Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum

After Hurricane Katrina, journalist Dan Baum was sent to New Orleans to write about the aftermath of the storm and its impact on the city. He quickly realized that Katrina was the least interesting thing about this unique city. Nine Lives tells the story of nine fascinating individuals over the course of forty years--bracketed by two defining storms: Betsy and Katrina.

This motley crew of characters might at first seem like they have nothing in common and yet you soon realize they all embody what is New Orleans: strength, perseverance, uniqueness and just sheer determination. Who would think that a jazz-playing coroner, a man struggling with his sexuality who ends up as a transsexual bar owner, a school band teacher, a perpetually down and out convict and a Mardi Gras King would have anything in common?

You might think it would be hard to keep track of who's who in a biography of nine people spanning such a wide time frame but the narration is done so beautifully, you will easily find yourself completely immersed in all of these people's lives.

If you've ever visited New Orleans, you know how utterly unique this city is--this book will make you appreciate the city even more for the people--for they are the ones that truly make New Orleans the fascinating, gritty and fun place that it is.

1 comment:

Dan Baum said...

Thank you so much for your generous review of "Nine Lives." I really appreciate your taking the time to read it. Your readers who would like to know more about the book -- reviews, videos, etc. -- can visit www.danbaum.com. Again, many thanks.