Friday, January 16, 2015

Empire of Sin by Gary Krist {A Book Review}

Let me start off by saying that when I saw Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and The Battle For Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist for review, I was shocked that I wanted to read it. Let me explain. In general, I read mostly Christian fiction, marriage/parenting books and the occasional biography and children's book. This book is COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone yet I was intrigued for one reason: I grew up in Louisiana about an hour from New Orleans. I have been lots of time in New Orleans visiting a great aunt and cousins, we spent a few days of our honeymoon there and I just wanted to know what this book was all about. 

All of that being said, despite the fact that it took me nearly five weeks of off and on reading to finish Empire of Sin, I really loved it! Krist writes about the history of New Orleans from the 1890's to the end of prohibition. His writing is honest and straight forward and it really does show some of the parts of New Orleans that make up so much of the history but that most people don't want to acknowledge or talk about. 

I was most intrigued to read about the amount of prostitution that took place in that era in New Orleans. There were entire city blocks devoted to houses of prostitution. Immorality was on every corner and it was the norm. 

I also enjoyed reading what Krist shared about the law enforcement of that day. There was no DNA testing like there is now nor many other forms of investigation. So often it came down to "he said, he/she said" type of investigation and often money and bribes could get you out of anything. Same with  court cases, etc. 

I loved what Krist wrote about various families in New Orleans, their influence on the city and in return, the city's influence on them. 

I would highly recommend this book to any history lover especially those who enjoy reading about Louisiana. I'm passing on the book to my husband next and then my Mom. 

Well done, Gary! 

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