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Letters from New Orleans

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In January of 2000, Rob Walker left a high-powered media job in New York, and with his girlfriend, moved to New Orleans. Letters from New Orleans collects, in one volume, the delightful and unsettling observations Walker sent to friends and fans about his intriguing new life in New Orleans.
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 18th 2005 by Garrett County Press
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The real New Orleans from an insideoutsider's p.o.v. I wish I could write like this.
The most amazing thing to me about this little, well-written book is the absence of Hurricane Katrina. This is OBVIOUSLY not a criticism of Walker, as the letters and essays that comprise the text took place 2-5 years before the Katrina tragedy and the book itself was in publication before the storm. Instead, what it demonstrates is how much our cultural experience with New Orleans has shifted since that terrible event. Just about every noteworthy piece of writing out of New Orleans since 2005 h ...more
Jerry Oliver
This was a very interesting book that gets to the heart and soul of New Orleans. It is particularly interesting to me now that I have a son, daughter in law and grandson who live in New Orleans.
Also of interest is the fact that this book was written before Katrina. Now everything you read has to tie in Katrina but it's still the same city with many of the same characteristics, both good and bad.
Anyone who has a relationship with this city will find a lot to glean from this collection of letter
Regina Hart
I just can't get enough of New Orleans. Rob Walker captured so many of the city's features, both enchanting and baffling. Given that the book was written prior to Katrina, there is an eerie quality to reading it in the present day.
I don't think Rob Walker understands the city. I'm a native and I don't think I understand the city completely, so that isn't really why I'm only giving it two stars. The reason? He doesn't explain why New Orleans is a city worth staying in despite the bad points -- probably because he doesn't really believe it is worth staying in -- HE left, after all -- and that is what makes this book fall flat. There is so much more to New Orleans than this. I know, I know, it's just a series of letters, but ...more
Diann Blakely
Pre-Katrina, Rob Walker, a staff writer for the THE NEW YORK TIMES, documented a three-year sojourn in New Orleans--including holiday festivities featuring bullets, not fireworks--by writing e-mails to his friends. Many forwarded them to their own cyber-pals and posted them on websites. Walker collected the e-mails in LETTERS FROM NEW ORLEANS, Land the book not only became a cult bestseller, but also a model for David G. Spielman’s THE KATRINAVILLE CHRONICLES (see review of this book here also).
I really enjoyed this book. at first glance, I thought it was a post-Katrina collection, but actually written by a guy who lived there from 2000-2003.
I loved the way he describes first moving to New Orleans and the comments about New Orleanians being ' so completely unselfconscious '. He had me with that. and the rest of his observations made me think of my first experiences in the city and how much I miss it.
This book is a collection of letters from a Texas-born NYC journalist who moves to New Orleans with his girlfriend. He writes to friends, family and anyone who is curious about his NOLA experience. Many of them made me homesick. Several reminded me of things I had forgotten about or revealed parts of New Orleans I never knew. And a couple made me cry. Great little book. I would definitely recommend it.
Aug 22, 2008 Theadra rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Felicia
very interesting reading about New Orleans. Very personal observations pre-Katrina. I wondered what the author would have to say these days?

my one criticism would be that it felt thin. Not in pages, in details. If all "chapters" would have been like "St. James Infirmary" the book would have been 3x more enjoyable.
Good book. I think the author captured much of the spirit of New Orleans. A little eerie in that much if not all, was written before Hurricane Katrina. By the end, I think the author soured on New Orleans in the way that people not from there sometimes do after living there awhile, but all in all, not bad.
I love this man's appreciation for my city. If you want an accurate depiction of life in New Orleans, read it, and then read Confederacy of Dunces. Then write me with your questions and i'll do my best to illuminate, expand, expound and explain.
Having just been in New Orleans last month, this was a really interesting book to read. It dragged a bit towards the end, but I suppose if you read it more in pieces, rather than straight through, that problem would be alleviated.
i really like the toni morrison exchange idea- i think we should get it started.
I didn't get anything out of this that Treme didn't communicate with a better soundtrack. The disarming Postscript was a nice touch, though.
Renee Blanchard
This was a good beginners guide to living in New Orleans. If you haven't been and want to know more, this is a good starter kit.
Emily G
Loved this book. Quick, easy read. Wonderful description of New Orleans. Written pre-Katrina.
Apr 13, 2009 CS rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: swaps
An interesting, thoughtful, entertaining series of letters about living New Orleans.
Nice collection of essays about one of my favorite cities.
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PS For whatever reason, Goodreads can't get its act together on making it easy for me to remove superfluous books that are listed here as things I've written. If you see something that seems unlikely listed i
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