They would ask me what actors I saw in the roles. I would tell them, and they’d say “Oh that’s interesting.” And that would be the end of it. –Elmore Leonard, in 2000, on the extent of his input for Hollywood’s adaptation of his novels.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Peter J. Marina’s “Down and Out in New Orleans”
“Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” –Ford Madox Ford
Here is page 99 of Down and Out in New Orleans.
Peter J. Marina provides an outstanding introduction to the sociology of transgression through his fascinating portrayal of life on the edge in post-Katrina New Orleans. His sociological insight, ethnographic ability, and love of the city uniquely position him to write about the sociology of living ‘down and out’ in the Crescent City.
David Gladstone, University of New Orleans
Following where Orwell went, Marina takes us on a fascinating odyssey into the pulsating heart of New Orleans. From among the city’s weird and outlandish nomadic fringe, we are invited to witness how life in NOLA is lived and negotiated, its culture produced and consumed by its most creative denizens. This is immersive ethnography at its best: moving, engaging, and challenging. Read it.
Simon Hallsworth, University of Suffolk
Marina’s Down and Out in New Orleans takes us on a sweet, sweaty shamble through what some might call the ‘underbelly’ of New Orleans. Reading Marina’s beautifully attentive account, though, you realize that ‘underbelly’ is the wrong corporeal metaphor—because in reality the down-and-out quarters of New Orleans are its hard-beating heart, around which hangs the dangerous dead weight of gentrification, privilege, boredom, and security.
Jeff Ferrell, author of Tearing Down the Streets and Empire of Scrounge
Down and Out in New Orleans offers a vivid portrait of that city, especially its artistic characters, their neighborhoods, and the down-and-out jobs they take. The author, whose fierce love for his hometown glows on every page, brings New Orleans culture into focus and provides an illuminating perspective on its future.
Elijah Anderson, Yale University
Marina takes readers on a tour of the New Orleans you won’t see on postcards or in tourism commercials. His New Orleans is a lived-in, off-the-beaten-path place . . . occupied by a mix of dropouts, dreamers, and those who simply choose to march to the beat of their own drum. The result is a work that will equally serve sociologists, anthropologists and those who are simply interested in seeing another side of one of the country’s most fascinating cities.
Mike Scott, The Times-Picayune