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Higher Ground

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
HIGHER GROUND is a comic noir novel that begins five months after a hurricane has devastated New Orleans. Nicole Naquin, home for the first time in decades, is living next door to her mother Miss Gertie, an elderly evacuee from Lakeview reduced to pushing pills in a French Quarter gay bar. On the day Nicole's brother is killed in a drive-by shooting, she crashes the car in ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by University of Louisiana (first published October 24th 2011)
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Mark Folse
Dec 28, 2011 Mark Folse rated it really liked it
Nolan's novel perfectly captures the characters of New Orleans in a way few other writers have, most obviously John Kennedy Toole and Poppy Z. Bright's restaurant series. His mix of the comedy of the characters with the mystery plot thread in the context of postdiluvian New Orleans works is a brilliant attempt to lift the Katrina story out of the realm of pathos.

I have to wonder if establishing the crime upfront, rather than several chapters in, might make the book more compelling to readers ou
Mar 04, 2012 Dave rated it liked it
James Nolan's previous collection of short stories, Perpetual Care, was much better. The sometimes funny and often sad portrayals of the lost souls that inhabit New Orlean's French Quarter are tough to carry through as characters in a novel, but he comes close to carrying it off very well in this, a murder mystery light set against the post-Katrina impossibilities those who came back faced in putting their lives together. It's a light read that provides what are most likely accurate descriptions ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Suzette rated it liked it
Really vivid and lively debut novel from a NoLa writer. Love how to brought NoLa to life, and gave into a peek into lives in the aftermath of the flooding. Colorful characters, great sense of setting. Always great to find a talented local writer who can bring their community to life on the page.
Sam Jasper
Jul 14, 2012 Sam Jasper rated it really liked it
Liked it. Was very funny in parts but I kept finding myself comparing it to Confederacy of Dunces which wasn't fair of me. Perhaps I'll try reading it again and see if I change my mind about it's weaknesses.
Colleen Mooney
Feb 12, 2015 Colleen Mooney rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of post Katrina New Orleans and what made quirky characters in a city know to love a good time just a little bit crazier. James Nolan knows the city and the people and loves both. This is a fun read and I highly recommend it.
Melissa Ooten
Melissa Ooten rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2011
Lucie Cavaroc
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Feb 12, 2012
Erin Laine
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Nov 26, 2013
Megan rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2011
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Jan 03, 2014
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Mary Arno
Mary Arno rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2015
May 19, 2012 Nora rated it liked it
Started off great. Quirky characters. Became repetitive. The occult element was uninteresting.
Molly rated it really liked it
Jun 16, 2016
May 28, 2013 Christine rated it liked it
Great sense of place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Funny, tragic and full of characters.
Dave rated it did not like it
Feb 07, 2013
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Nov 29, 2011
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Jun 14, 2012
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James Nolan's latest book is the award-winning collection of short stories, PERPETUAL CARE. His two books of poetry are WHY I LIVE IN THE FOREST and WHAT MOVES IS NOT THE WIND, both from Wesleyan. He is a regular contributor to BOULEVARD, and recent stories have appeared in SHENANDOAH, ARKANSAS REVIEW, and the anthology NEW ORLEANS NOIR. A New Orleans native, he lives in the French Quarter and dir ...more
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