King Zeno: A Novel by Nathaniel Rich

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Read King Zeno: A Novel Online Free - New Orleans, 1918. The birth of jazz, the Spanish flu, an ax murderer on the loose. The lives of a traumatized cop, a conflicted Mafia matriarch, and a brilliant trumpeter converge--and the Crescent City gets the rich, dark, sweeping novel it so deserves.

From one of the most inventive writers of his generation, King Zeno is a historical crime novel and a searching inquiry into man's dreams of immortality.

New Orleans, a century ago: a city determined to reshape its destiny and, with it, the nation's. Downtown, a new American music is born. In Storyville, prostitution is outlawed and the police retake the streets with maximum violence. In the Ninth Ward, laborers break ground on a gigantic canal that will split the city, a work of staggering human ingenuity intended to restore New Orleans's faded mercantile glory. The war is ending and a prosperous new age dawns. But everything is thrown into chaos by a series of murders committed by an ax-wielding maniac with a peculiar taste in music.

The ax murders scramble the fates of three people from different corners of town. Detective William Bastrop is an army veteran haunted by an act of wartime cowardice, recklessly bent on redemption. Isadore Zeno is a jazz cornetist with a dangerous side hustle. Beatrice Vizzini is the widow of a crime boss who yearns to take the family business straight. Each nurtures private dreams of worldly glory and eternal life, their ambitions carrying them into dark territories of obsession, paranoia, and madness.

In New Orleans, a city built on swamp, nothing stays buried long.

Title : King Zeno: A Novel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0374181314
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 386 pages


Meike rated it ★★★☆☆

December 15, 2017

New Orleans in 1918/1919: Jazz is on the rise, construction for the great industrial canal begins, and the city is terrorized by an ax murderer – all of these things really happened, and Nathaniel Rich mixes fact with fiction when he interweaves three narrative threads circling around those event...

Emily May rated it ★★★☆☆

February 19, 2018

Look, I am a little bit obsessed with New Orleans. A lot of kids while I was growing up fell in love with the romanticism of Paris, the big powerful city of New York, or the beachy glamour of Los Angeles, but I have always been fascinated by NOLA. Jazz! Paganism! The French Quarter! Mardi gras! B...

Jarrett rated it ★★★★☆

February 05, 2018

Challenging to get into at the start with lots of unfamiliar names and separate plots. Read the first 50 pages a few times over before getting into the story. However last 2/3 of the book was great with well woven plot that brought together race, jazz, New Orleans, the mafia, and the Spanish flu....

Cindy rated it ★★★★★

January 21, 2018

I’m a fan of New Orleans. There’s good and there’s bad but there’s always the magical, especially about the past. Like the primordial swamp, there are layers upon layers, forests upon forests and people, their lives and loves, upon each other. The author captures the mood of a city in the swamp w...

nikkia rated it ★★★★★

December 22, 2017

Thanks Farrar, Straus and Giroux and netgalley for this ARC. King Zeno is like no other book I've read about New Orleans. Its dirty, gritty, and real. This is not glamorous look at jazz, war, or the cops.

Sam rated it ★★★☆☆

January 28, 2018

Set in the New Orleans of the early twentieth century (summer 1918 to be precise), it follows the intertwined tales of three fictional characters, as they navigate the brothels of Storyville, bayous, the reek of the slums, concert halls, city jail, and the Mafia, while coping with the real-life r...

Marge rated it ★★★☆☆

February 19, 2018

A fun read, especially if you're a NOLA buff. What do a serial killer, a WWI vet with PTSD, and a coronet genius have in common? How does the digging of the Industrial Canal and the Spanish flu epidemic figure in? Read it and find out. One thing I found troubling is the complete lack of the reali...

Annie rated it ★★★☆☆

December 07, 2017

Nathaniel Rich’s King Zeno is the second novel I’ve read recently that takes on the Axeman Murders of New Orleans—which is fitting since it’s been a century since the still-unsolved murders were committed. (Read my review of The Axeman, by Ray Celestin.) This fictional take on the murders rotates...

Kim rated it ★★★☆☆

October 28, 2017

New Orleans 1918 A city of new beginnings now that the war is over and the birth of Jazz has begun to catch on or is it a city sliding back into the swamp facing corruption, racial tension and murder? Jazz is the newest thing to catch fire but few musicians can make a living of it. Instead they mu...

Kristine rated it ★★★★☆

February 08, 2018

King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January. Mindful, observant, and wiley storytelling of theft, mugging, and ax murders in a New Orleans of 1918, where the police force is spread too thin, jazz venues abound, there's threat from the Italian mob, industrial l...

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