Christopher Hurt did us, and this book, all, a huge disservice when he neglected to research the way that city streets, and neighborhoods are actually pronounced by people who live in the area. His character lives in Gentilly, a New Orleans suburb, but irritatingly says things like ByOH instead of the commonly said Byoo pronunciation of the word bayou. He mispronounces street names liberally, from beginning to end in a fashion that makes most first time tourists to the city seem like natives by comparison. (For example, dear Mr. Hurt, the name Marigny has a silent letter g. Tchoupitoulas St. is not Ti-chipi-tolois, it's said Chop-i-too-lus. Next time, please investigate, don't presume. You can ruin a story with such neglect.)
The overall effect became so annoying at one point that I nearly forgot the story and decided I could not finish the book until a different reader records it, or I find it at the library.
In some books I suppose this crime would be forgivable, but Percy uses street and neighborhood names as landmarks all over this story to keep us aware of where we are, and what the scenes even mean, since in New Orleans, the part of town you are in at certain times carries a great deal of influence over what takes place, and how you react to it.
Also too, there is an affectation to his portrayal of the character that makes his fervent interest in women seem wholly inauthentic. Perhaps he was trying for "generic Southern", but lapsed into "generic southern-gay" instead, which would have been artful and skilled had the character been so, but this one is not. So, instead,it just bolsters the impression that our reader was lazy, and did not do his homework before his recording sessions began.
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