read online Pdf Babylon RollingAuthor Amanda Boyden – Intimatenights.co.uk

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel, believing that it would be a New Orleans hurricane story of Ivan, not Katrina and finding out that it isn t It is bookended in the front by the threat of Ivan which turns out to be nothing for the city, though Boyden subtly shows that experiences like this one are one reason many people stay put and did stay put for Katrina and at the end with the reader knowing but not the characters that what it coming soon is Katrina This is probably becomi I was pleasantly surprised by this novel, believing that it would be a New Orleans hurricane story of Ivan, not Katrina and finding out that it isn t It is bookended in the front by the threat of Ivan which turns out to be nothing for the city, though Boyden subtly shows that experiences like this one are one reason many people stay put and did stay put for Katrina and at the end with the reader knowing but not the characters that what it coming soon is Katrina This is probably becoming a clich thing to say about N.O stories and about the city itself , but with both the beauty and ugliness of Uptown N.O being rendered pitch perfectly, the story ultimately shows that the reason the city endures and will endure is because of its people, both the longtime residents and the newcomers.Boyden is a wonderful writer and her characters and their messy lives are real I cared for them and worried about them, and ended up surprised by whom among them I cared about the most I actually read an AR edition that I found in Washington state and when Amanda signed it for me at an author event here in N.O., she told me the ending was slightly though not significantly different than in the official version P.S I glanced through the official version and I can t find any differences I enjoyed the different voices each if the characters had Different, unique perspectives of lives intertwined A good read. Amanda Boyden has a wonderful and varied voice, powerful in its own right and just as powerful when it s playing chameleon She does that a lot in this novel, which is about the year leading up to Hurricane Katrina on one street in New Orleans It s like she s trying to remember the intricacies of The Time Before, everyone s Time Before, good or bad or in between There is an even mix of loathable and lovable characters, along with a section that s both One of the best prologues I ve ever read Amanda Boyden has a wonderful and varied voice, powerful in its own right and just as powerful when it s playing chameleon She does that a lot in this novel, which is about the year leading up to Hurricane Katrina on one street in New Orleans It s like she s trying to remember the intricacies of The Time Before, everyone s Time Before, good or bad or in between There is an even mix of loathable and lovable characters, along with a section that s both One of the best prologues I ve ever read When I first read it, I had to stop, read it again, and then stop and read it aloud to Matt There were parts of this book that were good the characters were thoughtfully played out, but it was as if Boyden was trying to get a rhythm into the plotting that didn t quite work. Ariel May and her husband, Ed, have just moved to New Orleans with their two small children Their neighbor, Fearius, is a fifteen year old just out of juvenile detention Across the street, an elderly couple, the Browns, are only trying to pass their days in peace, while Philomenia Beauregard de Bruges, a longtime resident and Uptown lady, peers through her curtains at the East Indian family next doorWith one random accident, a scene of horror across front lawns, the whole neighborhood converges on the sidewalk and the residents of Orchid Street are thrown together, for better and for worse From the Trade Paperback edition Having been such a big fan of Boyden s previous work, Pretty Little Dirty, I was somewhat disappointed by this The story takes place in New Orleans and spans the time period from right before Hurricane Ivan until a few months before Katrina Boyden introduces several narrators who all live on Orchid Street Though few are acquainted at the beginning, their lives will intertwine in unexpected ways Ed Ariel are a married couple who moved from Minnesota because Ariel was hired to run a hotel N Having been such a big fan of Boyden s previous work, Pretty Little Dirty, I was somewhat disappointed by this The story takes place in New Orleans and spans the time period from right before Hurricane Ivan until a few months before Katrina Boyden introduces several narrators who all live on Orchid Street Though few are acquainted at the beginning, their lives will intertwine in unexpected ways Ed Ariel are a married couple who moved from Minnesota because Ariel was hired to run a hotel Next door lives the Ganesh family from India On the other side of them are Joe and Philomenia, who likes to call herself Prancie Prancie is not a big fan of the other side of the street, but spends lots of time observing their goings on Over there live Roy and Cerise, African Americans in their 60 s who have been residents of Orchid street for many years Next door to them are the Harrises, whose young sons are involved in the sale of illegal substances and whose daughters all have babies On the other side of them a house has been converted to a bar called the Tokyo Rose, which plays a pivotal role in the lives of several of these folks.Ed, Ariel, Prancie, Cerise and Daniel Fearius Harris are our narrators, to whose inner monologue we are treated Boyden gives each narrator a distinct voice, so we are able to understand who it is we are listening to, but this is sometimes disconcerting, especially in the case of Fearius I can deal with a regional dialect when it s limited to the dialogue, but whole passages of the book pertaining to Fearius are nearly incomprehensible In fact, I had to read this sentence from the first chapter several times Fearius like cold drinks better than malt liquor when they smokin the hydroponic, but Alphonse be inside Stumps for Colt 40s, and Fearius, his bankroll thin as a spliff now I gotused to it, though, as the book went on.Something interesting to note though, and I only noticed it myself as I read an article recently regarding this phenomenon, is that the white people and the young people are the most messed up, while the older black folks seem very wise and all knowing We really don t get muchthan a glimpse of the East Indians, which was disappointing to me It seems their function was to inject some mysticism and incense, then return to their home.It soundslike I m complaining than praising this book, but I don t mean to I really enjoyed reading it and was very much enthralled by the lives of these people It must be difficult for a writer to get inside each of their heads like that, and Boyden pulls it off reasonably well This is a great vignette of five families who live on Orchid Street in the Uptown area of New Orleans The novel takes place during a year beginning just before Hurrican Ivan, the year before Katrina.Ed Flank, Ariel May and their two children, Miles and Ella, have recently moved to New Orleans from Minnesota Ariel is the new general manager of a hotel in the French Quarter and Ed is a Buddhist stay at home dad.Next door, the Guptas, Indira and Ganesh, with their two children, Elizabeth and Will This is a great vignette of five families who live on Orchid Street in the Uptown area of New Orleans The novel takes place during a year beginning just before Hurrican Ivan, the year before Katrina.Ed Flank, Ariel May and their two children, Miles and Ella, have recently moved to New Orleans from Minnesota Ariel is the new general manager of a hotel in the French Quarter and Ed is a Buddhist stay at home dad.Next door, the Guptas, Indira and Ganesh, with their two children, Elizabeth and William have just moved into the biggest house on the block.Philmenie Beauregard de Bruges, a white uptown lady and her husband Joe have lived on the block since they were married decades ago Joe is recovering from cancer.Sharon and Nate Harris, a black family have also lived on the street for a long time Living with them are their daughters Klameisha, Debutante and Angelique, along with Klameisha s and Debutante s children The Harris s youngest son, Daniel aka Fearius, has just come home from juvvy Their oldest son, Michael aka Muzzle they don t allow home because of his activites.Cerise and Roy Brown have also lived on the street a long time Roy has retired now and they are getting used to being grandparents after their only child had a baby.The families interact and get to know each other in ways they didn t imagine they would over the course of the year the book covers We see into many of their personal lives, and how they handle difficult circumstances This is an interesting look at a changing neighbourhood in a diverse city I liked how the author let you inside the heads of some of the characters, giving you a sense of what made them tick She really captured the various characters, making them come alive and be individuals This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Excellent writing style A family from Minneapolis relocates to New Orleans one year before Katrina and settles on Orchard Street, partly because it offers a rich human gumbo of whites, blacks, Asians, and Tulane students The family members want to revel in the diversity, but they also recoil at some of the differences they encounter At the same time, the marital stresses between husband and wife are deepening Babylon Rolling is a chronicle of life on Orchard Street during that year before dis Excellent writing style A family from Minneapolis relocates to New Orleans one year before Katrina and settles on Orchard Street, partly because it offers a rich human gumbo of whites, blacks, Asians, and Tulane students The family members want to revel in the diversity, but they also recoil at some of the differences they encounter At the same time, the marital stresses between husband and wife are deepening Babylon Rolling is a chronicle of life on Orchard Street during that year before disaster It is an engaging and keenly observant book, a kind of literary block party in which the residents of Orchard Street come to life Whether Boyden s focus is on a black teenager who embarks on a career in the drug trade by dubbing himself Fearius, or on the Minnesota transplants reactions to their new home, or on the fierce heat and humidity, or the wondrous smells that waft from kitchens, or racial tensions, there is an honesty and bedrock reality to this novel that is never less than compelling I am an equaly opportunity reader I really will read just about anything I also feel guilty when I want to quit a book Maybe it will improve What if it all comes together ina beautiful way in the lat paragraph With this said, I could no finish this book I made it two thirds of the way through and had to banish it to the returns bin at the library.It is a multi viewpoint book The best voice was offered from the opinion of the women, but even then the characters were shallow and undevelop I am an equaly opportunity reader I really will read just about anything I also feel guilty when I want to quit a book Maybe it will improve What if it all comes together ina beautiful way in the lat paragraph With this said, I could no finish this book I made it two thirds of the way through and had to banish it to the returns bin at the library.It is a multi viewpoint book The best voice was offered from the opinion of the women, but even then the characters were shallow and undeveloped What gagged me was writing from the perspective of a troubled young man who sells drugs in the ghettos of New Orleans It was just awkward and I felt embarrassed every time his story popped up Maybe I should have given this book a better chance, but I just didn t see it improving in any way This is really 3.5 stars, I really liked the book because it is an engrossing depiction of a New Orleans neighborhood pre Katrina I started it during my most recent service trip there, and that no doubt added to my enjoyment, it seemed very real I recommend this book for Treme fans it has a similar style, following five very different characters who initially have only their residence on the same street in common I think Boyden writes very well, evoking the tone and moods of the central cha This is really 3.5 stars, I really liked the book because it is an engrossing depiction of a New Orleans neighborhood pre Katrina I started it during my most recent service trip there, and that no doubt added to my enjoyment, it seemed very real I recommend this book for Treme fans it has a similar style, following five very different characters who initially have only their residence on the same street in common I think Boyden writes very well, evoking the tone and moods of the central characters without slowing down the plot, and effectively builds suspense The book is written in the third person, but from the viewpoints of the main characters The reason I didn t give it 4 stars is that Boyden uses urban street dialect for the sections following a black teenage boy,and that s where she lost me it seemed a bit over the top, and not a little distracting for the reader Babylon Rolling


About the Author: Amanda Boyden

Amanda Boyden grew up, the eldest of three daughters, in Chicago and St Louis Currently she teaches in the English department of the University of New Orleans Previous positions include elderly companion, artist s model, gutter cleaner, dishwasher, science lab assistant, cancan dancer, tutor, stuntwoman, and bit part actress Until recently, Amanda worked as a contortionist and professional trapeze artist She proudly lists hanging high over the heads of Galactic and 311 in her life accomplishments.She is married to Canadian author Joseph Boyden Her first novel, Pretty Little Dirty was published in 2006.


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