Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone” as Want to Read:
Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  98 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Try it. Right now. Picture the lights going off in the room you're sitting in. The computer, the air conditioning, phones, everything. Then the people, every last person in your building, on the street outside, the entire neighborhood, vanished. With them go all noises: chitchat, coughs, cars, and that wordless, almost impalpable hum of a city. And animals: no dogs, no bir ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Free Press (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Heart Like Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heart Like Water

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I struggled to make it halfway through this book. I really tried to give it a chance. The first strike being that the media coverage on Katrina was so intense and unending for such an extended period of time that it's difficult to learn any new, pertinent information that you haven't already heard or read about. Clark's account suffers from dense, miniscule information that turns into a slog to pick through. It reads like a transcript. My biggest gripe with Clark is the daily excessive alcohol c ...more
Apr 04, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one.
I found this book nearly unreadable. The subject matter fascinated me, but the writer seemed very self-absorbed. The book is at its best when the New Orleans voices come through; at its worst when the author reflects on his relationship with his girlfriend. I'm also bothered that he continues to be described as a chief correspondent for NPR, when in actuality, he was someone they were able to contact by cell phone and continued to interview through out the Katrina disaster. So yes, he did report ...more
Lynette Lark
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Two things this author recommends you have with you if you're going to go through a hurricane: mosquito netting and marijuana. The first so you can get some sleep and the second so you can barter.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because Joshua Clark possesses in one brain and body more heart than most, tenrandom people combined. He proactively lived through a disaster that left his city in shatters and heshares those experiences with the world in the most honest and raw narrative, and it always feels truthful, energetic,and is often laced with acerbic humor. I love New Orleans, and still choke back tears when I reflect on the sheer magnitude of the lack of help and resources for a community at a time w ...more
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a different memoir of the aftermath of Katrina, Rita & the federal flood than i expected. josh's account sounded privileged & a lot of this memoir angered me at first. however, this is his story and i was sorta relieved to read something different - to get a perspective i didn't realize existed. it was hard to imagine someone being so insensitive and not crying daily.
his musings are pretty affected at times (a seeming attempt to channel a poor man's Anthony Bourdain) and i almos
What did you know about New Orleans before Katrina hit? Had you visited the city? Maybe for Mardi Gras? I had never been to New Orleans or even Lousiana. Neither had my husband.

However, after Katrina, my husband, two colleagues and a group of students went to New Orleans the January after the hurricane to tear down houses. It changed Bill's life. It gave both of us lots of questions about why such things could even happen.

Heart Like Water by Joshua Clark has given me more food for thought. It al
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess I sort of understand the negative reviews. This book isn't for everyone. But personally , I thought it was very raw and honest. It is very much a first person account of what was seen and experienced before, during and after Katrina right in the French Quarter. Told by someone who chose not to evacuate, it describes the sights, sounds, smells, sadness, comraderie, and coping that those who stayed experienced. It is only much later in the book that the author has ventured outside the Quar ...more
Feb 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This account of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is more than a bit irreverent so far, but that is one of the reasons I chose to pick this book up. The author has managed to visit Johnny White's Sports Pub twice by page 34, which I can certainly identify with. I imagine this is how Andy Graber would have spent his post-Katrina days if he had been living in the French Quarter at that time. The difference is that Andy wouldn't have brought a tape recorder and a girlfriend along for the ride. I ...more
Oct 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: some..
I never did finish this book but want to buy it. As with most books, it's an issue of taste. I have to say it was possibly a bit of morbid fascination that I continued to read this book. The colossal joke of how Katrina was handled was shown in more detail. If you don't like any "bad behavior", this is not a touch of sugar for your cup of tea. A little dangerous living while "taking a stand" and continuing your day job with your old and new friends---a long, surrrrrreal journal of sorts....
Really fascinating insight into life in New Orleans during Katrina from the perspective of someone who didn't evacuate, but stayed, along with his girlfriend and other randoms, in the French Quarter for the duration. Some incredible contrasts between the portrayal of events in the media and what it was like in his shoes. Day to day survival, travel around the quarter and then the city, inspection of the levees and rescue of inhabitants and animals. The friendships and the fallout. A good read.
Aug 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
Heard him interviewed on NPR- I am having a hard time getting thru it- it seems as if he wrote the book and then decided it needed adjectives- it doesnt flow- I hope it contains good info about the victims and their stories- so far nope. This book is written poorly, the stories are not really so much about the victims as they are about this guys experience , which isnt very interesting and his relationship with his, apparently usually naked, girlfriend. I found it boring and disappointing.
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to learn about life, love, and the magic that is New Orleans, Joshua is the artist that brings it all together- but not in the traditional sense. There is no other book on the market- maybe Chris Rose's 'original' One Dead in Attic that captures the essense of what life is really like.
Oct 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible book. The writing is tedious, slow and I really don't care about how many times this guy and his girlfriend have sex during Katrina.
Anyone wanting to know the Katrina story would not get it from this memoir.
Stacy Lewis
Feb 11, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Author stayed in New Orleans during and after Katrina, ignoring mandatory evacuation orders. Good first-person description of life in an empty town. I bought the book expecting more descriptions of what happened - what stories were true and what were lies. Disappointing.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: set-aside
This was very disappointing. I really looked forward to hearing the story, but I had to set the book aside because there were too many sexual references and foul language. Where was the editor in all of this? I saw other reviews that said the same thing.
Coast Guard/Katrina
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
starts out fantastic... but after about 100 pages you want to beat the author with a phone book. got so sick of it i never finished.
I was so damn conflicted over this book. Its such a compelling story, but the author left me cold. His unnerving obsession with Katrina seems borne of guilt.
A personal account of the author’s experiences staying in the French Quarter during and after Katrina, scavenging for booze and acting like the selfish jerk he seems to be.

Ami Stearns
So absorbing but almost went on too long.
Apr 08, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just started this yesterday and finding it very compelling.
Clyde Blunk
rated it it was ok
Jun 07, 2012
Lisa P Raven
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2017
abdolla abdollay
rated it it was amazing
Jul 19, 2008
Jules Wolfers
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2015
rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2012
rated it did not like it
Jul 08, 2008
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2016
Christian Champagne
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book