Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans

Nine Lives by Dan Baum
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Apr 15, 09

bookshelves: may-june-2009

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, his jumpy, snapshot approach breaks the narrative flow. Baum, who immersed himself in the lives and culture that form the heart of his book, digs deep in search of the Crescent City's identity, coming as close as anyone has to defining the complexities of America's most haunted -- and, in many ways, its most elusive -- city.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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