Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone
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Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Try it. Right now. Picture the lights going off in the room you're sitting in. The computer, the air conditioning, phones, everything. Then the people, every last person in your building, on the street outside, the entire neighborhood, vanished. With them go all noises: chitchat, coughs, cars, and that wordless, almost impalpable hum of a city. And animals: no dogs, no bir...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Free Press (first published 2007)
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Catherine
I struggled to make it halfway through this book. I really tried to give it a chance. The first strike being that the media coverage on Katrina was so intense and unending for such an extended period of time that it's difficult to learn any new, pertinent information that you haven't already heard or read about. Clark's account suffers from dense, miniscule information that turns into a slog to pick through. It reads like a transcript. My biggest gripe with Clark is the daily excessive alcohol c...more
Mickie
I loved this book because Joshua Clark possesses in one brain and body more heart than most, tenrandom people combined. He proactively lived through a disaster that left his city in shatters and heshares those experiences with the world in the most honest and raw narrative, and it always feels truthful, energetic,and is often laced with acerbic humor. I love New Orleans, and still choke back tears when I reflect on the sheer magnitude of the lack of help and resources for a community at a time w...more
Hillary
this is a different memoir of the aftermath of Katrina, Rita & the federal flood than i expected. josh's account sounded privileged & a lot of this memoir angered me at first. however, this is his story and i was sorta relieved to read something different - to get a perspective i didn't realize existed. it was hard to imagine someone being so insensitive and not crying daily.
his musings are pretty affected at times (a seeming attempt to channel a poor man's Anthony Bourdain) and i almos...more
Patty
What did you know about New Orleans before Katrina hit? Had you visited the city? Maybe for Mardi Gras? I had never been to New Orleans or even Lousiana. Neither had my husband.

However, after Katrina, my husband, two colleagues and a group of students went to New Orleans the January after the hurricane to tear down houses. It changed Bill's life. It gave both of us lots of questions about why such things could even happen.

Heart Like Water by Joshua Clark has given me more food for thought. It al...more
Diane
Apr 04, 2008 Diane rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one.
I found this book nearly unreadable. The subject matter fascinated me, but the writer seemed very self-absorbed. The book is at its best when the New Orleans voices come through; at its worst when the author reflects on his relationship with his girlfriend. I'm also bothered that he continues to be described as a chief correspondent for NPR, when in actuality, he was someone they were able to contact by cell phone and continued to interview through out the Katrina disaster. So yes, he did report...more
Reggie
This account of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is more than a bit irreverent so far, but that is one of the reasons I chose to pick this book up. The author has managed to visit Johnny White's Sports Pub twice by page 34, which I can certainly identify with. I imagine this is how Andy Graber would have spent his post-Katrina days if he had been living in the French Quarter at that time. The difference is that Andy wouldn't have brought a tape recorder and a girlfriend along for the ride. I...more
Michelle
Jan 21, 2010 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: some..
I never did finish this book but want to buy it. As with most books, it's an issue of taste. I have to say it was possibly a bit of morbid fascination that I continued to read this book. The colossal joke of how Katrina was handled was shown in more detail. If you don't like any "bad behavior", this is not a touch of sugar for your cup of tea. A little dangerous living while "taking a stand" and continuing your day job with your old and new friends---a long, surrrrrreal journal of sorts....
Bettynz
Really fascinating insight into life in New Orleans during Katrina from the perspective of someone who didn't evacuate, but stayed, along with his girlfriend and other randoms, in the French Quarter for the duration. Some incredible contrasts between the portrayal of events in the media and what it was like in his shoes. Day to day survival, travel around the quarter and then the city, inspection of the levees and rescue of inhabitants and animals. The friendships and the fallout. A good read.
Churleys
Mar 14, 2008 Churleys rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
Heard him interviewed on NPR- I am having a hard time getting thru it- it seems as if he wrote the book and then decided it needed adjectives- it doesnt flow- I hope it contains good info about the victims and their stories- so far nope. This book is written poorly, the stories are not really so much about the victims as they are about this guys experience , which isnt very interesting and his relationship with his, apparently usually naked, girlfriend. I found it boring and disappointing.
Lisa
If you want to learn about life, love, and the magic that is New Orleans, Joshua is the artist that brings it all together- but not in the traditional sense. There is no other book on the market- maybe Chris Rose's 'original' One Dead in Attic that captures the essense of what life is really like.
Stacy Lewis
Author stayed in New Orleans during and after Katrina, ignoring mandatory evacuation orders. Good first-person description of life in an empty town. I bought the book expecting more descriptions of what happened - what stories were true and what were lies. Disappointing.
Skip
Terrible book. The writing is tedious, slow and I really don't care about how many times this guy and his girlfriend have sex during Katrina.
Anyone wanting to know the Katrina story would not get it from this memoir.
Pascale
A personal account of the author’s experiences staying in the French Quarter during and after Katrina, scavenging for booze and acting like the selfish jerk he seems to be.

Ellen
I was so damn conflicted over this book. Its such a compelling story, but the author left me cold. His unnerving obsession with Katrina seems borne of guilt.
Ted
starts out fantastic... but after about 100 pages you want to beat the author with a phone book. got so sick of it i never finished.
Ami Stearns
So absorbing but almost went on too long.
Anita
Apr 08, 2009 Anita is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just started this yesterday and finding it very compelling.
Lynn
Coast Guard/Katrina
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