- Gebundene Ausgabe: 462 Seiten
- Verlag: Toby Pr Llc (5. Februar 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1592641156
- ISBN-13: 978-1592641154
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,3 x 15,1 x 3,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
The White League (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 5. Februar 2005
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Blackmail, a secret organization hiding within the elite society of New Orleans, a white supremacist running for governor of Louisiana; these are the key ingredients in this fine Southern crawfish boil of a novel about guilt, privilege and racism in one of America's most exotic cities. Coffee magnate Paul Blanchard's comfortable world is turned upside down when his old fraternity brother, Mark Morvant, threatens to expose the secret that Paul has been harbouring for twenty years unless he bankrolls Morvant's bid for governor. More importantly, Morvant also demands that Paul secure the financial and political backing of a clandestine organization called The White League, a group that he maintains is the real power in New Orleans, and has been for more than a century. Despite Paul's avowed belief that the group no longer exists, he is given just three weeks to bring the League on board the campaign, or Morvant will destroy him. Blanchard's desperate pursuit of the truth uncovers family secrets, historical intrigue, and the underworld machinations of a dangerous group that has no qualms about resorting to murder to maintain its powers.As his well ordered world begins to collapse around him, Paul struggles with the moral consequences of his own past. Now it is up to him to placate Morvant, outsmart The White League, and save his family, his reputation, and ultimately, his life.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Thomas Zigal is the author of the critically acclaimed Kurt Muller mystery series set in Aspen, Colorado. He is a graduate of the Stanford Writing Program and has published short stories and book reviews in literary magazines and fiction anthologies for the past 30 years. He grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast and in Louisiana and now lives in Austin, Texas. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
Zuerst das Positive:
Was ich am Lesen so mag, ist, dass man, auf dem Sofa sitzend, in fremde Welten eintauchen kann. In diesem Fall geht die Reise nach New Orleans, allerdings vor dem Hurricane "Katrina", als die Welt dort noch in Ordnung ist. Der Autor hat zweifellos länger in dieser Stadt gelebt und versorgt den Leser mit einer Fülle interessanter Informationen. Hätten sie beispielsweise gewusst, dass aus den traditionellen "Krewes", den Clubs, die die Karnevalsumzüge organisieren, nicht nur Afroamerikaner ausgeschlossen waren, sondern auch Juden und - man lese und staune - Italiener? Oder dass es neben "Schwarzen" und "Weißen" auch noch eine dritte Rasse gibt, nämlich die Creolen und welche Sprache diese sprechen? Auch der geschichtliche Hintergrund ist sehr gut recherchiert und faszinierend zu lesen. Also 5 Sterne für das Setting.
Was mir weniger gut gefallen hat, war die Geschichte selbst. Mein erster Kritikpunkt ist, dass es verwirrend viele Charaktere gibt, die bis zum kleinsten Detail beschrieben werden, ein längeres Gespräch mit dem Protagonisten führen (über die "White League" natürlich) und dann wieder verschwinden. Außerdem ist die Handlung schon ziemlich vorhersehbar. Ohne all zuviel vom Inhalt verraten zu wollen: wenn ein Mann all die Informationen über die "Gruppe der Bösen" in einem kleinen Zimmer in Papierform gespeichert hat und sonst weiß niemand etwas von der Existenz der Bösewichter, dann ist doch wohl klar, dass dieser Mann spätestens im nächsten Kapitel ermordet wird und das Zimmer in Brand gesteckt wird. Und mit Verschwörungstheorien habe ich persönlich sowieso meine Probleme ...
Wenn Sie aber ein Fan von solchen Geschichten sind und in die Welt von New Orleans eintauchen wollen, dann ist das Buch das Richtige für Sie.
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com
The novel is a good, fast read. What I liked most were the historical facts blended so well into Zigal's fiction about the death of a young girl and the possible involvement of 'The White League." The White League, by the way, is a group of men...bigots in their own fashion...but far too sophisticated to be associated with the likes of the Klan. Gentlemen racists, you might say.
The only drawback--and this happens often in books where people have accents of any kind--the author's insistence to write the dialect. Mr. Zigal, we get it...just mention a person is of color, or southern, or Cajan and we can figure it out...no need for "Mistah" etc. *Imagine reading a book about the Kennedys, and having to go though "pawk the caa" over and over.*
I really enjoyed this book. Both for the mystery and the cultural background!! And I learned a LOT about New Orleans history! Good book!
The novel, set in present day New Orleans, is an exploration of "the past is prologue to the present": what happened in our lives, our families, our environment, our history shapes who we have become as individuals and as communities today. The story is an exploration of the main character's growing, and uncomfortable, awareness of the impact of the past . . . and its secrets . . . on his family, his community, his world view (or lack thereof). It is the story of how much the Civil War, its wins and losses, beliefs and values, causes and effects, and wrongs and secrecy are still being played out, more than 150 years later, in the South, and particularly, the present day Southern city of New Orleans.
The novel is a thriller as the main character seeks to unravel, understand, and come to terms with the white supremecy that infects his life, his family, his actions, his world and his relationships today. He struggles to uncover the forces corrupting him and his relationships as he starts to take off the blinders, face the man he has become has and reshape (and right wrongs) in his present. The clock is ticking as he peels back layer after layer of secrets and lies, and grows into and shapes the man he is becoming.
The tension is in his coming face to face with the killing impact of secrets kept, a history unexamined until now. I was spellbound and fascinated to the very end.
I look forward to reading more novels by Thomas Zigal.
For numerous reasons this is a difficult theme to explore and an even more difficult in the city selected. Smoldering racial tension still exists almost everywhere but perhaps more prominently in New Orleans for three reasons: The lives of many members of both races still are inextricably interrelated often from birth to death. Existence of the offspring of a Pre Civil War well established, many generational, `layered', social structure that included an often wealthy, prominent and proud Creole population. These `Free people of Color' originally immigrated from the slave revolts in Santo Domingo and from Cuba and the group was constantly augmented by 1) the large number of slaves who could buy their freedom from the slave holders, whether white or one of these Gens de Couleur Libre, and 2) the practice of plaçage, where a white man could arrange legally to establish a home for a black woman and any children resulting from the union, including support and the children's' education. Unfortunately, the post-war south's denigrating treatment of former slaves included this Creole population with vestiges of thesefactors still remaining.
In the present story, Mark Morrant makes an unannounced visit on his old fraternity buddy Paul Blanchard, the socially connected very wealthy inheriting owner of one of the largest businesses in the city. Mark, a rebel `from the wrong side of the tracks', now changed physically and socially acceptable, is a smooth, rising politician and has decided to run for Governor. He asks for Paul's personal aid and from the White League, an organization purported to be composed of the controlling families of the town. Mark does not believe that Paul knows nothing about the league and threatens to expose his involvement in a sinister situation that occurred during their early wild college days. Facing disgrace and worse, the story unfolds as Paul wends his way through a convoluted maze to discover the League and its members.
Critically speaking, the plot gives the impression of being a little `contrived'. The characters are typical to the pattern and although well done in several instances, in others they are shadowy stereotypes. Paul's surface attitude toward blacks but still basic adherence to his love of his privileged position is notable and his gradual disintegration under the pressure of his almost untenable situation is well done in its gradual evolution. Contrarily, his portrayal as a simplistic individual totally naïve in business matters, almost total lacking in reasoning powers and occasional uncharacteristic activity provides a stereotypical impression similar to some other characters. The manner in which `all things come together successfully' in the end also leave this reader a `little uncomfortable'. Another minor, but nevertheless annoying feature is use of frat for fraternity, a contraction seldom employed by Greek lettermen and definitely not one that most of the individuals depicted would use.
In summary: a most interesting story surrounding a complicated and still prominently festering problem. Although this reader was somewhat disappointed, others most probably will thoroughly enjoy. Reviewed by John H. Manhold, award winning fiction/non-fiction author,
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