The style is very relaxed and the content evokes passions of sadness, anger, hilarity, wonder, and wanderlust. For anyone who loves New Orleans, Louisiana, or life on the Mississippi, this book is a great and easy read to learn more about the culture the muddy waters have to offer, and how we as humans have affected it through industrialization. Nov 29, Raymond Just rated it really liked it.
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- Oliver A. Houck!
A deftly told series of recollections and reminisces, both sweeping and intimate, ranging from New Orleans history to its wildlife, to its culture, politics, and everything in between. The voice here is the the thing, with stories that make you feel the author is speaking to you as friend and confidant. Highly recommended for any students of New Orleans history or Louisiana environmental preservation, as well as anyone wanting a taste of what the real New Orleans feels like. Mar 20, Joy rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction. This book is what happens when you encourage your Grandmother to write a book of her memoirs before she dies.
It's alright but you'd never read it unless you knew the author.
I know. I did rather enjoy parts and caught myself smiling, but generally at the uselessness of the thing. It's a quaint book of a New Orleans law professor's experiences walking his dog on the batture. As a daily batture dog walker myself I was eager to read the book after I heard a local interview on NPR with the a This book is what happens when you encourage your Grandmother to write a book of her memoirs before she dies.
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As a daily batture dog walker myself I was eager to read the book after I heard a local interview on NPR with the author, however most chapters involved Houck walking his dog on the river and being reminded of some random sort of local history the slave trade, the first American boxing match and then retelling it. It was fun to hear someone else talk about the batture shanties and the characters you meet but, like Houck says about Katrina, everyone has a dozen hurricane stories, and who's to say which are more valid than the others. In the end they are what they are. It would be fun to run into this guy and share a beer or two but that doesn't mean I need to read his book about it.
Down on the Batture
Mar 04, Noladishu rated it did not like it. Houck is way, way too smug. What's worse is it's riddled with factual errors. The Katrina chapter says One thing I'd be interested in reading, but wasn't in the book was his take on the whole Shintech case.
Also omitted was the Louisiana Senate "Let's burn the TELC to the ground and piss on the ashes" bill which is extremely similar to the defund Planned Parenthood move. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Bard of the batture
Houck has frequented this place for the past twenty-five years. Down on the Batture describes a life, pastoral, at times marginal, but remarkably fecund and surprising. From this place he meditates on Louisiana, the state of the waterway, and its larger environs. He describes all the actors that have played lead roles on the edge of the mightiest river of the continent, and includes in his narrative plantations, pollution, murder, land grabs, keelboat brawlers, slave rebellions, the Corps of Engineers, and the oil industry.
He is now director of the Environmental Law program at Tulane and has written books on benchmark environmental cases.
In Down on the Batture, Houck uses it as the lens to explore the Louisiana condition through issues that have touched the batture. In a series of short narratives, he covers plantation life and slave rebellion, modern industrial pollution and murder statistics, historic land grabs, casino gambits and political corruption, keelboat legends of yore, modern-day wanderers and squatters, the Corps of Engineers and the dominant petrochemical industry.
Most of all, though, Houck writes about the restorative power of this unique corner of city life.
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It is a very freeing place. Social Media Store. Ian McNulty ,.