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The Next Step in the Dance
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The Next Step in the Dance

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  290 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Bringing the same light and gentle understanding that he did to the story collection Same Place, Same Things, author Tim Gautreaux tells the tale of Paul and Colette, star-crossed and factious lovers struggling to make it in rural south Louisiana. When Colette, fed up with small town life, perceives yet another indiscretion by the fun-loving Paul, she heads for Los Angeles ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 15th 1999 by Picador (first published March 1st 1998)
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This is a slow burner of a book. Beautifully written and realised characters, both major and minor. The first third of the book is sketchy in detail as the story feels like it is being rushed. From about page 100 onward it hits it's stride as you feel the writer has gained confidence in what he is trying to say. Alternatively, being that the first third of the book is predominantly set in the "foreign" environs of LA, we don't get much settled detail of the characters and place.
This is a beautif
Shan Walks
This is a book I keep coming back to. I've bought several copies of this book to have and to give away. Tim Gautreaux is the most unappreciated writer I know. His words flow along like a river. His character development is an example all writers should follow. His plot lines are current, solid, and believable. He always teaches me something about the history of the South. (and I grew up there!!) if I ever become a college professor, his works will be required reading in my classes.
Somewhere recently I read, "Read anything by Tim Gautreaux." Although passionate about Louisiana, I'd never heard of him. Hence, Next Step. First irritation was sloppiness. Where are editors today? The author uses a word or phrase that stands out, for example, "varnish." Three pages later he uses it again. Thesaurus, anyone? It doesn't appear later, so what could have been an image that moved the novel forward if used sparingly becomes a bull's-eye for the reader's red pencil. Southwest Louisian ...more
As a south Louisianan, I appreciated the authenticity of Gautreaux's debut novel, but having read his later works, "The Missing" and "The Clearing", this one disappointed me. The two main characters were a bit cartoonish in my opinion; brawls do not incessantly break out; and men do not wear hardhats to the bar. Yes, if you are not from here, one could easily be charmed by how beautifully he captures turns of phrases, the accents, and more - and that charm might distract the reader from a formul ...more
Tim Gautreaux's debut novel is a fine romance set in Tiger Island, Louisiana. Colette and Paul Thibodeaux have been married for about a year when Colette gets restless and dreams of a world bigger than the "small muddy pond" that they currently reside in. She leaves Paul and moves to California, and Paul reluctantly follows. The story moves somewhat slowly in the beginning, but quickens its pace after they leave California (with Paul having gotten Colette pregnant) and return home to their now-i ...more
This is a simple and straight forward tale, but for some reason, I couldn't put it down. The characters are intriguing and realistic, and the struggle that they face is an interesting part of history that is not really touched upon in books. This novel is definitely worth a read, even if it doesn't take you long.
This book was recently published by a new publisher here in U.K...Fox, Finch and Tepper. Watch for them
The story is brilliant. ...the characters are likeable..uf sometimes annoying. .but you want to know them.
At first I thought this was a man's book with all the descriptions of the machines etc. the main character could repair and I was ready to put it down. But then it grabbed me and was quite a story!
Picked this book up on the bargain table - what a pleasant surprise!The beautifully crafted language managed to convey a mood of life in 1980's Louisiana, much of which was unfamiliar to me. The main female character was a bit hard to like at times - I understood her need to improve her live but she was quite hard hearted to those who loved her. A lovely story
This book was okay. I loved the patois of the minor characters, and the setting was great. But the central relationship left me a bit cold. I felt the wife was completely unsympathetic and I couldn't like the husband as much as I wanted because he went along with her craziness. Overall, average.
I read this in college b/c it's set in Louisiana - where I'm from, and I loved it then. That was over 10 years ago, and I have grown much since then, in what I enjoy reading. Therefore, I have no idea if this book is good literature or not, but I greatly enjoyed the story at that time in my life.
Paul and Colette are married and descended from long lines of Frenchmen on Tiger Island, LA. Wonderful descriptions of the landscape, food, people, relationships, bars, and the poverty. Life lessons learned: family, home, and culture are most important.

Couldn't put this down.
An early work by an author whose work I've come to love. The characters come from a singular place in America, and their experience trying to live elsewhere is universal, as is their struggle in relationships.
I read this based on the strength of his short stories and was kind of disappointed. I think if I read this first, I would have liked it -- his short stories are just amazing
Jane Vincent
A great read with a wonderful sense of place. My relatives come from southern Louisiana and the language,the close knit family ties, and isolation of the area are spot on.
Marvelously drawn characters. I found myself wanting to telephone them and see how they're doing today, haha. The times, during the 80's oil bust, were also captured perfectly.
This book is wonderful! The story keeps you interested and there is a winsome sweetness in all the characters. It's very real and a fun read, but with depth. Enjoy!
It was a creative, entertaining book about a love that never gives up. The setting was in the bayou in Louisiana which I found very interesting.
A very unique plot that was engaging and memorable. This book deals with sacrificice and trade-offs, key themes for me.
A little slow to start, but by the halfway point I couldn't put it down and finished in one sitting.
Descriptive and evocative writing combine with a story propelled by an excellent narrative —
Really loved this book because the settings and characters are so familar. Love Southern Lit.
Best Gautreaux yet, don't know why I passed it up earliier, thanks to Lee for re-recommending it
Fun, quick read. It made me homesick for Louisiana. Gautreaux nails the lingo, culture and people.
Couldn't put it down. The best novel about a marriage I've ever read.
Good characters, good pacing, great read. He's an engaging storyteller.
Read this in English 101, while attending Nicholls State. Very good book!!
Diana Apperley
Enjoyed thios book, would read more by this author.
Not often a story draws a tear to the eye.
Simplier style than later novels. Good story!
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