Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans
Nine different narratives are woven together, beginning in 1965 with Hurricane Betsy. Some of the reviews I read before I picked up the book complained that Nine Lives isn't more focused on Katrina--it's only the la ...more
I’ve lived near New Orleans for most of my life. I’m a frequent visitor there, and, like everyone else who comes, I’ve fallen in love with its decadent grandness, its welcoming, leisurel ...more
Among the other people profiled in the book are a wealthy uptown man with an active historical presence in Mardi Gras, an ambitious black woman determined to escape her child ...more
Still I felt obligated to read Nine Lives as the author is a neighbor and slight acquaintance. A couple of things held me back. One was ... Katrina fatigue. Also I had never visited New Orleans and regretted that I missed my chance before it was swept away by a Cat 5 hurricane, broken levees, polluted floodwaters, failed policies ...more
By the end of the book I felt like I knew the characters. When Tootie ...more
I expected the Katrina section to have the most impact, but Dan Baum does an excellent job of putting it in perspective by focusing on what really makes New Orleans special: its people. By starting with Hurricane Betsy and deliberately following these nine lives over the foll ...more
I get asked why I love New Orleans so very much. The author, in the acknowledgements, talks about the city's storytelling culture. And the stories woven here are raw - you can conjure sitting across from the person. Importantly, maybe - this one isn't all about Katrina. But by the time you get to Katrina, you know these people so well that you wan ...more
The reason it should be considered fiction is that it has the narrative drive of the best fiction, engrossing readers in the intimate lives of these characters who are fascinating in their own right, all but ...more
Nine Lives is a non-fiction book about nine different people in New Orleans, spanning 40+ years. The two major events that bracket this time frame are Hurricane Betsey and Hurricane Katrina. However, although these are important events in the book, they are not the entire focus of the book. The story chronicles these nine individuals from different parts of the city and different strata. ...more
Since 2005, Hurricane Katrina and its immediate effects on New Orleans have been documented in numerous books, such as Breach of Faith, ***1/2 Nov/Dec 2006, and The Great Deluge, ***1/2 Nov/Dec 2006. What Dan Baum accomplishes in Nine Lives, though, is more than a time line of events. Critics unanimously praised the author's approach and style, and they compared Baum's effort to the documentary work of Studs Terkel and John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, even if, at times, hi...more
Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans is the remarkable story of what happened to nine people between Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina. Their stories are true and bring to life both what it means to live in New Orleans as well as the effect of Hurricane Katrina.
I really enjoyed the book. Once I realized that I had not only met the first person introduced in the book, but that I had shook his hand and had lunch in his backyard, I w ...more
As a lifelong devotee of Joe Mitchell (you need him in your life if you haven't read him), I'm a total sucker for literary social reportage of this kind. And if any city - alongside, say, New York and maybe San Francisco - is going to be a host for it, it's got to be New Orleans. It's an approach I also really liked about 'The Warmth of Other Suns' come to think of it, with its similarly powerful story to tell about race.
It has a strong cross-section of characters (slightly uptight c ...more