Rebecca Martin's Reviews > The Tin Roof Blowdown

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
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's review
Jun 17, 2011

liked it

For me, this book raised the very significant question of exactly how much I can "like" a book in which nearly every crime and act of desperate violence in New Orleans during Katrina is committed by African-Americans. It's the first novel I have read by the prolific and well-regarded Burke, but my unease grew throughout my reading. I read the book as part of my preparation for a fall learning community, Neglected Landscapes. In that course, Deborah Poe and I and our students will explore New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as one such landscape. As I finished the book, I thought that it probably wasn't right for the course, but I'm now feeling that I should go back and read the book more carefully and see if, in fact, my first reaction doesn't do justice to the complexity of the novel's vision. Burke is considered a writer of genre fiction, but this book stands above that level. It's now obvious to me that the answer to the question in my first sentence is that I was very impressed by this book and that I would like to salvage my reading of it.

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