To many readers, a non-fictional period history piece does not sound like an engaging use of time. Many readers look for a good story with memorable characters, drama, suspense, story arcs, and events that while inconceivable still seem slightly plausible. To this reader-for-entertainment type, as well as the history buffs, New Orleans lovers, and those who love a good non-fiction title, Empire of Sin by Gary Krist satisfies the pallets of many types of readers with many different reading tastes.
Empire of Sin does something remarkable as a historical text, it provides an engaging narrative of life in New Orleans from the 1890s-1920s. Krist’s effective use of research and documented dialogue from the people of the events makes a captivating re-creation that anyone can get into. Accounts of organized crime, the birth of New Orleans jazz, crime, prostitution, murder, and a serial killer fill the pages and make a 300+ page book a very quick and enjoyable read.
I am hard pressed and cannot think of one negative thing to say about this book. I do not often rate books with perfect rating scores, but this one is one of the rare ones to receive it and may be my Summer 2015 pick!
Read this book. Thank me later.
Full disclosure: I have a love for New Orleans, the Crescent City. It is, in fact, my favorite city in the United States, ousting a spot formerly held by Portland, OR. For the last two years, I spent a week down in NOLA during the hottest part of July and fell in love with the city. That said, my overwhelmingly positive review for this book might be biased. But I doubt it.
I received this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for writing a review on it; I was not obligated to post a positive review and the opinions expressed are my own.