Friday, October 23, 2015

The Marauders

5 Stars

Life's unfair, I've always been told. A saying I suppose that is meant to bring some comfort, a way of answering the age old question of 'why me', 'why now'. There is no 'why', life is simply unfair, out of our control, we have to make the best of it.

Life's unfair. 

It's an unsettling thought having no control. No one could stop Katrina and it's death and destruction that swept the south, no one could stop the levee from breaking after so many years of neglect, and until hell freezes over, no one can stop Lindquist from metal detecting in the Barataria bay and stirring up trouble.

Bills, work, accidents, loss, The Marauders is about life and all that can and will go wrong. The characters are struggling to find their way, stubborn to the core, determined to make ends meet despite the overwhelming evidence that the BP oil spill has wiped out any chance of success for their shrimping business and is attempting to buy their silence with a menial sum of money.

Cooper's characters are real, flawed and slightly annoying, and every one of them searching for a buried treasure to turn their lives around. I felt for all of them, I could relate to their stories, their wants and needs. I'll admit I cried when they cried, but I also laughed when they laughed. Naively I hoped for everyone to succeed, for life to get better. I wanted my fairy tale ending, but this is life right? And life's unfair.

The Marauders is a very real story of the working class and the struggle to get ahead in life. Cooper has created a tale of drugs, pirate treasure, shrimpers a bit twisted and possibly insane, and perhaps just a bit of hope.

I was amused, I was heartbroken, I was inspired. It's safe to say I love this book.

I have only one complaint about this book and it has nothing to do with the story. The cover is fantastic, really vibrant, but for some reason the back cover has a plastic film over it that after three days of reading has started to bubble and peel. I keep my books in perfect condition so I'm a little sad over this but I suppose some would say it shows the book was loved. Just be warned, the back cover will get slightly bubbly on this cover version.

was given this book for review by Blogging for Books

Back Cover Description:
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 it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.


TOM COOPER has been published in dozens of literary magazines and journals, most recently in Oxford American, Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, Boulevard, and Willow Springs. His stories have been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in New Orleans.

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