Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ranchero Review

Ranchero by Rick Gavin

(from the book jacket)
Repo man Nick Reid had a seemingly simple job to do: Talk to Percy Dwayne Dubois – pronounced “Dew-boys,” front-loaded and hick specific – about the payments he’s behind on for a flat-screen TV, or repossess it.  Yet Percy Dwayne wouldn’t give in.  Nope, instead he saw fit to go all white-trash philosophical and decided that since the world was stacked against him anyway, he might as well fight it.  He Hit Nick over the head with a fireplace shovel, tied him up with a length of lamp cord, and stole the mint-condition, calypso, coral-colored 1969 Ranchero that Nick had borrowed from his landlady – and he took the TV with him on a rowdy ride across the Mississippi Delta.
Nick and his best friend, Desmond, fellow repo man in Indianola, Mississippi, have no choice but to go after him.  The fact that the trail eventually leads to Guy, a meth cooker recently set up in the Delta after the Feds ran him out of New Orleans, is of no consequence.  Nick will do anything to get the Ranchero back – and it turns out he might have to.

This book is fun to read.  It travels all around Mississippi (mostly from Sonic to Sonic) and goes from a simple TV repo job to car theft to kidnapping to an all-out war with a meth dealer.  And it does it with a sense of humor and is told by a narrator who knows how to turn a phrase.  But it is not all that long on plot.  There is a story here that you can follow from beginning to end.  It’s not that it doesn’t have a discernible story line; it’s just that sometimes it felt like the story line was just a convenient way to introduce us to all the characters the author wanted us to meet.  Are some of the characters slightly clichéd and lacking in depth?  To some degree, yes.  But are the characters interesting?  I think so, yes.  And well worth the time you invest in this book to meet them all.  There’s a lot of action and the story moves quickly from one crazy situation to the next which sets a good pace and makes for a quick read.  I think it is the kind of book that is best enjoyed if you don’t think too much about it.  You shouldn’t worry about where it is all going, don’t try to discern great meaning or figure out some mystery.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

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