13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
NOTHING MISSING HERE,
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This review is from: The Missing (Hardcover)
My first, but certainly not my last Tim Gautreaux. This is story telling at its best. Set in prohibition Louisiana not long after WW 1, the main character Sam, home from war, takes a job on a rough, tough river boat plying the Mississippi as a pleasure steamer in an effort to find a little girl stolen from a New Orleans department store while he was on duty and therefor held responsible.If he finds her the miserable old b-----d who owns the store may reinstate him, but the real driving forces are his wartime experiences and the tragedies in his own life. He befriends the child's parents who scrape a living on board as entertainers and general dog's bodies. There is drinking and violence on the old tub "The Ambassador" and even more when he forages ashore for leads on the abducted child.Then just as you think that it is coasting along to comfortable ending a whole new detailed adventure emanates from one of the original themes and how well this sequence is written; it could stand alone as a first class short story. I, in fairness to potential readers, can not reveal any more of the principal plot nor of the secondary tales which unfold and absorbed my interest to the last page.
This is the Wild West set in the deep south. The characters good, bad ,weak, strong and in some cases downright, disgustingly evil are drawn in detail. The technical descriptions of the paddler, the music and life on and off the river are convincing and enlightening.
This is not the river of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. This is an altogether different scene. I would rank this with Larry McMurtry's best work, Pulitzer prise winner "Lonesome Dove", for raw frontier characters and a gripping yarn. I can not pay a higher compliment to a work of American fiction.
A 5 star must buy.
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Initial post: 14 Aug 2009 15:53:28 BDT
Michael Blair says:
looking forward to a good read
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