One Mississippi

I've been - for whatever reason - denying myself  Mark Childress's book One Mississippi and it was like falling out of yogurt into Dairy Queen Chocolate Cherry Cheesequake Blizzards.  I don't even care how my thighs look.

I love this guy because he writes everything in a nice flow from quiet moments to facepalm to being cracked on the head with an I-beam. There's so much crazy sh*t that is just written along without any fanfare that you're caught up in it without stopping to go "man, that is some crazy sh*t."  Seriously, this book goes waaay beyond racial issues in the 70's. 

I'm not going to write a mile, because I want you to put your time into reading the damn book and not my yammerings.  But I am rather fond of myself and so I shall take time to write a bit at least.

Here's the quick n' dirty version:

Minor, Mississippi in 1973.

Daniel Musgrove's father is a travelling salesman who makes Red Forman look like a peach.  He drags the family from Indiana to Mississippi, where their drive is held up by an accident.  An accident involving the contents of their entire moving van and a drunk driver and then a lot of flames.

Daniel starts school at Minor High (anybody else see a 70's joke in there?), where he meets Tim Cousins, and where the new prom queen, Arnita Beecham,  is black, which by today's standards would be roughly equivalent to a kamikaze group stopping by a flea market.

After the prom, Arnita runs her bike into the back of a car and winds up in the hospital in a coma.  When she comes out, she calls herself Linda and is perplexed as to why nobody else can see she is a white girl.

Some other odd ingredients:

  • One particularly snazzy musical about the life of Jesus, including numbers such as "Hey Mary, Guess What"  and "Joseph, You've Got To Believe Me"

  • Cher

Other stuff I want you to know:

Mark Childress wrote Crazy In Alabama in '94 about well, crazy people in 1960's Alabama.  Key ingredients were civil rights issues and one particularly memorable head in a hatbox.  It was released as a movie with Melanie Griffith in '99 if you just want to ignore my warning about movies based on good books.

No comments: