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2011/05/26

Gods in Alabama




Talk about misleading cover blurbs. To read the marketing description, you'd think this book was a white trash version of a Tyler Perry movie -- white chick leaves her redneck little Alabama town, promising God that she'll never again lie, fornicate, or return. Ten years later her black boyfriend wants to get married, but he won't do it if he can't meet her family first. So they head down south for what's sure to be a wacky encounter with wacky relatives, full of wacky culture shot. Hoo-hoo-hoo. This is sure to be a laff riot.

Yeah. Not so much. There are some laughs, but the plot turns on the reason Our Heroine left town -- mainly she killed the high school's star QB and hid the body in some kudzu. Those promises she made -- they were in return for God keeping the murder a secret. All the humor in the book comes in scenes set in the present, which play out in a manner reminiscent of My Cousin Vinny, but the flashbacks to the murder, which account for about half the content, are pure Southern Gothic, and while no one's going to mistake Jackson for Faulkner or O'Connor, the book's certainly better than Charlaine Harris.

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