Alanna Nash
June 25, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Memphis Ribs

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Gerald Duff
genre
Fiction,
We gave it a B

Gerald Duff’s 1995 novel, That’s All Right, Mama: The Unauthorized Life of Elvis’s Twin, captured the character of the Presley family in a way no journalist has. In Memphis Ribs, Duff slow roasts a tangy tale of murder, gang warfare, crack cocaine, and even — this is the South, remember — barbecue. Too many of the characters are cartoonish, and not even a bluetick hound could track this meandering plot to its finale. But Duff charms with his unerring ear for dialect, and his artful filleting of the Delta social order makes Memphis Ribs a cut above most down-home fare. B

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