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The Marauders

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,515 ratings  ·  453 reviews
When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette,  these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Crown
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Terri Adults that don't mind seeing a variation on the f-word every sentence.…moreAdults that don't mind seeing a variation on the f-word every sentence.(less)

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I love when a first time author blows it out of the ballpark. I'm going with a strong 3.5 stars rounded up on this one.
This small town in Louisiana has seen Katrina come and go and now they are facing BP's oil spillage. That has ruined the people there's way of life.

Set in the swamp and small town of Jeannette the author brings this story to life.
A petro-stink hung thickly in the air, a smell like hot tar in summer. Cosgrove saw spangles of crude in the water, the flotillas of diarrheic
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

The Marauders became a part of my TBR due to a recommendation by one of my husband co-workers. It turns out he’s becoming quite the fan of hick lit and thought of me after reading/agreeing with my assessment of Bull Mountain. When I took a peak at the synopsis for this one I was all in and immediately snatched it up from the library. Then my non-book-reading husband decided to join in for a buddy read . . . . .

commercial photography locations

It’s now been four d
James Thane
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
The denizens of Jeanette, a dying community in the Louisiana bayou, have never really recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. And then, as they are struggling to get back on their feet, they are walloped again by the disaster that flows to their shores in the wake of the BP oil spill. Many of the citizens of the tiny community barely eek out a hard scrabble living as shrimpers and as the oil fouls the waters for miles around, the already beleaguered shrimping industry is dealt a dev ...more
After midnight and the black-green swamp was swollen and dripping moonstruck jewels of dew trembling on the leaves. The Toup twins came across a fallen oak, its trunk worm-bored and teeming with larvae. The log was too large to leap so they climbed on top, boots crackling in the rotten wood, and then they hopped down to the other side,

Now they came upon a spiderweb as big as a shrimping trawl, stretched between the tumorous trunks of two alders. A hand-sized spider like a blown-glass objet d'art
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, this is one hell of a first novel. Very rarely do I read a book where I feel as if every word, every phrase, every idea was labored over and carefully chosen, and it shows. There is really not one thing I didn't like about this book.

Great atmosphere and incredible sense of place and time...check.

Memorable and well-developed characters...check.

Superior rhythm and flow...check.

Luscious and poetic use of language to create strong and lasting impressions/imagery...check.

Strong plot with seam
Tori (InToriLex)
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Book Review, InToriLex
I started this book not knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with this snapshot in time through the Barataria.  The characters were flawed and relateable, all of them coping with hard times and using what they have to make it through. The atmosphere described and the dialogue driven prose, made me feel more like someone was telling me a long story. I enjoyed every word. There's so much said in between words when you talk to your paren
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Marauders is categorized as a mystery but I don’t think that is most suitable. Sure there are a couple mysteries such as the locations of the buried pirate’s gold and marijuana harvest but they really take on a secondary role. This is a more character driven story. And what a bunch of characters!!

I loved this book! What cast of misfit outcasts up to no good deep in the Louisiana bayou, with an occasional foray into New Orleans. The humor was terrific and provided a good balance to the dire c
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
When I finished in the wee hours of this morning, it was a 5 star. As I have wrestled a little more with it, it drifted down slightly. I'm going with 3.5 rounded up to a 4 because the elements I liked......I REALLY liked. I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review so here goes: one word, that's what sums this book up. Stubborn people, living in a stubborn hamlet of a stubborn state, set against the stubborn environment following the BP oil spill of 2010.
Elyse Walters
Great contemporary crime story that takes place after the devastation of Hurricane
Katrina in Louisiana with the remnants of the BP oil spill.

Testosterone energy was flying high with a cast of eight men in the pits of the swamps. As a female reader...those who enjoy 'women's fiction' are in for a treat...
This is not to be enjoyed by only the dudes!!!

The story is fiction ... but the gulf disasters feel real. The setting and shifting plots were totally engaging. I enjoyed the humor, the rich sce
The Marauders is a superb story that dazzles with heart-pounding suspense in a tale grabbed from the headlines and made intimate by the vibrant characters and their hard-scrabble lives. The reader is introduced to a cadre of characters in the Louisiana Gulf Coast area in the post-Katrina, post-BP oil spill era, each introduces his story and their current trials and tribulations. But the joy of this book is the how the author handles the characters’ voices with confidence, wit and empathy, weavin ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a different kind of book for me. It's about small town people who have suffered emotionally and physically through Katrina and are now suffering economically via their livelihoods through the BP oil spill. So, it's really about the people. The author has portrayed an in depth picture of several of the characters who were affected. You really get to know these people and feel for them. Some you like and some you don't. Some you just shake your head at an ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always heard that if you are going to write anything to write what you know, and Tom Cooper certainly knows the Barataria Bay. Tom Cooper has written a winner. This book had me from the first sentence. It is so authentic that I could see and smell the swamp and bayou while reading this novel. I haven't been shrimping in years but this book makes me want to be out on the water right now. And the very best part of it all are the characters. Mr. Cooper hit the nail on the head. This is going ...more
Kathryn in FL
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Marauders: A Novel is an intriguing story woven with a rich blend of interesting characters, multiple plots rife with drama, with a dollop of humor. Tom Cooper's gift for descriptive prose is artful and his talent far exceeds what many respected writers aspire to produce. I thoroughly enjoyed the rich scenery, regular injections of humor and particularly embraced the idiosyncratic characters as they doggedly fight to survive life in abject shrimping village after the BP Oil Spill.

Our story i
“Louisiana in September was like an obscene phone call from nature. The air--moist, sultry, secretive, and far from fresh--felt as if it were being exhaled into one's face. Sometimes it even sounded like heavy breathing. Honeysuckle, swamp flowers, magnolia, and the mystery smell of the river scented the atmosphere, amplifying the intrusion of organic sleaze.”
― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

A different Tom penned The Marauders of course, but it's the very same Louisiana. Tom Cooper takes the one
Cindy Heaton
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, own
Solid 3.5

This book was entertaining enough. The writing was well done, the descriptive passages brought you into the bayou. There were many characters, but they weren't hard to keep straight and they were interesting and well done. I enjoyed reading it, but for some reason I can't quite figure out I found it hard to pick back up and continue reading. I felt the ending was wrapped up neatly, but not the big coming together of the characters I was expecting. Nothing bad, but nothing particularly
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it

Exciting thriller/adventure novel which brought to mind the first few novels by Tom Franklin that I read.

This very gifted author is particularly adept at creating engaging characters with whom the reader can immediately sympathize.

Highly Recommended.

(for what it's worth: I read the advance reading copy of this novel as issued in trade paperback)
Toni Osborne
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This stunning debut novel is a noirish crime mystery written with a touch of humour. The tale brings us deep into the murky water of the Louisiana bayous. The story is post Katrina and soon after the BP spill that devastated the livelihood of the citizens of Jeannette, a little town where shrimping is in the blood.

We are introduced in short chapters to a cast of lively as much as eccentric characters. Each chapter bears the characters names and shifts perspectives as the story keeps its journey
Neil Sarver
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every time I go to look up this book, I'm embarrassed by my inability to spell "Marauders" on the first try. This is not just because I'm generally good at spelling, but it was also the name of my high school's teams. This is relevant to this book largely in that this was the first reason it caught my eye, although it certainly wasn't why I ended up reading it.

The book is fantastic. The characters are vivid and three-dimensional. They are at once funny and tragic, and the events build and move i
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could almost taste the oysters with this book. Set in South Louisiana around time of BP oil spill, all the life available in this mysterious, fecund place was brought to life as you followed the lives of each character - some worth saving and others not worth the time of day. My own love for this area colors my review but it was as if I was there as I read the story. The impact of Katrina on the Coast and Louisiana followed by the BP oil spill was devastating and is still there today. But the ...more
Diana Band
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book a sixth star, it was that good. Longer review to come, but if you're looking for the next great thing to read, this book is it. One hell of a debut novel! ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Frontrunner for my favorite book of the year! 5er baby!
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
First off—full disclosure—I won an advanced copy of this fun book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Review in one sentence: The Marauders by Tom Cooper is a little Carl Hiaasen mixed with HBO’s The Wire.

“Was this it: the end of his life? Would a stranger deem it even worthy of being called a life? He had no other life to compare it with, only lives shown in movies and television shows, lives recounted in bars by sentimental drunkards probably lying as much to themselves as to him.”

One character, Cos
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, audiobooks
This novel alternates between a number of point-of-view characters -- one-armed treasure hunter Gus Lindquist, father and son shrimpers Bobby and Wes Trench, halfwit low-level criminals Cosgrove and Hanson, bayou pot farmers Reginald and Victor Toup, and BP oil representative Brady Grimes -- in the Louisiana bayou in the aftermath of the recent BP oil spill. Seeing the impact of Katrina and the oil spill from the points-of-view of these unique personalities, each more depressing than the last, g ...more
Charles Finch
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars - my review from USA Today.

The Marauders

By Tom Cooper

Crown, 320 pp.


One of the ongoing frustrations of the BP oil spill is that its perpetrators have been insulated from any consequence comparable to those that their recklessness caused. That makes it the ideal opening for a novelist, whose job is to parse life more finely than the law can. In this engaging tale, set along the Gulf Coast after the spill, Tom Cooper brings the region to life: the corporate emissary negotiating knockdo
Neil McCrea
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've just returned from a lengthy Goodreads hiatus. The reviews for books I've read during that time are likely to be even shorter than usual.

The marketing materials led me to believe The Marauders would be a grim bit of "grit lit" along the lines of Donald Ray Pollack or even Cormack McCarthy. There is a little bit of that here, but quite a bit more Carl Hiassen than either of those. This is no bad thing. It's important to recognize that humor, even good natured humor, exists in even the grimme
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading The Marauders very much. Cooper's writing is like his own personal hybrid style with bits of Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, with a touch of Donald Westlake thrown in. The story is engaging, while being a bit frightening and darkly funny at the same time. Not easy to achieve.

After the BP oil spill causes devastation to the waters of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, the citizens struggle to make a living the way they used to. This book has a cast of characters whose struggles fill the ch
Larry Olson
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of Southern Gothic literature and writers like William Gay or Larry Brown, then pick up a copy of Tom Cooper’s The Marauders, step into your skiff and let this masterful new writer take you on a journey you’ll not soon forget. You’ll float through the Louisiana bayou, first devastated by Katrina and then the BP Oil spill and meet the oddest collection of screw-ups, saints, sinners and murders. But to call this a crime novel does it an injustice. Cooper brings his narrative, char ...more
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
The Marauders really picks up steam as it develops. Early on, the story bounced around a lot, making it difficult to care about which person was involved in the story, but by the end, when they started to interact more, the book lifts off. Set in the Louisiana bayou, among a bunch of hardscrabble types who are shrimpers, drug runners, insurance land swindlers, etc, the book is thick with local color. Eccentrics are obviously in the story since the book is set in the South. It's kind of a cliche ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow! This is a wonderful debut novel. Tom did a fantastic job writing a story that drew me right in from page one. His characters are so vibrant and I felt as though I knew each one. He brilliantly described the bayous of Louisiana! I grew up in the Nola area during my childhood and went back later in life as an adult. Living through Katrina was something unlike any other life experience... Tom sure stirred up some old feelings and memories in me from that time. His writing is great!

I'm so glad
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
There are some really interesting characters in this book about bayou country Louisiana. That was the best part about The Marauders. I was expecting more of a thriller than a book about struggling shrimpers and drug thugs eking out a living during the challenges of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. So, while it was a likable read, I can't help but be a bit disappointed that there was not more thrill and action to this book. ...more
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Tom Cooper was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and now lives in New Orleans. His short stories have appeared in Oxford American, Mid-American Review, and Gulf Coast, among many others. Random House/Crown published his first novel, The Marauders, in 2015. He is at work on several new projects, including television scripts and novels.

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