The Last Days of Louisiana Red

Overview

When Papa LaBas (private eye, noonday HooDoo, and hero of Reed's Mumbo Jumbo) comes to Berkeley, California, to investigate the mysterious death of Ed Yellings, owner of the Solid Gumbo Works, he finds himself fighting the rising tide of violence propagated by Louisiana Red and those militant opportunists, the Moochers.

A HooDoo detective story and a comprehensive satire on the explosive politics of the '60s, The Last Days of Louisiana Red ...

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Overview

When Papa LaBas (private eye, noonday HooDoo, and hero of Reed's Mumbo Jumbo) comes to Berkeley, California, to investigate the mysterious death of Ed Yellings, owner of the Solid Gumbo Works, he finds himself fighting the rising tide of violence propagated by Louisiana Red and those militant opportunists, the Moochers.

A HooDoo detective story and a comprehensive satire on the explosive politics of the '60s, The Last Days of Louisiana Red exposes the hypocrisy of contemporary American culture and race politics.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Time
“Reed can hardly be accused of eye rolling and cakewalking for his supper. His angers and resentments are sheathed in intelligence, learning, scatological wit and showmanship. One thinks of Redd Foxx
...more before he was Sanfordized . . . Reed's approach to the novel is not unlike a Dixieland band's approach to music: a native American diversity that adds up to a unified style—authentic and endlessly fresh.”
Choice
“Funky, hip, and cool . . . The language is re-cycled garbage that sometimes, amazingly, becomes poetry and almost always is authentic, alive.”
Village Voice
“This is a very alive novel of living folklore; sometimes Reed's prose feels like walking through a field teeming with wild game which jumps out from under your feet.”
The New York Times
“A tangle of allusions, an allegorical puzzle that keeps the mind on its toes . . . Mr. Reed exercises in jokes and wisecracks, scholarship and satire. All of which makes for a frenetic form of vaudeville show.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Ishmael Reed has a shrewd eye, a mean ear, a nasty tongue . . . He attacks self-serving hypocrisy wherever he finds it . . . We may be horrified or amused—or both. But we are too fascinated to go away.”
Library Journal
In this duo from 1974 and 1969, respectively, Reed takes on two great American genres--the private detective story and the Western. A satiric look at 1960s politics, Louisiana Red follows private eye Papa LaBas as he investigates the murder of the owner of a gumbo joint. Yellow Back is more of a parody of a Western than a true white hat/black hat shoot-'em-up; it is presented in an unusual style with characters such as the outlaw the Loop Garoo Kid and nympho mail-order bride Mustache Sal. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564782366
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST DALKEY
  • Pages: 177
  • Sales rank: 878,935
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ishmael Reed is the author of over twenty-five books—including Mumbo Jumbo, The Last Days of Louisiana Red, Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down and Juice!. He is also a publisher, television producer, songwriter, radio and television commentator, lecturer, and has long been devoted to exploring an alternative black aesthetic: the trickster tradition, or “Neo-Hoodooism” as he calls it. Founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley for over thirty years, retiring in 2005. In 2003, he received the coveted Otto Award for political theater.

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