Border Music

( 5 )

Overview

Most people don't run out the back door of a place called the Rainbow Bar in Dillon, Minnesota, with someone they don't even know, get in a pickup truck, drive all day, and end up without any clothes on in a motel room. But that's what Texas Jack Carmine did with Linda Lobo. It was the kind of thing Jack was famous for doing. The people who knew Texas Jack Carmine - such as songwriter Bobby McGregor and Jack's uncle Vaughn Rhomer back in Iowa - called him God's only freeborn soul, rider of the summer roads, ...

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Overview

Most people don't run out the back door of a place called the Rainbow Bar in Dillon, Minnesota, with someone they don't even know, get in a pickup truck, drive all day, and end up without any clothes on in a motel room. But that's what Texas Jack Carmine did with Linda Lobo. It was the kind of thing Jack was famous for doing. The people who knew Texas Jack Carmine - such as songwriter Bobby McGregor and Jack's uncle Vaughn Rhomer back in Iowa - called him God's only freeborn soul, rider of the summer roads, traveler of the far places. Where he was headed with dark-haired, long-legged Linda was not just back to his one-horse Texas ranch. It was somewhere he had never been: face to face with his own heart and the wild, strange things that live there. Border Music is the story of Jack and Linda, of long, hot days on a high desert ranch, nights wild with loving beneath West Texas skies, and times when their relationship tears them both apart. It's about Vietnam and the Midwest, and Vaughn Rhomer, an old man who,tries in his own fumbling way to be free. It's about men and women who work hard and care intensely, about romance and the passion that you only find once...and you never stop wanting to find again.

From the celebrated author of the phenomenal bestsellers The Bridges of Madison County, Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend, and Old Songs in a New Cafe comes a moving, poignant, unforgettable novel of love and life. Border Music is the tale of Texas Jack Carmine, a man who inspires others to take risks and reach beyond the borders of their lives--while his own life is chained to the past and a tragedy he cannot overcome.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The lead sentence of Waller's potential bestseller is a first line that may turn up in quizzes, though not of the literary variety. ``When this nameless piece a' shit tore off Linda Lobo's G-string instead of sticking money in it... Texas Jack Carmine went crazy-over-the-edge....'' But make no mistake about it: while Texas Jack Carmine is neither as well-educated nor as well-spoken as Robert Kincaid or Michael Tillman, the protagonists of Waller's previous novels, he is equally intelligent, sensitive and romantic under the facade of his raunchy, beer-guzzling persona. With a twang in his voice matched by the low-down grit of Waller's prose, Jack is a restless man who lives ``sweet and free... a rider of summer roads, traveler of far places.'' After he impulsively rescues long-legged, ``high-assed'' Linda from her job in a Minnesota bar, he discovers that she is the woman of his dreams. Jack takes Linda home to his one-horse ranch in Texas where they enjoy an idyllic year, doomed to end, however, as readers realize immediately, since Waller applies foreshadowing with a sledgehammer touch. Jack's ``spells,'' flashbacks to the killing he did in Vietnam, are the reason that the lovers eventually part. But Jack assumes legendary proportions in the lives of everyone whose path he crosses; all eventually realize that "`he set us free... he loved us in a special way and in doin' so taught us to think better of ourselves.'' A silly subplot concerns Jack's disillusioned uncle Vaughn Rhomer, a produce manager in a Iowa supermarket, who secretly nurtures his own romantic dreams and adventures, and finally realizes that Jack has ``shown him the way.'' Waller is dangerously self-indulgent here; his style has become a shtick, and this story is all atmosphere and rugged sentiment and no action. His fans will probably buy it, but there's no magic in this tale. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Although Waller's popularity may be on the wane-his Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend has sold "only" two million copies, compared with five million for The Bridges of Madison County-don't dismiss the metaphor-mangling romance writer as a flash in the pan. His latest tells of two star-crossed lovers who dare to confront their dark pasts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446518581
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/7/2004
  • Series: Romance Series
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 895,064
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It was interesting, funny and sometimes quite depressing. It too

    It was interesting, funny and sometimes quite depressing. It took me quite a while to get into reading, because I was really busy the past month, but when I started reading it was very fluent and nice going. This book makes you think about your life, what do you want to do with it or what did you do wrong. What could have been if you would be just a little bit more of a free spirit and spontaneous, adventurous, if you threw away all your plans for the future, all those secure decisions and just go on the road, take one step at the time and not think about where're you headed.
    There are two stories completeing each other in this book. One is about a man and a woman who met at the Rainbow bar where she worked as a dancer, they went on the road together, picked up her little daughter and they all lived at his ranch. I don't want to give up too many details, but lets just say that Jack Carmine had a lot of things hunting him from the past and Linda always wondered if she could do more with her life and not just settle for what she has. The other story is about Vince, his wife died awhile back and he was always the predictable, caring, family man. He was responsible. But he always dreamed of traveling and discovering, sensing adventure on his own skin and ne day he decides to do it. It's a lot of talk about country music in this book, and from time to time it was hard for me to understand the words, because some of them are outside my vocabulary range (I'm not from an English speaking country). Anyway, 3 stars for this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is a desperado love story intertwined with Waller's beautiful prose and unorthodox philosophy, some of which is R rated. Enough good thoughts to merit a reading. Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2007

    My Favorite Book

    This story hits a little too close to home, but then shouldn't a good book make you uncomfortable? At the same time that Jack is trapped by his past we see him desperately hanging onto his life of freedom. I see him echoed in the eyes of cowboys, loggers, bikers, and truck drivers who struggle to adapt to the world as it is today, and also struggle with the disappearance of the lives and livelyhoods they know. Everytime I read this book it effects me more. Make no mistake-- the characters are raw, the story tragic, and the ending unsettling, but for me those are what makes this story so real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2004

    BEYOND DISCRIPTION *****

    The few novels by Robert Waller are sadly unknown by most -- other than Bridges of Madison County. Everything else he has done is phenominal -- but don't read him unless you like reality and life in the real world. NO other writer has his insight -- his books are WELL worth looking for!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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