Customer Reviews for

Tishomingo Blues

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
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(17)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The View from Eighty Feet Up!

Tishomingo Blues is a tour de force for Mr. Elmore Leonard. All of the best elements that make his novels so powerful, interesting, and engrossing come together successfully here. Unlike many crime novels where the criminals are all uninteresting, disgusting, or worse...
Tishomingo Blues is a tour de force for Mr. Elmore Leonard. All of the best elements that make his novels so powerful, interesting, and engrossing come together successfully here. Unlike many crime novels where the criminals are all uninteresting, disgusting, or worse, Mr. Leonard has peopled Tishomingo Blues with one of the most original criminals I have ever read about in Robert Taylor. As the primary narrator, you will be fascinated to follow the career of Dennis Lenahan, world champion high diver, who lives to leap faultlessly (or it¿s worth a trip to the hospital) into a tank that¿s only nine feet deep from a head height of 80 feet. Now, does the pool like a half-dollar . . . or like a tea cup from that height? You¿ll have to decide for yourself after reading the novel. Character development is quite extensive in this book, both in terms of the number of characters and how much you learn about them. The plot is unusually well designed so that interactions among the well-developed characters allow you to dive much deeper into understanding all of the characters. As usual, Mr. Leonard¿s dialogue is true to the ear, close to life, and delightfully spare. Even coarse words don¿t seem coarse in the hands of his master. In Mr. Leonard¿s best books, there¿s a comic element that points out the human comedy in ways you haven¿t thought about before. Here that humor is combined with a delightfully complicated plot that unfolds endlessly in front of you so that you don¿t quite know what will happen next. And the surprises are usually quite rewarding in terms of stimulating your funny bone, your sense of irony, and your imagination. As I read this book, I thought a lot about accidental events in my life that had an enormous role in developing my interests and skills. Where have you run into irresistible opportunities? Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise

posted by Anonymous on January 31, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

My first encounter with Elmore the Great

I feel like a traitor for giving Elmore Leonard a mere three stars. He has a tremendous reputation, and I was a bit intimidated when I started to read this book. It was my first encounter with Leonard, and I was, alas, quite disappointed. It's not a massive novel, bu...
I feel like a traitor for giving Elmore Leonard a mere three stars. He has a tremendous reputation, and I was a bit intimidated when I started to read this book. It was my first encounter with Leonard, and I was, alas, quite disappointed. It's not a massive novel, but I had the impression that it was populated by half the cast of a War and Peace. The characters confused me. I was forever leafing backward, trying to find out who was who. I loved the offbeat plot (the 'hero'(?) is a high diver of all things), but that same 'hero,' along with so many other characters, just don't jump off the page as well defined. Robert Taylor, the street-smart Detroiter, plays U.S. Grant in a Civil War reenactment, and that bit of casting is, again, a slice of delicious wackiness. The dialogue was good, but not great (Taylor's 'street' talk often didn't ring 'true' to me). Dennis, the high diver, just didn't seem to be a 'round' character in the E.M. Forster sense. Nor, ln fact, did anyone else. Dennis seems dim and confused most of the time (is that the point?) The conclusion of the story was challenging to say the least. It became a 'who's who' and 'where's who'? I couldn't keep track of things. All in all, too bad, really, because Leonard is most certainly an assured writer. I was simply not engrossed in the book. I read in bed every night, and I'm usually looking forward to continuing a story. Not so with this one. It didn't 'capture' me. Having said all this, I know I'm well in the minority stable. Leonard is celebrated everywhere. In Tishomingo, I could many flashes of the reasons why, but the book as a whole just didn't do it for me. Complicated plotting is one thing, obfuscating plotting is another. I'm now working on Leonard's The Hot Kid, and I find myself much more involved in the story. Who can explain a reader's negative reaction to a book that's loved by the masses? One of life's little mysteries.

posted by Anonymous on October 21, 2006

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    No Road Dogs Here

    Having read Road Dogs before this book, I know how good Leonard can be. This book isn't close. Some interesting characters and dialogue, but the plot is weak, and all the civil war enactment just a boring distraction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2006

    My first encounter with Elmore the Great

    I feel like a traitor for giving Elmore Leonard a mere three stars. He has a tremendous reputation, and I was a bit intimidated when I started to read this book. It was my first encounter with Leonard, and I was, alas, quite disappointed. It's not a massive novel, but I had the impression that it was populated by half the cast of a War and Peace. The characters confused me. I was forever leafing backward, trying to find out who was who. I loved the offbeat plot (the 'hero'(?) is a high diver of all things), but that same 'hero,' along with so many other characters, just don't jump off the page as well defined. Robert Taylor, the street-smart Detroiter, plays U.S. Grant in a Civil War reenactment, and that bit of casting is, again, a slice of delicious wackiness. The dialogue was good, but not great (Taylor's 'street' talk often didn't ring 'true' to me). Dennis, the high diver, just didn't seem to be a 'round' character in the E.M. Forster sense. Nor, ln fact, did anyone else. Dennis seems dim and confused most of the time (is that the point?) The conclusion of the story was challenging to say the least. It became a 'who's who' and 'where's who'? I couldn't keep track of things. All in all, too bad, really, because Leonard is most certainly an assured writer. I was simply not engrossed in the book. I read in bed every night, and I'm usually looking forward to continuing a story. Not so with this one. It didn't 'capture' me. Having said all this, I know I'm well in the minority stable. Leonard is celebrated everywhere. In Tishomingo, I could many flashes of the reasons why, but the book as a whole just didn't do it for me. Complicated plotting is one thing, obfuscating plotting is another. I'm now working on Leonard's The Hot Kid, and I find myself much more involved in the story. Who can explain a reader's negative reaction to a book that's loved by the masses? One of life's little mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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