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Give Us a Kiss: A Country Noir Paperback – 19 Dec 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press (19 Dec. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1874061645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1874061649
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A criminal novel set in Kansas.

From the Back Cover

'I was on the drift from California to someplace that didn't have any bench warrants out on me ...'

Doyle Redmond is on the drift from a failed marriage and a floundering life, moving in an easterly direction in the Volvo he stole from his soon-to-be-ex-wife, heading for home: the red and rocky soil of the Ozarks where Redmonds have been farming and fighting since just after the Civil War.

'... a wild story of crime and passion.' Pinckney Benedict

'Woodrell alternates between reaming the language with a dry corncob and practising a particularly skilful kind of literary cabinetwork. Tongue in cheek (and in most other orifices) he celebrates blood kin, home country, and hot sex in this rich, funky, head-shakingly original novel. Woodrell is a ladystinger of a writer.' E.Annie Proulx

'One of the greatest and most original writers of recent years.' Select

'I loved it. Woodrell is a marvellous writer.' Roddy Doyle

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By conjunction TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read the Bayou Trilogy, three novels set in Louisiana, and this and two others set in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, which is where Woodrell comes from, and about which territory he mostly now writes. This is the first of the Ozark books, and it combines the gritty country style of the later books with the good humour of the earlier Bayou novels. Later his writing seems to get bleaker, although also kind of wilder. Any which way they're all good, though if I'm honest I prefer the folky good humour like you get in this crazy story of family honour.

I've read a number of American thriller writers including Ellroy, Burke, Chandler, but along with Walter Mosley this guy is my favourite.
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Format: Paperback
Daniel Woodrell has done it again - a gripping tale of small-time dope growers and good ol' boys in the Ozarks region of the US. The main character, a writer, goes back to where he feels most at ease - his hometown, where the women are horny and the living is easy, and everyone seems to have a not-so-legal sideline to make ends meet.
I honestly can't find a thing wrong with this novel - characters so well written you feel you know them, along with brilliant dialogue to match, and a perfect sense of place. Better than the over-rated Elmore Leonard, better than a Tarantino film. I can't give a higher recommendation than this - in a world of second-rate "crime thillers" that often don't thrill, this one stands out.
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Format: Paperback
I have to up the star rating average of this magnificent novel and counteract the downgrading it has received from Mr Fraser in his review. At present Daniel Woodrell is one the great unsung voices in American literature. Perhaps the film adaptation of his best novel Winter's Bone will change this? But Woodrell has been here before with Ride With the Devil, Ang Lee's wonderful but invisible adaptation of Woe to Live On. Give Us a Kiss is not the absolute best of Woodrell but it is my personal favourite. It's a tale of an errant writer drawn back to his outlaw family in the Ozark Mountains. The hero is Doyle Redmond (a sort of hillbilly forerunner of Calinfornication's Hank Moody). Doyle finds a stoner Eden of sorts with his brother, his brother's partner and her daughter. He helps them prepare a dope crop, pursues the daughter, messes around in mountain lakes and graveyards and ruminates on the nature of family ties, blood feuds, and great writing born of experience. Most of the novel comes off as a sort of witty, bawdy, middle aged hedonist's spring break. But it is a deceptively rambling narrative. The baggy nature of the story telling is deliberate, reflecting the hero's misplaced sense of his own security in his new found Eden. In reality he has walked in on the latest chapter in a long and vicious generational blood feud. As the story progresses hostile forces that have hung literally and figuratively around the periphery of his Ozark refuge begin to show their heads. By the time the novel finishes Doyle is neck deep in blood and darkness.

Woodrell easily fulfils the basic criterion of any great crime writer. His Dialogue is crisp. His characters are colourful and believable. His sense of place is vivid.
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