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In his singular style, which defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a haunting picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and vivid descriptions of the destruction and death that gripped the Big Easy, The Tin Roof Blowdown is an action-packed crime thriller as well as a poignant story of what disaster and desperation can do to people.
Audie Award Winner, Mystery, 2008
"Meticulously textured....dense, rich prose that draws the reader into a web of greed and violence." (Publishers Weekly)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Deborah on 07-20-07
How Does One Manage?
This is the most horrifying description of post Katrina that I've read to date. The lush description of the beauty of New Orleans and Louisiana bayou country is gone, replaced by "bodies wrapped tight like mummies in the gray and brown detritus left by the receding waters." There were parts I had to close my eyes to listen to because the sense of place was so vivid and I couldn't stand what I was seeing.
The story is vintage Burke with a little bit of "is it mystical magic or not" thrown in amongst the good vs. evil that is the cross on which Burke hangs his stories. Burke's politics is more evident here than in other books, with Bush bashing, gratuitous remarks about Fox News, etc., all which jarringly interrupt the story's magic. But yet, the depth of Burke's anger at what happened in New Orleans, the failures and abandoment, certainly is well-grounded.
You can read the publisher's summary to get a feel for the story, but even if Burke was writing about the recipe for a fish stew, I'd read it and it would be wonderful.
There is not a writer alive today that can put you in the scene so completely - the smells, the sights, the scent of the breeze, the color of sunlight and shade, he's just wonderful.
This is a wonderful,achingly sad, and somewhat horrific story of how Burke mourns the City of New Orleans and what it once was.
I'd give it 10 stars if possible.
67 of 69 people found this review helpful
By K. Scott on 10-08-08
Thankfully, I overcame my dread.
I bought this title solely based on audible reviews. I was hesitant because of the subject matter: perhaps suffering from post-Katrina overload, I wasn't sure how willing I was to relive this sorry, depressing American story. But, wow, what a surprise this book was.
Burke tells a ripping good detective story, and in it he seamlessly blends themes of familial love, the faithfulness of friends, and the desire for redemption, so that the book becomes much more than just another police procedural. And the most powerful aspect of the book is that at its core, it is a tragic love letter to a city on the verge of obliteration.
The storytelling is made all the better by a near perfect narration. Patton is subdued without being boring. He strikes the perfect tone for the material.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful