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Posted March 20, 2010
The Cleaing by Tim Gautreaux
With all the poetry and eloquence of James Lee Burke's best novels, Tim Gautreaux's The Clearing tells a tale of south Louisiana; the story of Yankees who came from the north, denuded the stands of old growth cypress, and left. He paints them as human if not humane, comprehensible if not sympathetic. Like some polluters today, they could not perceive the iniquity of their actions.
It's a tale about the effects of war. The First World War has turned some of Gautreaux's characters to violence that's incomprehensible to those who haven't seen and felt and smelled it. Byron, the sad, bad brother most severely impacted, asks, "Why did we do it?" One feels he has asked himself that question for a long time. And, as with most wars, we have no good answers for him.
For those of us who make our home in south Louisiana it is a history lesson and a leçon de vie not to be passed up. For those not from the bayou, it's a lumber train to an unforgettable Cajun hinterland.
In Gautreaux's clearly wrought morass one feels the weather, swats mosquitoes, slogs through mud, sweats, and dodges bullets. It's a compelling experience; a historical, allegorical triumph.
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Posted May 21, 2010
Engrossing & complex
Lots of "value added" in Mr. Gautreaux' novel. Interesting descriptions of life in a different time and place. Great build-up of plot and characters lead to a rousing page-turning climax. (It kept me up last night, the first time that's happened in a long, long time!)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2010
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