Mambo Panties & Other Stories

Rated 5.00/5 based on 5 reviews
A cycle of short stories about rural Texas spanning 75 years. Some of the stories are funny, some poignant, and some… just strange. More

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About Tom Doyal

Tom Doyal is a fifth generation Texan who lives and writes in Austin, Texas.


The Gospel Truth About Leta Mae Jennings
The author reads the shortest short story in his collection while evocative photographs of rural Texas can be seen. The video is only 3.25 minutes long.

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Review by: Charles Burdine on June 4, 2013 : (no rating)
I love the stories. They make me feel like I'm a child again and visiting my grandparents. Warm and loved.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: Donald Dodson on Jan. 28, 2013 :
Hilarious! The characters are so real they jump off the page. Doyal manages to write the way Texans talk and still make his stories entertaining and understandable. Housekeeping Kit is touching, Mambo Panties is outrageous. The newspaper articles keep it all grounded in the history of mid 20th century. Doyal covers the full gambit of characters one might have encountered in the desolate farm lands and small towns of south Texas.
(reviewed 61 days after purchase)
Review by: Bob Stewart on Jan. 27, 2013 :
I find these stories touching, down to earth, and considerate of gentleness and common humanity, including human failings and resolute determination in the face of adversity.
I loved reading the stories that Tom had recorded earlier, being able to hear his colorful expressions and characterizations without actually playing the CD simultaneously, but I may do that later on, too.
The scenes, situations, and characters Tom Doyal has created all come alive from the page. I would say that it would be wonderful to see such scenes acted out in a dramatic version, but they are already fully realized.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Review by: Lethe Press on Jan. 15, 2013 :
These are great character sketches with lots of downhome Texas local color. Witty little stories that draw the reader into a kind of timeless reality. Surprising wisdom. And funny. Toby Johnson
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Thomas Smith on Dec. 30, 2011 :
Wonderful use of the English language - Texas version. Humorous, but every character seems alive.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Helen Ginger on Nov. 15, 2011 :
I had no idea what to expect of a book with the title of Mambo Panties.

Even after reading Mambo Panties, I’m not sure what genre label to give it. It’s like going to your local History Center and reading snippets from a time long ago. It’s fiction yet the news pieces and tales feel like they were written by real people and then collected in a book to share with today’s generation. Both the stories and the news clippings are personal, relevant even today, and so close I felt as though I knew these people and the wind carried their whispers.

As an example, I’ll talk about one piece called “Housekeeping Kit.” Agnes, now living in a place called Golden Oaks, remembers back to her wedding day and the start of her life with Houston. This story, only seven and a half pages long, takes you through their wedding and the first few days of their life together as they furnish the house Monroe Felps “made them as a wedding present of one year’s rent with the customary terms for farming on shares the next year” and which Agnes and her sisters had cleaned up, including killing four rattlesnakes. By the end of just those few pages, I wanted to know more about their lives and what the future held for them.

So many of these stories would make wonderful full length character stories. But they don’t have to be. As they are, they’re snippets of lives long ago that are still relevant today. Some of the stories are longer than the one I talked about here. Some, especially the newspaper clippings, are quite short, maybe only a paragraph or two. Together, the stories and news clippings give this fiction book a feeling of non-fiction.

Mambo Panties is quiet, yet compelling … old, yet relevant … and intriguing to read, time and time again.

I give Mambo Panties a rating of Hel-of-a-Read.
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)
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