Read Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels by Barry Gifford Online


On the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Barry Gifford's international bestseller, Wild at Heart, as well as the anniversary of the Palme d'Or-winning film adaptation by director David Lynch, Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels presents all of the novels and novellas that comprise the saga of Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune, "the Romeo and Juliet of the SoOn the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Barry Gifford's international bestseller, Wild at Heart, as well as the anniversary of the Palme d'Or-winning film adaptation by director David Lynch, Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels presents all of the novels and novellas that comprise the saga of Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune, "the Romeo and Juliet of the South": Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango (also made into a feature film), Sailor's Holiday, Sultans of Africa, Consuelo's Kiss, Bad Day for the Leopard Man, and The Imagination of the Heart....

Title : Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781583229101
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 618 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels Reviews

  • Nate D
    2019-06-11 08:29

    Individual reviews scattered through sub-works of this endless omnibus. Overall impressions? Gifford created a pulp universe of the grimy American South, one of pithy conversations, surreal side stories, mysterious-yet-banal alignments, and non-sequitur digressions. A bit weirder than real life, sometimes exactly as weird as real life. In practice, the fresher initial works, Wild at Heart and Perdita Durango, hold up best as individual novels, but there's much to be said for the lifetime-spanning megawork these together compose all the same.

  • Darin
    2019-06-18 08:46

    Outside of genre fiction, few authors have created a series of novels as successfully as Philip Roth. In fact, he can be credited with three series – the Zuckerman, Roth and Kepesh books. While the books in each series can essentially be read in any order, excepting those collected in Zuckerman Bound, the characters stand out as memorable, both expressing and transcending their Jewishness.Barry Gifford has done the same with his Sailor and Lula novels, a series of seven stories in the life cycle of Southern lovebirds Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune. The most famous of these, Wild at Heart, was famously adapted to an award-winning David Lynch film. Southern stereotypes are on display throughout, yet never in a derogatory manner. And the characters, at least those we care about, manage to rise above their circumstances and their culture, to express a fondness for classical music, for example, or to espouse granules of random intelligence. Gifford truly transcends the Southern mythos to great effect.Throughout the series we are witness to a love story that, as has been said elsewhere, rivals that of Romeo and Juliet. Murder, prison, overly-controlling mothers, kidnappings and the sheer randomness of the world can only beat down our heroes, but not break them. That Sailor and Lula manage to find pockets of sanity in an otherwise turbulent world serves to ground them and their stories.On display in these works is Gifford’s penchant for random violence altering circumstances to the point where one must question if Sailor and Lula are somehow divinely protected. After all, if Saul could become Paul and ultimately biblical legend, a twice convicted man may just be God’s chosen one. And lest you think I’m stretching, a couple of guardian angels memorably show up from time to time to save our heroes’ bacon.Some notes on these stories: while the collection is titled Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, these are more novella length, even longish short-story. While this is pretty representative of Gifford’s style in general, there are parts where more details would have been appreciated. Additionally, while in the later stories, hints are dropped as to the modern time period (post-Katrina New Orleans for example), the earlier stories could essentially be set at any point in the past 50 years. Finally, the publishing history of these stories is somewhat convoluted. In 1990, Wild at Heart was published, but Gifford realized he had more tales to tell. In 1991 a book titled Sailor's Holiday was published, which contained books 2 through 6, in somewhat different versions, and with Perdita Durango titled 59 Degrees and Raining. In 1992, Perdita Durango was published separately and the paperback edition of books 3 through 6 - Sailor's Holiday, Sultans of Africa, Consuelo's Kiss and Bad Day for the Leopard Man - was retitled The Wild Life of Sailor and Lula. The seventh book, The Imagination of the Heart, was published in 2009. While Sailor makes a brief appearance in Gifford's Baby Cat-Face, it is apparently not considered an official part of the series and is not included here.Rather than trying to construct a strict timeline, just go along for the ride on this road trip through the American South.

  • Mark
    2019-05-30 10:40

    A long ride that was often wild but sometimes disappointing. Gifford has a true poet's skill for dialect, dialogue and--in the final novel--believable first person narrative voice flowing from mostly Lula's soul. If you love love stories and can get behind weird shit for its own sake, this is recommended. I experienced some tedium throughout and especially toward the end. I thought the penultimate novel in the collection verged on a writer tired of the world and characters he had created at best and hack work at worst. In that particular novel in the set, Bad Day for the Leopard Man, I really didn't feel like Gifford was working from a place where he respected me as a reader and fell back way too much on half assed recycling of a formula he'd created and executed much more skillfully earlier in the saga. Something really went off the rails with that novel in particular and I'll probably reread it to make sure something about it wasn't going entirely over my head. The next to last chapter of the final novel is beautiful and comes close to redeeming all and any let-downs that came before. Hard to say how much of the preceding high volume of narrative was needed to make that sparse moment shine the way it did. Maybe all of it. I have no regrets about reading this, mon Cheri, despite the places where it dipped down into depths I can't help but feel Gifford could have avoided.I just now finished the book and wrote the thoughts above. They are extemporaneous and unedited. I may come back later and write a more careful and thorough review.

  • Chas
    2019-05-31 03:51

    A really wonderful collection of linked novellas, that sort of feel like memoirs written by an inbred, bastard stepchild of Denis Johnson and Jim Thompson. It really feels like one long novel, and I can't imagine reading these as separate installments (though they were published over 20 years). There's a weird thing going on with the internal chronology, though -- did anyone else notice this? If Lula is 80 right after Katrina, wouldn't that mean the first book, "Wild at Heart" is set in the mid-40s? I just figured it for being set when it was written, but I guess it isn't! I feel like that may not work, upon a second read, though -- aren't there references to the Vietnam War etc?

  • Matt
    2019-06-10 06:48

    These seven novels (except one) relate a series of bizarre events in the life Sailor and Lula shared. While leaning towards the outrageous, the beauty of the books is their presentation of the enduring love of Sailor and Lula through and, apparently, beyond time. Barry Gifford has created the perfect writing style for the telling of these stories. With a marvelously quotidian attention to detail, the author nevertheless writes tales that are wildly imaginative. The series comprises the unique world inhabited by Sailor and Lula as it exists within the world at large. This was a delightful reading experience.

  • Kristy
    2019-05-28 05:26

    You are probably familiar with Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune from David Lynch's interpretation of the first novel in this collection in his movie Wild at Heart -- but there is so much more to their story. This collection of short novels, published over a period of 20 years, follows the modern day Romeo and Juliet past the ending of Lynch's movie and through to the end of their lives. Amazingly fun to read and filled with southern smoothness, side stories, amazing names, just enough sex, and a sprinkling of truly shocking violence. This is a saga that everyone should read.

  • Luke Hays
    2019-06-08 06:50

    The only story worth checking out is Wild At Heart. The other stories are boring and uninteresting.

  • Frank Thirdeyed
    2019-06-19 04:48

    So, since this is an omnibus I’ll write a few words about each book as I go along. More as a note to self, cause my brain is like a collander and I want to remember what my thoughts were on each book individually.Wild at Heart: 4.2 starsNow it’s been ages since I saw the David Lynch movie, but I remember it as a fun romp filled with cartoonish violence, weird humour and a fairytale-like (Wizard of Oz, was it?) plot. The book is none of that, except for the weird humour, I guess.I’d call it a romantic roadtrip story. But is it romantic, really? Maybe more like a parody on romance, since none of the characters really believe in romance, not in the conventional sense anyway. Other than that, its a complete talkfest all the way trough. Cause Sailor and Lula they sure do like to talk. It amazes me that Barry Gifford can make simple dialog sound so weird, funny and interesting. Topics such as: wich brand of cigarettes is the best?,competing in a singing contest or the meaning of dreams are all treated as equally important. That's probably because in the eyes of Sailor and Lula they are. There’s a lot of pop culture references and a real sense of place too. I never been to the South, never been to the U.S. even. But when it’s written with such passion, I like to live in it for a while. And here the writing makes me imagine it all so vividly: sleazy juke joints that play John Lee Hooker (the whole book should come with a soundtrack cd full of Southern Soul and Blues all mentioned here) and serve cheap cokes or beer, sun-blackened roads with no chance at a spot of shade, gas stations out in the middle of nowhere and towns so small life almost stops to exist (now that last one I DO know alot about. I live in such a shithole myself, kinda). Only thing I didn’t like was (view spoiler)[ the ending. Lynch was smart to change it.(hide spoiler)] So yeah, thats it. Cool stuff. My next rant should be shorter....Perdita Durango: 4 starsSeems like Gifford was influenced by Lynch his Wild At Heart movie a lot on this one. The story still feels talky and random – especially in the beginning, where it can feel a bit slow – but it's also way more violent, darker with a lot of humour. There are some inside jokes for those who read Wild At Heart, but I'm sure it could work as a standalone story for those who didn't. Kinda noirish roadtrip: there's alot of murder, over-the-top violence, rape and weird voodoo stuff going on. You are not supposed to root for those horrible people, but in some instances I can't help but cheering them on. Other moments you will be disgusted with them. There's a thin border. While I'm sure this isn't supposed to be campy, it feels like it. Just a fun read, with some sly social critique and morals thrown in. When it gets going it's nearly unstoppable, it just takes a while to get there. Don't give up...I see there's a movie too. I like the newer stuff from Álex de la Iglesia (Balada Triste de Trompeta is awesome). So I'm excited to see how this turns out.Sailor’s Holiday: 2.8 starsThis one's a hard one to rate. Started out very chaotic and uninteresting. Storylines all over the place and none of them particulary good. There's some okay Marietta-Dal interaction (Dal's awesome), some Lula and Pace, some Mr. Santos, some Perdita. The fun picks up when (view spoiler)[Pace gets kidnapped and Sailor comes back. (hide spoiler)] Too late? I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, for this time only. If the next stories are equally uneven or worse.......well, let's see.Sultans of Africa 3.5 starsCome a couple of years later and Pace is 15, this time it's his story. A good story at that, A similiar crime and humour themed one like Perdita Durango was, with a little slice of life thrown in. Moves really fast, cool and pulpy. Pace trying to commit a crime and getting in trouble for it. He's one of those awful boys that likes to spoil movies though, so if you haven't seen Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (you really should, it's awesome) watch out for slight spoilers.The side stories are less interesting, with a weak "Lula visits mama plot" and Sailor and Bobby Lee having Gator trouble, I guess. I'm sure Perdita is going to show up in full in a later story. I hope Sailor and her will meet again. Or Lula, so we can have a proper catfight. Gifford goes to town with his character names here, wich is awesome. So, we have: Smokey Joe, Reverend Plenty, Mary Full-of-Grace and Jaloux Marron. Ok, keep on drinking that stuff making you so weird, Gifford. Please do!Consuelo’s Kiss 1.5 stars(slight spoilers)Marietta now lives with both Santos en Johnnie. Lula and Sailor take a trip to Memphis to see Graceland, while their story intertwines with hitchhiker Consuelo. All too scathered, too boring, too NOTHING. Meh...Bad Day for the Leopard Man 2 starsThis was a little better. Atleast it had a clear narrative. Still, there's nothing to really tell anymore. At this point you keep hoping it will be as good as it was before. It really isn't.The Imagination of the Heart1.5 starsback to being more boring again. Call it a nostalgia trip between Beany and Lulu, mostly. There's ofcourse some funny (tv news) stories, as always. Gifford seems too shocked by the NOLA hurricane an there's way more bible quotes thrown in there than normal.Conclusion:The Wild at Heart and Perdita Durango stories were awesome. So distinctively weird, talkative, and with a real sense of place. Sorta middle ground between crime pulp, talkfest humour, over-the-top violence and roadtrips. Gifford should've known when to quit: all the stories after that were unnecessary and boring, except for Sultans of Africa, in wich he shortly peaked again.Maybe I will update this review again for the movie comparisons. Won't rate it, since I rated it seperately as 3 novels. Wich is not entirely correct, but it comes close enough.

  • Greg
    2019-05-26 09:52

    Lordy, this book took me a long time. I had to move it in and out of my top "currently reading" spot several times, even setting it aside for months at a time. Not that I mind, because it was good. Like any omnibus, it can be tough getting through all the books within. I personally tend to get a sort of tunnel vision whenever I try to read any whole series straight through, where I just start breezing through pages without absorbing them. That's when I know I need a break for a good long while, no matter how good the story.The complete Sailor & Lula really is good, though. I quite enjoyed the writing style, especially the way that each chapter of each novel is extremely short. Much of the time, these chapters could stand on their own as short/flash fiction. This makes the story more digestible over long periods, while also remaining very accessible in that you can read it in short spurts at your convenience. The settings throughout the novels always feel hot and sticky (temperature wise) while remaining cool (personality wise) and excitingly dangerous. It's somehow high intensity and slow burn at the same time in many parts, like a cross between a pressure cooker and a crock pot. And if you've spent any time in the south, the southern-fried language is great. I could hear every stylized and crazy accent on the characters and it made everything that much more vivid. Last but not least, I loved the character names. I'm not sure that there's a normal sort of name anywhere in the book. All of the characters are larger-than-life in their own way, with crazy outfits/appearances, intriguing names, strange backgrounds. Even bit players. Good stuff.My only real gripe has to do with repetition. Even though tons of things happen throughout these novels, there is essentially one recurring theme set. That core goes something like this: (view spoiler)[good will typically prevail, even as it gets more cynical -- and crime never pays. Seriously, there's tons of crime in these books and nobody ever really gets away with anything. (Except when it's a crime being committed against a bad person.) Once spotted, you can't help but be able to predict what's going to happen when even slightly similar situations come up later. (hide spoiler)]Again, it can be a task to get through this thick of a collection. I would highly recommend making it a book you take on vacations/weekend getaways and/or keep it on the coffee table or the back of your toilet. You're probably not going to want to tear through it like just any book. You're best served enjoying it at a slow burn speed to go with the slow burn stories.

  • Adam
    2019-06-11 04:47

    An incredibly moving story of wild romance. Also the first book I read out loud to my infant daughter--possibly inappropriate content, so I'm glad she won't understand English for at least a few more months. What a whirlwind. Could have read this forever.

  • Fae
    2019-06-01 02:23

    It's hard to describe why I loved this so much. I guess I just did. It's 7 stories and whilst they're not all worthy of five stars, the book as a whole is.I have seen the film based off the first book, Wild at Heart and so for a while, it was hard to see Sailor as anything but Nic Cage, that wears off after a bit though. It was lond of jarring to have the descriptions of Lula and Perdita to be so very different to their representations on the big screen, lots of specific mentions of black hair, not blonde. I think Wild at Heart, Sailor's Holiday and Sultans of Africa were my top three, with my least favourite probably being The Imagination of the Heart. The latter is more because of the writing style, it's written mostly as letters, with very little punctuation and I found myself having to re-read a lot to try and get the intonations right in my head.Mostly, I think I enjoyed it because of how care-free the plots seem to be. There's storylines almost Taranatino-esque, double crossing, murder, accidental deaths, you name it, it's been in one of his films, but where these things would be massive events in a whole lot of books, they're just things that briefly happen here. The death of an important character might take up a couple of sentences, out of the blue, and then may never be spoken of again. I know some people might hate this, but I loved it. So much happens, but it doesn't feel overwhelming.I like the accents you imagine, it's mostly set in North Carolina, New Orleans and Texas and it's refreshing to read something modern and American but not in a big city. The plot never goes where you expect, but it doesn't feel like twists of an M. Night Shymalan proprtion.I think mostly, I just really loved all the characters, they all have so much personality and even the bad people are still likeable. Of course, Sailor and Lula, our titular lovebirds are so endearing. It may be fiction, but their love seems very real and it leaves you longing to have that in your life. As Lula would say, it's wild at heart and weird on top and I loved it so very much.

  • Jeff Buddle
    2019-06-01 07:29

    There are seven short novels in this 500 page omnibus and I'd say 4 of them are worth the ride. The others are relatively uneven, and the last one is something of a slog. I found myself skimming some pages of the last book, just wanting the whole thing to end. Nonetheless, Gifford is a born storyteller, creating his own hothouse version of the American South and then inventing little potboiler stories within this hyper-violent world. His short, punchy chapters keep the plots rolling, but his ear for Southern dialect gets cartoonish at times (everybody sounds the same). This is more evident in the later novels when even New York and Hollywood urbanites sound like they should be manning a gas pump in Tennessee. I can't help but love Sailor and Lula as their natural born naivete morphs into world-worn wisdom. Gifford executes the stages of their lives in fine style. All the novels spill over with cinematic violence, murders, crimes, and bloodspattered gore, but that's part of the fun.

  • Andrea
    2019-06-10 06:30

    Absolutely loved reading this big ol' saga. Yeah, OK, there might be a few things that could have been done differently, but these novels are just so tasty and absorbing that any little imperfection is gloriously outweighed by the sheer pleasure of reading about these two unforgettable lambs wanderlusting in a world of wolves. And what wolves! Equally vivid and unforgettable. My only real regret, which perturbed me while reading the last novel, was the evaporation and replacement of dear Beanie's offspring. What happened to Madonna Kim??

  • Frank Hoppe
    2019-05-20 09:47

    While this physical book may be of an imposing size for many readers, clocking in at over 600 pages, the book is an easy, entertaining read, crafted to a noirish sensibility and a 21st century attention span. Each chapter runs to 2 or 3 pages, the perfect length for someone reading in bed to settle their minds and fade to sleep. I loved this book, with its craziness and random violence set off with a wonderfully sweey and romantic set of central characters.

  • Gonzalo Oyanedel
    2019-05-21 02:38

    La loca fuga amorosa de dos jóvenes que renegaron de la adultez buscando su lugar en la América Profunda. Episodios breves encadenados en un relato mayor que coquetea con el noir y la franqueza del cuento contemporáneo.

  • Brandi
    2019-06-01 03:47

    shit. this is so mediocre, I'm not sure if I can even finish it... maybe my timing is wrong. I loved wild at heart.i tried. tomorrow i'mma read a different book.

  • Joey Lewandowski
    2019-06-07 05:51

    Sailor and Lula have the greatest love story of all time.

  • Sara
    2019-06-01 04:33

    I'm convinced more than ever that I need to take a road trip through the South.

  • Eric Denny
    2019-05-24 02:41

    First two novels crackle, the others fizzle progressively.