Deep in the Shade of Paradise - a Novel Hardcover – 27 Mar 2002
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About the Author
John Dufresne is the author of six novels, including No Regrets, Coyote. Among other honors, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a professor in the MFA program at Florida International University. He lives in Dania Beach, Florida. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Reviewed by John Schacht
Welcome to John Dufresne's Louisiana backwater, Shiver-de-Freeze (population 375), where folks sport handles like "Jinx," "Comfort," and "Ferlin," declare their amorous intentions on the local water tower, say things like "yonder," "fetched," and "you might could have," and refer to their kin as being "high tempered," "weak in the intellectuals," or "economical with the truth."
Yes, Dufresne's new novel, "Deep in the Shade of Paradise," is chock-full of the homespun cornpone and magical touches that made his first full-length, "Louisiana Power & Light," a darling among critics on both sides of the Mason Dixon line. Sadly, his new work, a sequel of sorts, does not build on the success of the previous story but instead bogs down in the author's inability to keep out of his colorful characters' way.
"Deep in the Shade of Paradise" ostensibly chronicles the eve of Grisham Loudermilk's marriage to Ariane Thevenot. But Grisham's cousin Adlai - who falls in love with the bride-to-be -- and the groom's philandering ways threaten to derail the wedding. Adlai's reckless crush is conducted even as his mother passes away; his father struggles with the onset of Alzheimer's; the priest renounces his celibacy; his cousin gives birth; and a pair of conjoined twins fall for 11-year-old Boudou, an eidetic who happens to be the last of Fontana clan, the "most executed white family" in Louisiana history (and the protagonists of Dufresne's first novel).Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Trying to describe the book is like trying to explain MOBY DICK. ("Well, it's about a whale but it's not about a whale, it's really about everything.") DEEP IN THE SHADE OF PARADISE is simply a great book.
I forced myself to limit reading to one chapter a day to make the book last. It was hard because you become so involved with the characters you are compelled to fly through the pages. At the same time you know if you read too quickly you'll miss some great sentences that deserved to be carefully and thoughtfully read.
Dufresne has guaranteed that whenever I hear the word "plot" I will always think of the blissful Pythias. An extremely funny book.
As I said in my review title, this would've earned 5 stars if it wasn't for Louisiana Power & Light. The only downside to this book is that when I finished the book I didn't find myself missing the characters as much as I did when I finished LP&L.