Tishomingo Blues, by Elmore Leonard

I had real trouble getting through this book. I'm not sure if it was because the book was poor, or because I was only reading a small section at a time and so not getting into the flow of it. In any case, I found it an effort to finish.

The story is of a high-diver who witnesses a murder while he's on his diving board, 80 feet above the ground. He then gets involved with different criminal gangs who have some scam going, which takes place during an American civil war reconstruction.

There were some laughs, and perhaps if I'd read the book in a single sitting I'd have been more absorbed with it, but it was a bit of a let-down, and I didn't think it was nearly as good as "Pagan Babies", which was Leonard's previous novel. Still, might be worth a re-read in a couple of years time when I've got a big slot of time available...

I re-visited this book as an audiobook in October 2008. Better than I'd remembered, although it takes a while to get going, and although I've read that Leonard really rates this one, it didn't grab me that much.

I was quite impressed at how the plot was pulled in different directions by the characters. On occasion he'd introduce someone as part of a story arc and it was as if he then lost control of them as they started bringing in their own narrative baggage: you could imagine Leonard saying "hey, get back in line - this is my story, not yours". But everything comes together in the end.

Completed : 12-Aug-2003

Completed : 23-Oct-2008 (audiobook)

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