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Tomato Red (1998)

de Daniel Woodrell

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4331944,147 (3.76)58
A sharp and funny addition to Daniel Woodrell's collection of "country noir" novels, featuring anti-hero Sammy Barlach and Jamalee Merridew, her hair tomato red with rage and ambition. In the Ozarks, what you are is where you are born. If you're born in Venus Holler, you're not much. For Jamalee Merridew, Venus Holler just won't cut it. Jamalee sees her brother Jason, blessed with drop-dead gorgeous looks and the local object of female obsession, as her ticket out of town. But Jason may just be gay, and in the hills and hollows of the Ozarks that is the most dangerous and courageous thing a man could be. Enter Sammy Barlach, a loser ex-con passing through a tired nowhere on the way to a fresher nowhere. Jamalee thinks Sammy is just the kind of muscle she and Jason need.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I read this 2 years ago and I was surprised to find I didn't review it here.

This book started so well. I was so intrigued. A house robber knocked out, waking up to two creepy teenagers with a plan. . . .I thought I knew where this was going.

Well, I didn't.

It basically didn't really go anywhere. . .well, not anywhere good.

I read through to the end and it was sad. So sad.

Loved the title, though. That's what intrigued me. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
First Woodrell and cannot wait to get my hands on more! Will leave the plot etc to others - but the way this man writes....wow! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
"There was a fella on the couch, the sort of small, skinny alcoholic redneck who probably had a cannon in his sock and an undertaker for a brother-in-law. A female slumped against him, and she was exactly the type you'd expect to find in this trailer with these fellas".


I love the way Woodrell writes. He coined the phrase "country noir" and that is exactly what it is. Such amazing writing about such dismal surroundings. He's a genius.
( )
  Juliasb | Dec 1, 2016 |
“In the Ozarks, what you are is where you are born. If you're born in Venus Holler, you're not much. For Jamalee Merridew, her hair tomato red with rage and ambition, Venus Holler just won’t cut it."

Squish, splat this "tomatoe" back to the Ozarks!! This was my initial reaction to the longest, jumbled and muddled opening sentence I have ever read. But, I love fresh homegrown tomatoes. So I kept reading on and I am happy I did. Daniel Woodrell’s Tomatoe Red is a country noir, told from the eyes of Sammy Barlach, a meth-head and drifter seeking to belong to a family and community.

The dialogue and characters are believable. The setting is rich. The first half of this book is real "meaty". There is not much of a story line. A small murder mystery plot exists and the ending seems a bit rushed. Overall its a good book. ( )
  WanderRoxyBooks | Aug 3, 2016 |
Daniel Woodrell is an author that I find very readable, his books are usually set in the Ozarks and his writing captures the flavor and styling of red neck recklessness. I did find Tomato Red to have a sad theme dealing as it does with the despair and hopelessness of being on lower end of the social scale with no escape route from the white trash world they were in but the book is nevertheless vividly and humorously written.

Sammy Barlach, the narrator and anti-hero of the book tells his story honestly and simply. During the course of a break-and-enter robbery of a vacant house, he comes into contact with the engaging sister and brother team of Jamalee, the Tomato Red of the title and her brother, Jason. Sammy is pulled into their life and before too long finds himself living with them next door to their prostitute mother, Bev. They become a weird sort of family with Sammy being rather taken with both mother and daughter.

Of course being a Woodrell novel, violence is always on the horizon and although this story becomes a tragedy, the telling of it is colorful and engaging. At times, Tomato Red is a little overwritten and melodramatic, but the author is extremely adapt at telling a story that can change from light-hearted humor to dark violence within a page. Sammy’s story is in reality a strong, violent statement on the hopelessness of poverty in America. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | May 14, 2016 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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Anybody possessing analytical knowledge recognizes the fact that the world is full of actions performed by people exclusively to their detriment and without perceptible advantage, although their eyes were open.

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You're no angel, you know how this stuff comes to happen: Friday is payday and it's been a gray day sogged by a slow ugly rain and you seek company in your gloom, and since you're fresh to West Table, Mo., and a new hand at the dog-food factory, your choices for company are narrow but you find some finally in a a trailer court on East Main, and the coed circle of bums gathered there spot you a beer, then a jug of tequila starts to rotate and the rain keeps comin' down with a miserable bluesy beat and there's two girls millin' about that probably can be had but they seem to like certain things and crank is one of those certain things, and a fistful of party straws tumble from a woven handbag somebody brung, the crank gets cut into lines, and the next time you notice the time it's three or four Sunday mornin' and you ain't slept since Thursday night and one of the girl voices, the one you want most and ain't had yet though her teeth are the size of shoe-peg corn and look like maybe they'd taste sort of sour, suggests something to do, 'cause with crank you want something, anything, to do, and this cajoling voice suggests we all rob this certain house on this certain street in that rich area where folks can afford to wallow in their vices and likely have a bunch of recreational dope stashed around the mansion and goin' to waste since an article in The Scroll said the rich people whisked off to France or some such on a noteworthy vacation.
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A sharp and funny addition to Daniel Woodrell's collection of "country noir" novels, featuring anti-hero Sammy Barlach and Jamalee Merridew, her hair tomato red with rage and ambition. In the Ozarks, what you are is where you are born. If you're born in Venus Holler, you're not much. For Jamalee Merridew, Venus Holler just won't cut it. Jamalee sees her brother Jason, blessed with drop-dead gorgeous looks and the local object of female obsession, as her ticket out of town. But Jason may just be gay, and in the hills and hollows of the Ozarks that is the most dangerous and courageous thing a man could be. Enter Sammy Barlach, a loser ex-con passing through a tired nowhere on the way to a fresher nowhere. Jamalee thinks Sammy is just the kind of muscle she and Jason need.

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