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The Yazoo Blues

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Overview

"Junior Ray Loveblood, one of the most outrageous and original personalities to appear in American literature in many years, returns in The Yazoo Blues, the sequel to John Pritchard's Junior Ray. Now semi-retired, Loveblood works as a security guard in one of the floating casinos that have replaced cotton as the cash crop in the Mississippi Delta." "In his spare time, Junior Ray has become obsessed with the ill-fated Yazoo Pass expedition by a Union armada up the Mississippi River in 1863. He relates dual stories, both that of a soldier slowly
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The Yazoo Blues

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Overview

"Junior Ray Loveblood, one of the most outrageous and original personalities to appear in American literature in many years, returns in The Yazoo Blues, the sequel to John Pritchard's Junior Ray. Now semi-retired, Loveblood works as a security guard in one of the floating casinos that have replaced cotton as the cash crop in the Mississippi Delta." "In his spare time, Junior Ray has become obsessed with the ill-fated Yazoo Pass expedition by a Union armada up the Mississippi River in 1863. He relates dual stories, both that of a soldier slowly driven mad by the haunting countryside, and of Loveblood's friend Mad Owens, whose search for existential love meets its greatest challenge in the arms of the stripper Money Scatters. Loveblood's conclusions are hilarious, absurd, and at times intensely revealing." Equally profane and profound, the fictional narrator of Pritchard's novel illuminates the complex stew of evolving race relations, failed economies, and corrupt politics that define much of the post-civil rights rural Deep South.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this insightful, laugh-out-loud follow-up to his debut novella, Junior Ray, Pritchard again indulges the profanely backwoods, occasionally backwards, voice of Mississippi "good ol' boy" Junior Ray Loveblood. Formerly deputy sheriff of a Mississippi delta town, Junior Ray is now an aging parking lot guard at the floating Lucky Pair-O-Dice Casino, and an amateur historian. His account of a failed Union naval expedition at Yazoo Pass on the Mississippi River also includes the story of his research expedition, with his friend Mad Owens, to the Magic Pussy Cabaret & Club "up in Meffis." Among other theories, Junior Ray speculates that peyote ruined Union Lt. Cmdr. Watson Smith's life, that love undermined Mad Owens's and that the strip club saved his own. Each interwoven story is as surprising and strong as Junior Ray himself, who conjures a surreal scene of ironclads logjammed in a bayou as colorfully as he recounts a backroom lap dance from his best friend's granddaughter Petunia. Between expletives and misanthropic digressions, Junior Ray reveals a lifetime of deep, unlikely friendships, even getting at an occasional truth in a humble manner that's-as Junior Ray might put it-"as soft as a quail's fart." (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

This follow-up to Pritchard's debut novel, Junior Ray, remains true to the formula that led to the first book's unlikely success. Blues is a wildly profane, book-long regurgitation devoid of plot but not hilarity. This time out, instead of focusing on Junior Ray's intention to kill a World War II veteran who has just escaped from a mental hospital, the narrative looks at Junior's "research" of the Yazoo Pass expedition by a Union armada up the Mississippi River in 1863. Though Junior's account contains laugh-out-loud dimestore philosophy on race, history, religion, and especially sex, the narrative curiously veers into didacticism. Perhaps in trying to impress upon the reader that Junior is more than just an ignorant "peckerwood," Pritchard takes some of the fun out of such an outrageously unique character. One wonders if placing Junior in a more conventional narrative structure, with more interaction with other characters, would provide him the layers necessary to bring him more fully to life. Lightly recommended.
—Kevin Greczek

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588382177
  • Publisher: NewSouth, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wickedly Brilliant!

    The Nashville "Scene" called The Yazoo Blues "Wickedly Brilliant." BookPage gave it a rave, Publishers Weekly awarded it a star, and word-of-mouth praise is off the charts! There hasn't been satire like this since Petronius. And we haven't seen this towering degree of dark humor since Terry Southern. The Yazoo Blues is a great follow-up to Junior Ray, and I can't wait for Pritchard's third novel to appear.

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  • Posted January 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An American Classic!

    This hot Southern writer gives his readers another "hilariously tastless" and delicious Delta stew of the profane and the sublime with bam-bam hits of blasphemy and explicit oral sex, plus a one-legged parrot named Gene La Foote.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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