The world turns upside down and everything goes a little crazy in Mark Childress's fabulous tale of a hot, restless summer in Alabama and an unforgettable woman who looks for salvation in Hollywood.
"A writer of almost uncanny stylistic ability and clear vision," says Stephen King of Mark Childress. "His eye for detail is extraordinary. It makes you want to holler Oh Yeah!"
Over the course of three very fine novels, Mark Childress has had readers across America hollering Oh Yeah! at his exuberant storytelling, his sixth sense for characterization, and his ability to stir powerful memories. Now, with Crazy in Alabama, Childress delivers the touching and vastly entertaining tale of Peejoe, an orphan boy who comes of age during a racially restless summer in the Deep South, and Lucille, his zany aunt who flees from a soul-numbing marriage -- a union she can't entirely escape in the end. For both Lucille and Peejoe, the summer of '65 will live on as the time when everybody went crazy in Alabama.
By turns puckishly comic and disturbingly poignant, Crazy in Alabama gets everything right, and then some. This is the novel that Childress fans have been waiting for.
"If Flannery O'Connor and Stephen King had written a book together, this would be it. Hilarious and scary!"
-- Fannie Flagg
"Crazy in Alabama is Mark Childress at his most outrageous, most hilarious, and most moving. Aunt Lucille takes her strange place as one of the South's most unforgettable women, and Crazy in Alabama is simply an unforgettable book!"
-- Pat Conroy
"In the grand tradition of Harper Lee and Truman Capote, Mark Childress gives us Crazy in Alabama, a wonderful tale that is both wildly hilarious and painfully frightening. Set in the mid-sixties at the height of racial tensions, Childress takes all of the classic Southern elements and puts his own magical spin on them, emerging with a cast of characters you're not likely to ever forget. Crazy in Alabama is an extraordinary accomplishment on every level, the least of which being that you will never look at a piece of Tupperware and not be reminded..."
-- Jill McCorkle
"Masterfully crafted...Childress depicts each character with convincing detail and all the vividness of childhood memory; there is magic in his mixture of humor and pathos, boyish candor and time-earned understanding. The narrative has a unique tenderness...a tale of laughter and great hope, one not easily forgotten."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Triumphant...not only fresh and original but also positively inspired."
-- New York Times Book Review
"(A novelist's) very dearest wish is to write something that nobody has ever written before. Mark Childress has done this in Crazy in Alabama. Childress plays out his two hands here...like a master playing out a fancy game of double solitaire. Craziness rules."
-- Washington Post Book World
"This rollicking and important novel takes off like a cross-country race against time. Compulsively readable."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"A very amusing novel with a deadly serious agenda. Chock-full of vivid writing, clever plot twists and likable characters."
-- Chicago Tribune
"With a gift for mixing hilarity, hurt, insight, and compassion, Childress' fourth novel has gained him entry to the ranks of adept purveyors of popular Southern fiction. Lucille's wild ride across the country is a dizzy delight. Crazy in Alabama is best at juggling the intangible extremes of joy and heartbreak that is life itself."
-- Seattle Times
"By turns comic, tragic, and most of all, moving, Crazy in Alabama is a heartfelt original that cuts to the quick."
-- People magazine
"Bitterly funny...Writing with dark humor and finely wielded detail, Childress establishes himself as a flamboyant master of the grotesque."
-- Entertainment Weekly
"A funny, insightful, and poignant tale with full-blooded, passionate characters that captures the essence of our memories of the middle sixties. Highly recommended."
-- Library Journal
"Childress accomplishes something quite spectacular: He writes a chilling, complex story of racial hatred within a loving and comic portrait of the South...eminently readable and entertaining. By writing a story so intimate, frightening, and funny,he goes beyond the genteel niceties and eccentricities of Southern life, something not many Southern writers have managed to do."
-- Memphis Commercial Appeal
"Childress has succeeded in combining two complex stories, one concerning lost innocence and naive desire, the other about sexual repression and glorious liberation, into a heartstoppingly racy read. Childress' prose positively vibrates with lust for life. A truly wild, uplifting book."
-- Time Out
"Childress' prose is just the right mix of deadpan and exuberant."
"Crazy in Alabama has so many good lines you don't know which to laugh at hardest."
-- Times Literary Supplement