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Discover a New Orleans That Tourists Don't See!

Updated on February 21, 2018
Mickie Gee profile image

Mickie Gee is a retired librarian and a grandmother. She learned all her tricks on the job!

Find your way to Elysian Fields!

Looking for a good fiction book? Well, I just might have one for you; but first, allow me to pose these questions:  Do you love literary fiction with a lot of symbolism that you could analyze to your heart's content, or do you just want a good story to pass the time without feeling like you wasted those precious minutes? Are you craving some Faulkner-esque family drama, or is rib-tickling humor your poison? Is a gauzy paranormal story to your liking, or do you just want some good ol' everyday southern livin' tall tales to chew on?

Elysian Fields by Mark LaFlaur can fill all those needs and then pile on some powdered sugar just like the Cafe Du Monde heavily dusts a warm beignet. 

Dive into the steamy Crescent City:

I have visited New Orleans many times and, like most tourists, I slogged through the French Quarter, rode the trolley to escape the rain and bought a ticket for a riverboat ride in order to catch a cool breeze. On Bourbon Street I have stared in awe at the various weird characters that populate the Quarter. (Have you ever wondered "Who ARE those people? Are they for real?" For real, just maybe.......)

Let me invite you to meet a fictional New Orleans family unlike any family you have ever known; or maybe, you DO know brothers like Simpson and Bartholomew Weems. One is a wannabe poet who dreams daily about moving AWAY from New Orleans; the other is the lazy, bag of lard covered bones "baby" brother who foils Simpson's get-away plans every time! 

No wonder Simpson wants Bartholomew dead.

This novel will introduce you to a New Orleans you never imagined might even exist!

I have a friend that went to LSU and has spent some time in this gem of the south. He actually gave me his copy of Elysian Fields to read because he thought I would like the writing. (I did, btw.)  We are both Pisces, you see, and tend to gravitate to the artsy-fartsy in life. 

He pointed out to me that a "story" in the book is based on a popular urban legend heard often in New Orleans' French Quarter. As my friend explained, "The legend is that there's an underground in the French Quarter that is only known to the marginal locals. The entry points are well hidden - inside bars and brothels behind walls or secret panels - so someone in the know has to take you in. Inside [this underground] is a world of drugs, drunkenness, deviance and debauchery." My friend added, "Sounds like the outside!"

Why I recommend this novel:

The writing is excellent. The characters are believable in a very strange southern way. All siblings hate each other at one time or another, but not all would lock a family member in a smelly, bug infested fishing shack hoping for a record high temperature that day. In fact, I was rooting for Simpson's plan to succeed--until the last chapter, that is.

While you are reading Elysian Fields, there times you will laugh your behind off and then, a few pages later, find yourself getting all teary-eyed.  All in all, this novel is well worth the time you spend  exploring the Elysian Fields of the South.

Elysian Fields named one of 14 Best Indie General Fiction titles for 2013 (Kirkus Reviews).

Elysian Fields named to Kirkus Reviews'  Best of 2013.

The Sights on Elysian Fields:

One of the characters who populate the real Elysian Fields in New Orleans: Clyde Casey and Washboard Brad.

Have you ever heard of the urban legend of the "underground" New Orleans?

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Buy Elysian Fields Here:

You might have landed on this page because you have read books in the Sentinels of New Orleans series. Both of the books with the same title can be purchased by clicking the "Buy now" tabs below. Either way, I get a small commission and two authors sell a book!

If you landed here because you were searching for "underground New Orleans" there is also a travel book on Amazon with that topic. I have provided you with an opportunity to purchase that book, as well. It might help you understand a little bit of the mindset of those who live in that historic and unique city.

Elysian Fields
Elysian Fields

This is the novel that I have "reviewed" here on this page. You can purchase it now, yes, now.

New Orleans: The Underground Guide, 4th Edition
New Orleans: The Underground Guide, 4th Edition

Buy this book to find unique places to visit in NO. When you return to your hotel room, you can read Mark LaFlaur's novel and feel right at home.


© 2014 Mickie Goad

Let me know you if you have visited or plan to visit the novel Elysian Fields by Mark LaFlaur.

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    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @MariaMontgomery: Thanks for sharing this page on social media. I am quite sure the author will enjoy the results.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I found this great book review on Twitter. It definitely makes me want to read the book. I have squidliked, pinned, & retweeted it. Now I just need to get the book. Thanks for sharing.