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The Sound of Building Coffins March 3, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 504, books, Jazz, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, voodoo.
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sobc_coverI don’t typically do What I’m Reading posts but I’m going to make an exception, maybe start a trend since my mind seems empty of good words of my own of late. I am about 2/3 of the way through Louis Maistros’ novel The Sound of Building Coffins and the reviews it has garnered so far (ex. “No novel since Confederacy of Dunces has done such justice to New Orleans”) are dead on.

Louis will be reading from his book and signing copies at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Street, this Thursday March 5 at 6 p.m..

This lyrical tale of magic and transformation at the end of the Creole era and the start of the Jazz age weaves voodoo, jazz and race into a tapestry that captures the subtle pattern of New Orleans. This is bound to become (as the review quoted above suggests) one of the landmark evocations of the city. I normally wouldn’t write something like this until finishing the book* but I wanted to call out Louis’ reading and signing. Unless he’s been abducted by aliens and the publisher had a roomful of meth-fueled monkeys finish the book, I expect the last hundred pages to be as spellbinding as the first 250.

(The next day) Word.

* Confession: I once wrote a review of The Great Deluge on Amazon after reading the introduction and first chapter, confessing it was such a painfully bad work of history and writing I would only be able to finish it as a matter of obligation. (I never did.) If you transpose Lake Borgne and Bay St. Louis in the introduction to a work of history about Hurricane Katrina, you’ve clearly run off the tracks.