Delta Blues

Delta Blues

4.0 3
by Carolyn Haines
     
 

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This collection of short fiction captures both the art of the tale and the power of the blues, and is a nod at the human condition that often inspires musicians to write and sing the blues. These stories tell about bad men and bad women who sometimes do good-or sometimes follow their true nature. Some of these characters know all about the dangers of making a

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Overview

This collection of short fiction captures both the art of the tale and the power of the blues, and is a nod at the human condition that often inspires musicians to write and sing the blues. These stories tell about bad men and bad women who sometimes do good-or sometimes follow their true nature. Some of these characters know all about the dangers of making a bargain with the devil. And some know the power of redemption. These are characters who would not be out of place in a Honeyboy Edwards tune, and would be right at home alongside the desolate wail of Clarksdale, Mississippi, native Son House.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This proficient collection of 19 short stories is compiled along the lines of Akashic Books' noir anthologies set in a wide range of cities such as Washington, DC, Miami, Los Angeles, London, and New Orleans. The stories here take place in the Mississippi Delta, and directly or peripherally they all involve the blues. Some contributing authors will be familiar to crime aficionados: John Grisham's "Fetching Franklin" is the best, simplest, and most direct story in the collection, and there are solid tales by James Lee Burke and Ace Atkins. Others will be pleasant surprises: set during the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi, Tom Franklin and Beth Henley's "What His Hands Had Been Waiting For" revolves around a vigilante group that stumbles upon some starving homesteaders in a rundown house. What happens is too good to give away, but it's lovely. As in any compilation like this, some stories are better than others, but the overall quality is high. The Delta seems to evoke stories of wild men and bitter women, hungry blues singers, and a sneaky Devil. It's all quite fun. VERDICT This pleasing collection of crime noir should attract fans of the genre. [One dollar from the sale of each book will be donated to actor Morgan Freeman's Rock River Foundation to address literacy issues in the Mississippi Delta.—Ed.]—David Keymer, Modesto, CA
Publishers Weekly
The blues are at home anywhere, but the epicenter is Clarksdale, Miss., the setting for at least a third of the 19 original stories in this virtuoso crime anthology. Despite the common theme, this diverse volume ranges from Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly's “What His Hands Had Been Waiting For,” a memorably redemptive story set during the 1927 flood of the Mississippi, to John Grisham's long, haunting “Fetching Raymond,” in which members of a dysfunctional family trek to notorious Parchman Farm, the state penitentiary. James Lee Burke's “Big Midnight Special” is a powerful story about a Parchman Farm inmate driven too far. Several tales play off the legendary crossroads meeting of the devil and Robert Johnson, including Michael Lister's “Death at the Crossroads,” Charlaine Harris's “Crossroads Bargain,” and Daniel Martine's “Kidd Diamond.” Other contributors include Les Standiford, Ace Atkins, Nathan Singer, Dean James, and Haines. (May)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935562061
Publisher:
F+W Media
Publication date:
05/01/2010
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
8.62(w) x 5.66(h) x 1.14(d)

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Delta Blues 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one amazing anthology packed with crime and blues, mingled together. Morgan Freeman wrote such an accurate, descript foreword and Carolyn Haines did an amazing job serving as editor to this collection of short stories. This book sells itself, truly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago