The Tin Roof Blowdown

The Tin Roof Blowdown

4.17 (11,392 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Description

The story begins with the shooting of two would-be looters in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and then follows a motley group of characters - from street thugs to a big-time mob boss, from a junkie priest to a sadistic psychopath - as their stories converge on a cache of stolen diamonds, while the storm turns the Big Easy into a lawless wasteland of apocalyptic proportions. The nightmarish landscape created by Katrina seems the perfect setting for Burke's almost Biblical visions of good and evil - it is as if he had to wait for this disaster to find the occasion to match his emotionally supercharged prose. You can feel the undercurrents of rage and pain beneath the narrative, making this not only his most personal and deeply felt book for some time, but quite possibly his best novel to date. This is not just a superb crime novel, it is potentially THE fictional chronicle of a disaster whose human dimensions America is still struggling to process.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 160 x 240 x 34mm | 630g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0752889168
  • 9780752889160
  • 716,196

Review quote

the characters are beautifully realised and their motivation strong. But it is the fury at the authorities response to the crisis that gives this its added dimension. -- Toby Clements * DAILY TELEGRAPH * Burke's novel is a powerful mix of near-journalism reportage ... undercut with a simmering rage at the corporate theft and government incompetence that made the clear-up such a difficult and devisive task. * IRISH TIMES * there is no doubting the power of the passages devoted to the hurricane's impact, where the author's twin gifts for physical description and biblical rhetoric fuse stunningly to give the novel an apocalyptic backdrop. -- John Dugdale * SUNDAY TIMES * 'The Tin Roof Blowdown is, inevitably, sadder and angrier than previous Robicheaux novels. We always knew James Lee Burke was a master craftsman of the crime genre. This proves him to be more than that.' -- Marcel Berlins * THE TIMES * a beautifully written howl of rage and pain over the disaster - social, political, human - that was Hurricane Katrina ... Burke has crafted a killer mystery and a passionate tribute to to his beloved New Orleans. * TIME OUT * 'Burke mixes street slang and exquisite, but always precise, descriptive writing ... Robicheaux is the perfect vehicle for expressing the brooding and righteous anger which is the only possible response to the failure of the United States Government to organise relief when the levees broke. The Tin Roof Blowdown is proof that current affairs can be worked into fiction. It's account of the destruction wreaked by the floods has an enduring power.' * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Burke's prose, jagged and discordant ... has always had a hallucinatory quality, but here his descriptions of drowning, floating corpses and devastated buildings provide a background tableaux of madness and terror that knowingly invokes Bosch's visions of hell. * METRO * You feel guilty for enjoying it so much ... a great piece of art has come out of human trouble ... it is his greatest novel -- Boyd Hilton * RADIO R LIVE SIMON MAYO BOOKCLUB * The story, about greed and murder and redemption, contains some of Burke's most brilliantly realised characters ... a compelling and moving narrative, punctuated by his devastating descriptions of the ravaged city. -- Susanna Yager * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * 'occasionally something comes along which transcends the narrow confines of the genre: a book which, by any measure, is a truly wonderful piece of writing. Burke's latest work is a case in point. It confirms, if confirmation were needed, that he is one of America's greatest living novelists.' * THE HERALD * probably his finest novel ... it's quite an achievement to make the 16th novel in a series a personal best, but its more than that - it stands comparison with the best of Southern fiction. -- Peter Guttridge * THE OBSERVER * In the US, he's often regarded as the crimewriter's crimewriter. But that was before Hurricane Katrina ripped the soul out of Burke's beloved New Orleans and inspired him to write what has to be his most gripping thriller to date ... Burke's descriptions, especially of the aftermath of the hurricane, are more vivid and powerful than any piece of reportage I've yet to come across. -- Henry Sutton * THE MIRROR * 'This New Orleans looks like Bosch and reads like Ballard ... it's worth emphasising that no 'literary' novelist has performed this task of imaginative witness to disaster yet. And none will do it half so well as Burke. ... he proves more forcefully than ever that he can dive down these mean - or drowned - streets and strike both a tragic, and epic, note.' -- Boyd Tonkin * THE INDEPENDENT * The Tin Roof Blowdown is the novel James Lee Burke was born to write. His imagination has always tended to the apocalyptical - but Hurricane Katrina outdid his worst inventions ... The passages describing the actual flooding are tremendously powerful but Burke also weaves a fully satisfying story into this extreme event. -- David Sexton * EVENING STANDARD * The Tin Roof Blowdown is more than a crime novel; more than a literary novel even. It is a work of profound historical value and importance ... To say I enjoyed this book is an understatement ... there were moments when I wanted to put the book down, it was so painful to continue. But I couldn't. Now, I dare say, will anyone else. -- Mark Timlin * INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY * THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN is, inevitably, sadder and angrier than previous Robicheaux novels. We always knew James Lee Burke was a master craftsman of the crime genre. This proves him to be more than that * The Times * A beautifully written howl of rage and pain over the disaster - social, political, human - that was Hurricane Katrina ... Burke has crafted a killer mystery and a passionate tribute to to his beloved New Orleans * Time Out * You feel guilty for enjoying it so much ... a great piece of art has come out of human trouble ... it is his greatest novel -- Boyd Hilton * Simon Mayo Book Club * The story, about greed and murder and redemption, contains some of Burke's most brilliantly realised characters ... a compelling and moving narrative, punctuated by his devastating descriptions of the ravaged city * Sunday Telegraph * Probably his finest novel ... it's quite an achievement to make the 16th novel in a series a personal best, but it's more than that - it stands comparison with the best of Southern fiction * Observer * In the US, he's often regarded as the crimewriter's crimewriter. But that was before Hurricane Katrina ripped the soul out of Burke's beloved New Orleans and inspired him to write what has to be his most gripping thriller to date ... Burke's descriptions, especially of the aftermath of the hurricane, are more vivid and powerful than any piece of reportage I've yet to come across * The Mirror * This New Orleans looks like Bosch and reads like Ballard ... it's worth emphasising that no 'literary' novelist has performed this task of imaginative witness to disaster yet. And none will do it half so well as Burke. ... he proves more forcefully than ever that he can dive down these mean - or drowned - streets and strike both a tragic, and epic, note * Independent * THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN is the novel James Lee Burke was born to write. His imagination has always tended to the apocalyptical - but Hurricane Katrina outdid his worst inventions ... The passages describing the actual flooding are tremendously powerful but Burke also weaves a fully satisfying story into this extreme event * Evening Standard * THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN is more than a crime novel; more than a literary novel even. It is a work of profound historical value and importance ... To say I enjoyed this book is an understatement ... there were moments when I wanted to put the book down, it was so painful to continue. But I couldn't. Nor, I dare say, will anyone else * Independent on Sunday *show more

About James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, several featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He won the EDGAR AWARD in 1998 for CIMARRON ROSE, while BLACK CHERRY BLUES won the EDGAR in 1990 and SUNSET LIMITED was awarded the CWA GOLD DAGGER in 1998. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.show more

Rating details

11,392 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 42% (4,743)
4 39% (4,407)
3 16% (1,800)
2 3% (330)
1 1% (112)
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