Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Southern Ladies and Gentlemen

Southern Ladies & Gentlemen Southern Ladies & Gentlemen by Florence King

Book 1 of 3 for the Southern Reading Challenge
Book 13 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 76 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Oh, this book was such a disappointment to me. I thought it would be more like something that Celia Rivenbark would produce. But no. This book should have been titled Southern Ladies and Gentlemen Have Sex. Under normal circumstances, I would never have finished it. But once I decided that I really didn't like it, I was too committed to finishing it for the Southern Reading Challenge (where I'm playing catch up).

Summing this book up, I would say I found it dated (it was originally published in 1975), irreverent, and trashy. I realize that the modern-day Charlotte I live in is nothing like the rural South of yesterday. But really. The society King portrays in this book is so caricatured and stereotyped and borrows so heavily from Gone With the Wind, I found it neither funny nor true-to-life. Of course, Florence King bemoans the arrival of people like me to the South with some not very flattering words, so I'm sure that didn't help. Nor did King's very colorful language.

But, I'll leave you with the most oft-quoted passage in the book. I was actually amused by this passage and thought it signaled a book that would really delve into the culture of the South. Unfortunately, this book and I just didn't get along.
The Southern woman is required to be frigid, passionate, sweet, bitchy, stoic and scatterbrained--all at the same time. Her problems spring from the fact that she succeeds.


Linda said...

Florence King is one of my all time favorite writers. Confessions of Failed Southern Lady is my all time favorite. Sorry Southern Ladies and Gentleman disappointed! I hope you'll give her another chance someday.

bermudaonion said...

Well, darn, the title of that book really caught my attention. I'm disappointed to see it's a stinker.

Corinne said...

Sounds like I wouldn't like it either

Veens said...

Sad! i will give it a pass!

Anna said...

Darn, I was hoping for a good Southern book recommendation! Sorry you didn't enjoy it, and I don't think I would either.

Diary of an Eccentric

tea said...

I'm glad you told the truth. I won't waste my time. Thanks for writing a good review about a stereotypical book.

Kim Shook said...

Do NOT decide to pass up this this book based on this review. This book is hilarious and true and bawdy rather than dirty.