Like a blues riff, the story of Dennis Lenahan, stunt high diver, improvises in ways unexpected and totally satisfying. Leonard throws a mixed bunch of "good" and bad guys together and lets them talk (or shoot) their way through the Tishomingo Lodge and Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. As always, the dialogue and action are hilarious, believable, and strange. And nobody does it better. Paul Rudd's no-nonsense performance captures the cadences of the good old boys and the menace of a sometimes blundering, sometimes dangerous Dixie Mafiosi. Rudd's narration highlights Leonard's ironic look at human nature, culminating in the ultimate absurdity of those reenactments of battles so popular with tourists and locals alike.
Turns out there was a second witness, Robert Taylor from Detroit, who carries a picture of his great-granddaddy's lynching along with a gun in a briefcase and listens to Delta blues while cruising the back roads of Mississippi in his black Jaguar. Robert works for a man from up north who has come to play General Grant in a Civil War battle reenactment; and like Dennis, Robert has a death-defying act of his own: he's sleeping with his boss's wife.
Adding further intrigue are the women. Vernice lures Dennis with the whitest thighs he's ever seen. Diane comes to do a story on Dennis and wants to take him to Memphis. And still another comes along to give Dennis the surprise of his life. But it's the scams Robert Taylor plays that move the action through all kinds of unexpected twists and turns.
Tishomingo Blues rings true with the best-selling author's dead-on dialogue, capturing the flavor and rhythms of the South, and finds him plotting at his unpredictable best.
©2002 Elmore Leonard, Inc.; (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"A Leonard novel is an event, and for good reason. Over the past 40 years, this writer has evolved into the undisputed champ of the American crime novel, and he hasn't lost a step....Prime Leonard, prime reading." (Publishers Weekly)
"Frank Muller gives a virtuoso performance in bringing this large and varied cast to life....This is a Muller performance to savor." (AudioFile)
"Pure entertainment." (Booklist)
"Pure reading pleasure." (Playboy)
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