empire of sin

Empire of Sin: A story of sex, jazz, murder and the battle for modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

Gary Krist’s Empire of Sin imagines itself to be far greater than it is and focuses on seemingly key players in a ploy to garner the reader’s attention at the price of a more complete history.

Empire of Sin is a quick read that focuses its gaze at the police in New Orleans and those who ran the brothels, especially Tom Anderson.

While the scope, set out in the book’s title, is grand, it falls far short of any of its stated goals, focusing on prostitution and the temperance movements while mentioning, but not truly delving into, the racial segregation that appears, from his book, to be the most powerful force that shaped in New Orleans has become.

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Bettyville

Bettyville by George Hodgman

Despite the praise, Bettyville by George Hodgman is not particularly illuminating, it does not have a gratifying end and it is mostly a compendium of the same thoughts and scenes, slightly tweaked, repeated ad nauseum.

While Bettyville certainly had the potential to be poignant and illuminating, “gorgeous” as one author describes it on the back blurb, it squanders all of this potential by relentlessly repeating the same pointless scenes. Once is fine, five times is inane.

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Womens work

Women’s Work by Kari Aguila

Women’s Work is another entry into the post-apocalyptic genre, a surprisingly well written first novel for the author, Kari Aguila. It is an ideal novel, but, nothing much ever happens to make the idea worthy than more than a short story.

The problem with Aguila’s book is not what might be expected from her premise: following a world war and an effort of semi-global oppression of women by men, women take control of the non-functional central government. More importantly, the previously oppressed women take the reins of their local governments and become the oppressors under the guise of security in the face of roaming bands of evil, rapist men.

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