Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
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.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Praise for the book:
The Marauders is so damned good you won’t believe it’s a first novel…and by the time you reach page 20, you won’t care. It’s rollicking, angry, eye-popping, and fall-on-the-floor funny, sometimes in the course of a single scene. 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.” ~Stephen King, author of Doctor Sleep

“This is rare for me, very rare, that I was utterly unable, because of a novel, to get up from a chair and answer the phone when it rang or eat when I was hungry or go to bed when I was weary. Rare, but The Marauders has left me hungry and sleepy and neglectful of somebody I hope will call back. That his book is smart and funny and dazzling in its prose is obvious. He also can tell a hell of a story. Tom Cooper is a newly-minted American literary treasure.” ~Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain

“Tom Cooper expertly maps a Gulf Coast of miscreants, romantics, and a severely beleaguered nature, digging at the old, weird south with his own enthralling voice. The Marauders is propelled by wonderful characters depicted with grace, humanity, and that rarest of talents: a truly hilarious wit. Mr. Cooper joins such talents as Twain, Portis, and Toole in mining the humor of the Southern freak show to deliver the universal news of the human heart.” ~Nic Pizzolatto, author of Galveston

“Tom Cooper has written a first novel with sustained, top-drawer prose, and that is a beautiful and uncommon thing.”  ~Pete Dexter, author of Deadwood

The Marauders, Tom Cooper’s beautifully-written chronicle of the misadventures of the denizens of a dying Louisiana fishing village, pleases in so many ways. It’s funny, sad, and wise, sometimes in the same sentence. An outstanding debut.” ~Richard Lange, author of This Wicked World

“The very best fiction transports us effortlessly to places we’ve never been and involves us deeply with characters we’ve never met; and though I’ve never lived in the Louisiana bayous, or shrimped all day with one arm in oil-polluted waters, or obsessed over a dead pirate’s treasure while chewing up painkillers like candy, or been hunted by anyone as sadistic as the Toup brothers, Tom Cooper’s brilliant, fast-paced first novel, The Marauders, took me there, set me right down in the miserable heat and the mud and the dread, and, though it might sound strange to say, I will be forever grateful to him for that.” ~Donald Ray Pollock, author of  The Devil All the Time

The Marauders is a novel so compelling, so unsettling, so scary and hilarious that you won’t be able to put it down. You might as well pour yourself a drink and settle into your comfy chair. Set in Louisiana’s Barataria swamp after the ecological disaster that was the BP oil spill, the novel chronicles the end of a way of life for Gulf shrimpers and explores a muddy world of greed, grit, and gumbo. Tom Cooper is an eloquent new voice in the extraordinary world of Southern fiction. And, trust me on this, the spectral and relentless Toup brothers will haunt your dreams.” ~ John Dufresne, author of Louisiana Power & Light

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