If it had been edited "mo' betta," it might have made for a more enjoyable read.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Judy by:
Alice Randall is an African American writer who has written two previous novels as well as many hit country songs. She lives in Nashville, where she teaches at Vanderbilt University. In other words, she has been living a full and interesting life.

I loved reading Rebel Yell. The writing is excellent, the characters are alive and leap off the page. Her theme is the many scars left on American people of color because of slavery, racism and their fight for freedom but her story is in no way a retell
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am having a very hard time getting through this book. I was given the book by the publisher through a contest on Goodreads. I am going to read the complete book, but I am hoping that it gets better. I am ready to give my review on this free givaway from Goodreads. It is not worth the time it takes to read it. It is very jumbled up and does not follow a straight storyline. As you are reading it, you can easily forget what the story is about. Also, there is a book within a book, which I still ha ...more
Feb 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm, what to say? I didn't care for the author's style; many times I felt she could've been better edited, or encouraged to explain more in the story. Overall I didn't feel the story really solved anything about what Hope knew of Abel's life, and it left more questions than anything else.

However, I did enjoy looking into the lives of black Americans who lived during the Civil Rights Movement. That was very interesting, and I think set an excellent backdrop to the story.

I'm not sure I'd read anot
Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book was ok but it went off an a tangent often and it lost me a few times. There was a spy understory that I'm not sure you ever got the full story on. There was a spy and the author just called him S_____ and I never figured out who he was. I think they told you in the last few pages but it didn't seem to add anything to the story that I saw. The book discussed issues that black people had to deal with in the South and that was interesting but after awhile it felt like we kept talking abou ...more
Diann Blakely
A natural successor is to Michael Thomas's *Man Gone Down* is *Rebel Yell*, by Nashville’s Alice Randall, whose first novel, *The Wind Done Gone*, a parody of the Margaret Mitchell classic, landed Randall in court and in the pages of *People* magazine. With *Rebel Yell*, Randall jolts us into more contemporary territory, beginnning with Birmingham’s 16th St. Baptist Church bombings, whose foment and repercussions were documented with furious yet restrained precision by Spike Lee in *Four Little ...more
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I have to admit, I didn't really enjoy this book. It was about the life of Abel Jones, Jr. (or III, that was actually never clarified to me at least). He was an African-American civil rights attorney, married an African-American woman and then at some point had some sort of life crisis and became obsessed with being conservative and considered "white," he marries a white woman and works for a conservative government. Though, throughout the book it references he has been some sort of spy througho ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aurali by: goodreads giveaway
Shelves: first-reads
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.
1. The flashback portions when Abel was a child were interesting and telling about the man he was to become.
2. The country music loving, hard drinking, biracial protagonist was an interesting viewpoint.
1. The biggest weakness was the obtuse nature of much of the writing. I felt like writing to the author and saying "just spit it out already". For example, the sections discussing Barack Obama - just say his damn name! T
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this novel to be an engaging and complicated (with enough characters to populate a Dickens novel) personal tale addressing the impact of history (specifically Black experience in the United States from the Civil Rights era to the present) on the formation of the self. Though I found sections to be a bit negative (does the suggestion that Obama provides a way forward specifically because he's outside this history seem depressing?), the novel's treatment of terror is particularly effective ...more
Sep 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
Rebel Yell opens with Abel Jones Jr. passing away after eating at the Rebel Yell restaurant. After his funeral his first wife Hope reexamines their life together and puts together the pieces to discover the true Abel that she never knew. Both Abel and Hope grapple with issues of race and racial identity and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. I also liked how the author weaved real historical events throughout. However, some parts of the book were too cryptic for me and I felt like I wasn ...more
Rebel Yell: A Novel is the first book I've read by Alice Randall that did not take as its jumping off point another work of fiction. I applaud Ms. Randall for striking out on her own, but I found myself adrift in her prose without another author's work to ground me. While I was lost amidst her plot and her characters, I found her message far too heavy-handed. I could have done with more clarity in the former, and more subtlety in the latter.
Paulette Newman
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Longing To Be Someone Else

Rebel Yell is a novel of self loathing and self discovery. How many times have people longed to be another person, and turn their back on their true self? I think that Hope was the strongest person in the book. She could have been the "tragic mulatto", but she defied those odds. Her ex-husband was an enigma who desired acceptance, but couldn't accept himself.
Helen Southall
Written by an African-American female describing the life of her ex-husband following his death. The husband’s father was a civil rights leaders in the 1960’s – the young boy grew up attending rallies, etc with his father. The story is told through flashbacks of his work with his father and how it shaped his future. The book treats the conflicting issues of race, culture, geography, wealth vs poverty, and personal integrity vs ambition. While scholarly-written, it was a little ponderous.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
After finishing the book I'm still confused about some key characters and story line. Maybe Randall intends to be ambiguous, but I found it hard to follow. However, there were some flashbacks in the novel that were vivid and memorable. I wanted more pieces of Abel's life story, but was left with too many holes. If I could give half stars, I would give this book two and a half.
Pamela Larson
Oct 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't really add this to my READ shelf because I could NOT get into this book. I tried several times and even later heard the author talk about it. It is very, very unusual for me to not "hang" with a book until the end no matter how challenging or poorly written it is. Unfortunately, this book was I simply did not want to invest any more time in.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
above my weight class...while some of the vignettes were quite compelling, I was unable to piece the shattered narrative into a satisfying whole. "Literary" does not have to be synonymous with painful to read.
Oct 26, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is a decent book somewhere in here. However, the passive tone to the narration sucks any urgency from the story. The peripheral characters are interesting and the central character is largely unlikeable. It was a quick read so I kept thinking that it would get better. It didn't.
Jul 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was neat to be taken into an American subculture and hierarchy that I never really thought about. Also, her writing is generally lovely, but the subplots (and main plot!) were rather difficult to keep straight.
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting into this book. Right when I starting to understand who everyone was and what was going on there was a story shift. I don't feel like the characters were well developed and I had no desire to get to know them better.
Started off good but in the end the writing style turned out to be a but to much for me.
Aug 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book from a goodreads giveaway. Once it arrives I will read & review it. :)

Edit: Boring read! Had it not been given to me for free I would have been very disappointed.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Did not like this book. The only reason it got one star is because the premise was a good one, but the way in which it was delivered was in poor taste.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One word. Brilliant.
so i won this book through goodreads and i must say i am enjoying this book already. i am only a few pages in but can't wait to read more when i get out fo work
I Be Reading
Mar 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This book was extremely disappointing. The concept was incredibly awesome and I was excited to read it, but the writing was absolutely terrible. It wasn't even worth finishing.
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insights into understanding African Amerian perspectives.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2013
Holly Iraheta
rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2015
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Alice Randall (born Detroit, Michigan) is an American author and songwriter. Randall grew up in Washington, D.C.. She attended Harvard University, where she earned an honors degree in English and American literature, before moving to Nashville in 1983 to become a country songwriter. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is married to attorney David Ewing.

Randall is the first African Amer
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