Summary and book reviews of The Marauders by Tom Cooper

The Marauders

by Tom Cooper

The Marauders by Tom Cooper
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

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

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky

Buy This Book

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 ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

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.   (Reviewed by Rory L. Aronsky).

Full Review (553 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

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

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

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 ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Marauders, try these:

  • The Wild Trees jacket

    The Wild Trees

    by Richard Preston

    Published 2008

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored: The world of the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained – the coast redwood...

  • The Poe Shadow jacket

    The Poe Shadow

    by Matthew Pearl

    Published 2007

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Through the eyes of a Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, Pearl opens a new window on the truth behind Poe’s demise, literary history’s most persistent enigma.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Rules of Magic
    The Rules of Magic
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's Rules of Magic is the long-awaited prequel to one of her most cherished novels,...
  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...
  • Book Jacket: Five-Carat Soul
    Five-Carat Soul
    by James McBride
    In the short story "Sonny's Blues," from the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, African-...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Seven Days of Us
    by Francesca Hornak

    A warm, wry debut novel about a family forced to spend a week together over the holidays.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.