Show your all-American face. Smile your all-American smile. Commiserate. Apologize, promise, lie. Anything. As long as they take the money and sign on the dotted line.
by Tom Cooper
Crown (2015) Hardcover, 320 pages
Set in the Bayous of Louisiana during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, Tom Cooper offers up a gritty, realistic, yet surreal portrait of the people involved in the shrimping business, as well as the oil company sharks intent on getting away with the ruination of a centuries old way of life. The battle for compensation is the backdrop behind the many smaller, yet equally important stories that weave across each other throughout the book.
Cooper has developed characters that are complex and believable, – from the one-armed shrimper who has wasted half his life in a search for fabled pirate treasure in the Barataria, the two hapless pot-head day laborers who think it a great idea to pilfer the harvest of the murderous twin Tchoup brothers, to the oil company executive who comes back home in order to rob his former neighbors and family out of their rightful compensation. All of these characters will eventually cross paths with varying results.
The story is reminiscent of Elmore Leonard, with a touch of Faulkner-chock full of violence, as well as pathos. The climax leaves many broken and ruined, with a bright spot that even Norman Rockwell would enjoy. The Marauders is one of my favorite reads of 2015 thus far, and I look forward to reading more by Tom Cooper in the future. Highly recommended.
Thugbrarian Set-List: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- The First Born is Dead
I can’t think of a more appropriate album to listen to during my time reading the Marauder by Tom Cooper. the Southern Gothic vibe, the reverb drenched guitars, and the dark subject matter make for a fitting soundtrack to the story. This is a recent repress of the original on 180gm vinyl. A truly amazing album.