Octavia Books, Thursday Night at 6: Be There.

Mar 4, 2009 by

Hey everyone.


Yup, that’s me.

Sorry I’ve been the absentee Humid City ranter for the last few weeks, but as the release date for The Sound of Building Coffins kept getting closer, then, finally came along, things got hairy then got crazy-busy over here at Casa de Maistros on Mandeville Street. The good kind of busy; I ain’t complaining, not one bit.

This post is a departure from my usual frustrated pontifications on the joys and pains of New Orleans city dwelling; it’s really just a flat out book-pimp-update. But a reward lurks at the bottom of this post for those who tolerate the digression, or for those who go the clever route and just skip on down to the bottom.

First things first. Thursday, March 5th (that’s tonight or tomorrow night, depending on when you’re reading this) will be the big book launch party for The Sound of Building Coffins (penned by yours truly) at Octavia Books, uptown. This will be a reading, signing, Q&A, but will also involve a guitar – it should be an unusual night. Those of you who caught my interview on WTUL the other day will have an idea of what to expect. I really hope to see some of you there.

In other good news, Susan Larson, the delightful and legendary book editor of the Times-Picayune, did a very nice feature article about me and the book in Wednesday’s edition of the T-P, which can be read here.

Among other things, Susan had this to say about the book:

“This is a novel about love and life and death, New Orleans-style, when a cure can take the form of a healing or an abortion or an exorcism; where a hand on a heart can be a blessing or a burden; where the dead walk among the living and are known and listened to; where spirits live on and on, to torment or to love.

“Maistros creates a city that is part dream, part hallucination. His New Orleans embodies both the grim reality of a particular time and the city’s eternal, shimmering beauty. And, with the book’s title, he provides us with a new and unforgettable metaphor for the sound of hammers at work, whether boarding up for a storm or rebuilding after one.”

Another very kind review appeared in the highly esteemed Atlanta Journal-Constitution this past Sunday.

My favorite quote from the review is this:

“Because in spite of all of the death and violence and betrayal, “Coffins” is also filled with love. Love moves characters to commit terrible acts, but it also drives them to right their wrongs. Love offers second chances, sometimes in this life and sometimes in the one beyond.”

As a friend of mine mentioned, these three perfect sentences could just as easily describe the City of New Orleans itself.

There was also a very nice review of the book in The Times of Acadiana.

Then, to my happy surprise, my Humid City compatriot The West Bank Guy said some very nice things on his blog about the book as well. He’s a nice guy, but not the lying type, as you know. Thank you, WBG!

And another odd surprise, Coffins made the “Killer Books” list, compiled by Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, the associated interview of which includes one of my very favorite quotes about the book yet:

“One of the best New Orleans novels I’ve ever read, Maistros’ debut seems dictated in a fever dream of automatic writing.”

Actually, that perception of how the book was written is not too far from the truth.

Well, I think I’ve abused y’all enough for one post. I really hope to see some of you at Octavia on Thursday night, but if you can’t make that one, there’s a whole slew of other events coming up, including a stint at the brand-spanking-new Borders Books uptown this coming Saturday (March 7) at 1 PM.

My whole schedule is here.

And now, to reward your patience, click here.

Wasn’t that worth it?

Thanks again, y’all.



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