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11/04/2010 Reviewed by Marcia Wall for Catfish and Coffee = Good Read

Catfish is a mysterious character in David Lummis’ novel The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans. A reluctant heir to a sugarcane fortune, Catfish is also a civil rights activist. His friend B. Sammy Singleton seems obsessed with Catfish, especially after the colorful character is (dubiously) arrested for grave robbing and then goes missing. Singleton’s search entails “a personal journey into a past [he] thought he had laid to rest, an excavation of buried truths about himself and about what the tragedy-bound Catfish calls the American Holocaust.”

Set in the French Quarter and Faubourgs Marigny and Tremé, The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans – Part 1 blends satire, mystery, and historical fiction. Within this story are a million others. The Coffee Shop Chronicles reads like the diary of a young, ADD-challenged writer. Singleton attempts to review local coffee shops (including CC’s, Rue de la Course, Café du Monde, Café Rose Nicaud, and Envie), but he always gets distracted about life, exploring such themes as the “sacrament” of coffee drinking, living sober, New Orleans’ civil rights history, and the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in America.

People who are attracted to New Orleans for its history and quirkiness will love this book. Fun, intriguing, and engaging The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans offers a glimpse into the wacky world of N’Awlins characters who live on the fringes of normalcy. Locals, transplants, and visitors can all appreciate the novel which serves an armchair passport to a world like no other. Do what reader David S. Sprinkle of Baltimore urges you to do: “Read this book if you love New Orleans or intend to. It’s knowing, observant, passionately felt, and beautifully written.” Author David Lummis will be selling and signing copies of The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans – Part 1 on Saturday, November 6, 2010 as part of the New Orleans Coffee Festival. The book, which retails for $14.95, is published by River House Publishing. The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans – Part 1 can be found at these retail locations.

David Lummis, a graduate of Yale University, is also a nationally known market analyst whose insights appear on a regular basis in major consumer and business media such as The New York Times, The Washington Times, USA Today and the London Telegraph.


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