Monday, December 30, 2013

World's End begins (again)

      Paul Theroux and T. Coraghessan Boyle both must have recognized the excellence of this title since both used it after my novel appeared.
     That puff of smoke isn't from the barrel of a gun but a steam pipe, on a back street in the Vieux Carre.
      It was my second novel, this time from the publisher William Morrow, and it came out a few years after The Big Easy (Houghton Mifflin). Now I'm happy to say it has just been released as an ebook (
     Here are some reviews that appeared at the time it was published in hardcover. Looking through the folder I kept them in, I discovered material I used in the research - including a description of a Thompson submachine-gun - that I'll share in a later post.
       Novelist Michael Mewshaw wrote in the Washington Star: “Conaway has written a saga which... leads to the conclusion that at the top - at the bottom? - the country is run by an interlocking directorate of corporate executives, mafiosi, elected officials and regional power brokers... What raises the book above its genre is Conaway’s sure knowledge of the place and its people... he knows, for instance, that racketeers in New Orleans wear elastic white socks as a kind of professional badge. And he can describe a Cajun celebration, a morning coffee at Cafe du Monde, or a ritualistic serving of Sambuca just a skillfully as he handles the action sequences.”
      New York Daily News, “If tight melodrama laced with sex, power grabs and corruption is your dish, you’ll devour World’s End with the relish of a hungry mule in a cornfield...a spellbinder.”
      Kirkus: “This Louisiana tale, with its Mafia crime barons pitted against corrupt-government barons, expertly lifts numerous Puzo-ian scenes and motifs - tit-for-tat violence, family honor - while adding some strong local colorations and cinematic effects... there’s enough action and avarice down among the bayous to make this a solid, never crass or tasteless, commercial entry.”
      The Miami Herald: “There is a good deal more to World’s End than just politics. Conaway’s novel is at once a family chronicle, a thriller, and a brief history of Louisiana. It is filled with authentic detail and atmosphere, told with great skill.”
       Philadelphia Inquirer: “The teaser on the jacket flap says that James Conaway’s new novel ‘will remind some readers of ‘All the King’s Men’ and others of ‘The Godfather’... The good news is that it’s an astonishingly successful hybrid.”
      New Orleans Times-Picayune: “... fascinating and absorbing... one of those rare you-can’t-put-it-down books.”
       Kansas City Star: “World’s End would be a much less successful novel without Conaway’s merging of action and place. So much that is ugly and crude occurs in the midst of so much beauty and graciousness, and Conaway makes us believe equally in both.”

1 comment:

  1. For an article in, how can I reach you re "The Big Easy"? On Deadline.