Jennifer's Reviews > The Missing

The Missing by Tim Gautreaux
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Nov 27, 09

bookshelves: fiction, historical
Read in November, 2009

I loved this author's book, The Next Step in the Dance. He really knows Louisiana and the south. He is a great storyteller.

This is also a great story. It's set in the 1920's, the last days of the big steam paddle wheel boats that rode up and down the Mississippi. Sam takes a job on one of the boats. He's lost his job because he was partly responsible for the kidnapping of a young girl. He thinks he'll be able to help locate her somewhere up and down the river. A lot happens and he's able to find himself in the process.

Annie Proulx called this the greatest American novel in a long long time.
"This is a novel that seems to vibrate in your hands. It is filled with sounds, smells and the bittersweet beauty of a vanquished time - the Mississippi on a moonlit night as the Ambassador, an aging four-decker steamboat, churns slowly downstream occasionally shattering the night with its strident whistle.The heart of the ship contains a vast Texas dance floor where over one thousand dancers can alternately sway and swing to blues and jazz. It is the golden age of riverboats (circa 1920’s), a time when crowds stood expectantly on the docks of a hundred towns along the Mississippi, waiting for a grand old steamer that would sweep them from their dull lives into a night filled with music and laughter." Just an example of what you can look forward to.
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