Summary and book reviews of The Marauders by Tom Cooper

The Marauders

by Tom Cooper

The Marauders by Tom Cooper X
The Marauders by Tom Cooper
  • Critics' Opinion:

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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2015, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2015, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
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About this Book

Book Summary

The Marauders, set in a small bayou town devastated by the BP oil spill, is a darkly hilarious debut novel from Tom Cooper.

When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette,  these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes.

At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina.

As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.

THE TOUP BROTHERS

They came like specters from the dark maw of the bayou, first ghostly light in the fog, then the rasp of a motor: an aluminum powerboat scudding across lacquer-black water. From a distance the figures looked conjoined, Siamese twins. As the boat drew closer the bodies split in two under the moth-flocked floodlights. One stood fore, the other aft: the twin brothers Reginald and Victor Toup. When they were kids even their mother had trouble telling them apart. That was long ago, half their lives, and now their mother was dead. Shot through the temple in New Orleans's Roosevelt Hotel before their father turned the gun on himself.

Tonight they motored under a three-quarter moon, thirty pounds of marijuana hidden under a tarp in the bait well. Reginald trolled the boat and Victor crouched on the prow, surveying the bayou through night-vision binoculars. They'd made this run so many times they could tell you things about the swamp that no map could. You rarely ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Cooper’s intricate, accessible weaving of his characters with each other, and his deep, delightfully eccentric descriptions of this area of Louisiana – where else are you going to find a Donald Duck Pez dispenser used for pills? – show that he’s just beginning what will hopefully be a satisfying career as a novelist...continued

Full Review (553 words).

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(Reviewed by Rory L. Aronsky).

Media Reviews

The New York Times
It hurts to laugh at the preposterous get-rich-quick schemes of these swamp denizens, but laugh we must, if only to find some relief from the grim realism of Cooper’s portrait of life in these coastal communities.

Free Lance Star Review
An enjoyable and impossibly difficult to put down novel

O, The Oprah Magazine
Wade into moral muck with the pill-popping, treasure-hunting, one-armed hero of this finger-lickin'-good Louisiana swamp noir.

The Advocate
It’s easy to forget this is his first novel. Some books require boxes of tissues. This one requires an, as Cooper writes, “an ass-pocket whiskey bottle.” Get you a drink and get comfortable. You won’t be moving until you hit the last page.

Publishers Weekly
Cooper's novel is a blast; descriptions of the natural beauty of the cypress swamps and waterways, along with the hardscrabble ways of its singular inhabitants, further elevate this story.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Somewhere, Donald E. Westlake, John D. MacDonald and Elmore Leonard are smiling down on this nasty, funny piece of work.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Cooper’s writing is taut, his story is gripping, and the characters and their problems will stay with you long after you finish this book.

Booklist
Starred Review. Cooper offers a believable portrait of a bayou town and a cast of deeply engaging characters wrestling inchoately with the likely extinction of the only life they know. There is real substance and humanity in this fine debut novel.

Author Blurb Stephen King, No. 1 bestselling author
The cast is winning, the post-Katrina bayou setting is richly evoked, the dialogue crackles, and the story rolls on a wave of invention. It's a little Elmore Leonard, a little Charles Portis, and very much its own uniquely American self. Basically, Tom Cooper has written one hell of a novel.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Cost of Hunting for Treasure

Jean LaFitteIn The Marauders, Lindquist, the one-armed treasure hunter, needs only his pirogue (a small boat) and a metal detector to search the swamps of Barataria, Louisiana for the rumored treasure of renowned and revered pirate Jean Lafitte. That's it. And he's had that old metal detector for many years, so his expenses are low. But treasure hunters can spend money. Lots of it. For instance, on the Treasure Hunter Depot website, there are many different brands of metal detectors - and they are only the tip of the iceberg.

Bounty Hunter Quick Draw IIIf treasure hunting is your hobby, the costs can be mind-boggling. One type of metal detector, the Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II, goes for $249. And there's still other equipment to consider. You'll need a digging tool, and ...

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