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In the City of Falling Stars by Chris Tusa

In the City of Falling Stars

by Chris Tusa

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268415,071 (4.39)1



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I loved Chris Tusa's earlier novel, Dirty Little Angels, so I bought this one. I didn't like it as much, but still enjoyed this portrayal of a man losing his grip on reality. Maurice has two teen-aged children, and his wife has left him after having an affair with, and becoming pregnant by, a prominent local politician. Maurice's character becomes increasingly dysfunctional and we see a broken family struggle to support him, in spite of infidelities, teenage rebelliousness and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I'm interested to see where this author will go next in his writing. ( )
  LynnB | May 18, 2017 |
Seldom have I read a book where utter catastrophe is so utterly entertaining lol! ...and well-written, as in up to literary standards as well! A lot of vivid detail conveys the desolated, yet mundane setting, as well the disconnected personalities and situations of protagonist and his family. Society is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, but one senses it could be any post-apocalyptic situation (perhaps this portents, in a sinister way, how things are actually going). Society continues in a quasi-functional way regardless of the devastation. This book would fit in the pigeon-hole of "dark post-modernism" (á la De Lillo or William Gibson?) but it doesn't meditatively plod and it isn't overly sensational, thus, I'd say, itsvery accessible, as in Vonnegut. This is a LibraryThing writer, I should mention, which is pretty cool. I always give original work high marks as you might've noticed. If I have any criticism, it is that the book feels a little short. I wanted more! ( )
  brianfergusonwpg | Nov 14, 2016 |
Can't wait to read!!! Sounds interesting and I bet I'll enjoy it!!! :) ( )
  jennifferhope | Nov 12, 2016 |
Maurice has a growing paranoia....well....of everything. As this paranoia worsens, so do the worries of his family. And to quote the son..."he has a family full of lunatics". And they are destined to become a little more off kilter. The daughter is having an affair with her calculus professor, the wife is having an affair and becomes pregnant, the son is skipping school and smoking pot.

Through all of Maurice's faults, you can't help but like the guy. I developed a strange affinity for him. I felt for him, I wanted to slap him, and I wanted to help him. Needless to say, he goes from bad to worse. He is determined to wreck his family even though he has no idea he is doing so. His heart is in the right place, his brain is not.

Even with many dark spots the author weaves some humor throughout this creative tale. There are many places I laughed out loud....I probably shouldn't have...but I could just picture some of the family's antics. With the right actors, this would make a great dark comedy movie. ( )
  fredreeca | Oct 2, 2016 |
Maurice Delahoussaye has a unique way of perceiving life, which is particularly clear to everyone but him, as author Chris Tusa describes Maurice, his family and those who intersect his circle over a few months in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina. It is a fascinating story, rarely predictable yet very believable, and leaving the reader with a fine line between scorn and compassion for the words and actions of the central characters. Tusa is a native of New Orleans and he does a masterful job of portraying the character of the city, a character which is essential in shaping the day-to-day life of Maurice. I found In the City of Falling Stars a delightful book to read. ( )
  BradKautz | Sep 6, 2016 |
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All over New Orleans dead birds were falling out of the sky.
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Dead birds are falling out of the sky and Maurice Delahoussaye suspects the air in New Orleans may be unsafe. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries claims the birds were poisoned, while meteorologists suggest they were killed by a sudden change in temperature. There's even talk of terrorism, Bird Flu, West Nile Virus, or high levels of mold spores left over from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Gradually, Maurice becomes increasingly fearful that the government is hiding an ominous secret, and when he begins having strange religious premonitions suggesting that his wife is pregnant with Jesus Christ, he becomes convinced that the dead birds are a sign from God. In the City of Falling Stars is a tragicomedy that examines the increasing paranoia following the September 11th attacks, as well as a commentary on the devastating psychological scars that the storm left on the city of New Orleans.
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