The Yazoo Blues

The Yazoo Blues

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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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 254 pages
  • 142.24 x 218.44 x 27.94mm | 430.91g
  • NewSouth Books
  • Montgomery, Albania
  • English
  • Maps
  • 1588382176
  • 9781588382177

Review quote

"Yazoo Blues is a hoot from start to finish. What a good time you give your readers! Of course it's funnier than throwing an egg into an electric fan. I laughed on every delicious page. This is what Twain would write if he were alive today and if he had your vision of a Delta rich in history and anti-history. He would love your unreliable narrator (a rascal and a liar) with a pure-dee passion. The book redefines the art of artful digression--it reminds me of Tristram Shandy, the original shaggy dog story, in that respect. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed myself. Yazoo Blues is one long pitch-perfect, profane prose poem. And that's only the p's." --Corey Mesler, author of We Are Billion Year Old Carbon: A 60's Narrative "In the sometimes profanely profound but always profoundly profane Junior Ray Loveblood, John Pritchard has given the Delta the kind of thorough and insightful historian it has needed for so long. If this book doesn't make you laugh a lot and maybe think at least a little, I'm guessing you're not from around here." --James C. Cobb, author of Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity "Darkly comic, profound and original, The Yazoo Blues stakes out Pritchard's territory on the rough side of Southern Literature." --William Gay, author of Twilight: A Novel "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. 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."" --Publishers Weekly starred review "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." --Kevin Greczek, Library Journal "[Yazoo Blues] is a sequel to the well-received Junior Ray but can be read with complete enjoyment and comprehension with no knowledge of that first book. It continues the story of Junior Ray but cuts deeper into Southern myth than the first book and is a great cockeyed, eccentric history lesson to boot. John writes a prose that is as rich in obscenity as it is elegantly constructed. And, here's the real kicker, on every page of this book there are laughs, bug belly laughs, laughs that'll shake the book out of your hand." --Corey Mesler "Imagine entertainer George Carlin as poor white trash growing up in a tarpaper shotgun on a turnrow. He spends his life as a Mississippi Delta deputy, intelligent but uneducated. Turn him loose with a tape recorder at mid-file and you've got a Junior Ray Loveblood, the centerpiece of John Pritchard's new fiction Yazoo Blues. Stay away from Yazoo Blues if if you find language and scenarios from the dark side of the Delta offensive. Enter John Pritchard's unforgettable world with an open mind and you'll be delighted." --Mary Dayle McCormick, Delta Magazine "John Pritchard has followed his first novel Junior Ray (2005) with the further adventures of his eponymous hero in The Yazoo Blues ... Pritchard, a college English teacher, belongs to the non-genteel branch of southern letters, with the profanity factor unusually high. The shock of the taboo words is softened by respelling them in a rich--and ingenious--Mississippi Delta dialect. An "R" rating still holds, however, both for the insistent rough language and for "adult" situations ... Good ol' boys and girls will have a good time." --Fred Lippincott, First Draft "The Yazoo Blues, the sequel to John Pritchard's critically acclaimed debut, Junior Ray, is as funny as it is foul-mouthed ... We can only hope that our potty-mouthed philosopher will come back for a third hilarious helping of hell-raising." --BookPage ..".if you liked the first book, you'll love this one. Sandwiched amongst the profanity and explicit sexual content is some of the most beautiful writing the reader is likely to encounter. Pritchard's prose and poetry is so beautiful, in fact, that it will make anyone who has ever aspired to fiction writing weep with envy. He understands the truth of the Mississippi Delta in ways only a son of the Delta can." --The Tunica Times "Wickedly brilliant." --Michael Ray Taylor, Nashville Scene "Delivers rowdy humor, vivid description ... Although the narrator seems to revel in the thought of being degenerate, he and his novel display worthy qualities. ... Fun, entertainingly absurd, and sobering -- and readers will probably be inclined to re-visit several of its passages." --Arkansas Review "Two wonderful books called Junior Ray and Yazoo Blues, written by John Pritchard, [use] a character, a retired police officer from the Delta here, narrated in a Delta dialect, to hilariously recount the culture and parts of history of this area. Its candor, dialect, and outrageous sensibility had me laughing aloud at times, and both are extremely delightful." --Cannabis Culture Magazine "Yazoo Blues has it going full-force: lowdown high jinks (on both sides of the law), a history lesson here and there, graphic sex scenes every whichway, and equal-opportunity offensiveness (in the words of Junior Ray) on the subject of blacks, "planters," college professors, golfers, weekend hunters, bankers, "Piscob'ls," psychiatrists, Latinos, and "queers." And on top of it, there's the sound of the Delta itself, pure and simple: from "bobakew" to "bye-oh," from "gotdamn" to "litter-ture," and from "outchonda" to "Meffis," the city whose strip joint, the Magic Pussy Cabaret & Club, Junior Ray practically calls home." --Leonard Gill, Memphis Magazineshow more

Rating details

15 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 40% (6)
4 40% (6)
3 7% (1)
2 7% (1)
1 7% (1)
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