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Lives of the Saints

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"Hysterically funny, beautifully almost hypnotic portrait of unforgettable people in a strange and magnificent city".--Anne tyler, The New Republic.
Paperback, 143 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Plume (first published 1985)
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Feb 20, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
"'Now, come on, Tom,' I said, 'get ahold of yourself.'
He stared at me smolderingly.
'Where is Mary Grace?' I said.
'She's probably in the bamboo grove having sex.'
'The bamboo grove?'
'Well, you know, that's the type of person she is. She's the type of person who would just go out to the bamboo grove during the middle of a party or during her own wedding and have sex.'
'She is? What? But–but–why the bamboo grove, though?'
'It's racy out there, Louise. It's sexy. Out in the bamboo grove.'
'God,' I said,
Jul 25, 2016 Ereck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Lemann's subtle but expert management of pacing, tone, and form is core content of this astonishing novel: writing in the voice of narrator Louise Brown, Lemann explains, "In this atmosphere you may understandably complain of a lack of plot or design, but that is the plot, that is the crisis-- the crisis of youth and aimlessness" (80). Reviewers here fault the book's excessive length (@ 145 pages!?) and criticize it for dragging, but such responses betray their less than diligent reading.

Lives o
Trish Graboske
Dec 20, 2015 Trish Graboske rated it liked it
The author comes up with some great descriptions, such as ". . . even at eighty-four years old. She had a streak of native, wrathful intelligence which she cleverly disguised with coquetry. It was a curious but spellbinding mixture." And "The decor was red plush and cobwebs, with grandiose marble domes and fixtures." However it does drag sometimes.
Dec 08, 2010 Carrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
This novella is very much like New Orleans, filled with colorful characters who all are trying to suppress their darker side, yet ultimately failing and how they deal with the fall out of that. Beautifully written and it makes me want to hop on a plane south.
May 25, 2011 Margot rated it it was ok
This would have been so much better as a short story. The eccentricity got old and the story just rambled along. She did do a great job with her New Orleans stereotyping. I know some of these people!!!
Feb 17, 2013 Carla rated it it was amazing
I adore this book, and read it every few years. Nancy Lemann has a poetic and funny voice that's utterly enchanting and when she's writing about New Orleans, she is in her element. The Collier family appears elsewhere in her books, but never so vividly, and poignantly, as here. A gem.
Jan 18, 2012 Paddy rated it it was amazing
This is among my favorite New Orleans novels, I knew real people like many of these characters in 1970s and 1980s NOLA.
Aug 13, 2012 Venus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
An old favorite. Quirky and tender. One of my favorite quotes: "Three-fourths of all sorrow is self-pity," from Mr. Collier's wise soliloquy.
Douglas Karlson
Sep 09, 2012 Douglas Karlson rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this highly absorbing and humorous book, and was checking to see if the author ever wrote anything else. I thought maybe this was her only book but now I see there are others.
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Linda Chen rated it it was amazing
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