Wednesday, May 20, 2009


By Ray Blackston
Hachette Book Group
ISBN-13: 978-0-446-57961-2
March 2009
Trade paperback $13.99
Pages 266

Sometimes life just isn’t what you planned, hoped for, or dreamed. Reality frequently surprises all of us.

Kyle Mango is the typical high-school student when his father decides to leave his wife and three children for another life. So what about Kyle’s future? Being that his father doesn’t always send the money needed to support a family of three children, Kyle doesn’t always have choices.

Kyle, predictably, enters Texas Tech and joins a fraternity. At a frat party, he finds himself interested in a non-conforming female guest, Gretchen. She dramatically changes his outlook on life immediately and assists Kyle to learn more about his individual nature, with her influence of course.

To help out, Kyle does have an uncle who is a bit eccentric and who owns land with four working oil derricks. The uncle also doesn’t completely trust banks, so he shows Kyle his secret buried stash of silver dollars and bullion bars. Uncle Benny even allows Kyle to have a bullion bar and a few silver dollars.

When Uncle Benny dies, he leaves the oil wells and land to Kyle. This changes everything for him. Somehow, being a small tycoon in the oil business does put a damper on his romantic interests with Gretchen, who truly believes in saving the environment and even travels to Alaska to save the birds who have been covered with oil from spills.

The characterizations of LAST MANGO IN TEXAS are realistic. I found myself thoroughly loving Kyle with his successes and setbacks. Kyle with his friends, acquaintances, and family are vivid and act like real people.

The story is enchanting, humorous, and just a fun book to read. Kyle Mango has a little bit of the non-conforming James Dean rebellious attitude but also possesses the realistic world in balancing him.

The only flaw I discovered was that the book is too short. I wanted more of Kyle and I did wonder about his little brother and sister who were hardly involved, and only mentioned in the story.

Ray Blackston has written the Flabbergasted trilogy, A PAGAN’S NIGHTMARE and PAR FOR THE COURSE. He enjoys exploring the beaches of South Carolina with his friends and family. I really wonder how much of Kyle, is really Ray.

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