Leonard - Tishomingo Blues

November 13, 2004

Elmore Leonard
Tishomingo blues [sound recording]
Performed by Frank Muller.

Elmore Leonard reminds me of Dick Francis. Both write compelling middlebrow thrillers. Both create interesting characters. Both have a knack for displaying characters and their personalities by dialogue. And both make very good audiobooks.

Tishomingo blues is a nice little story, moving along and with some interesting if slightly thin and slightly grotesque characters. By this last I mean that some trait or personality is drawn out, magnified, and used to stand for the whole. So we have Charley Hoke, who ALWAYS talks about his "18 years in organized baseball" or Newton Hoon, who ALWAYS has tobacco juice staining his beard, and so on. Still, that approach to characters works so long as the words are entertaining and the plot moves along, and this is an entertaining little book.

I liked it. I will look for more Leonard audiobooks.

Oh, and as always the narrator makes or breaks an audiobook. Muller does a wonderful job with his characters, capturing the varieties of Southern accent, putting the cool in the cool character's voice, and creating a world of sound in which the characters go about their appointed rounds, all of them grotesque, but all of them true to their genre.

Posted by Red Ted at November 13, 2004 12:54 PM | TrackBack
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