In the tradition of the modern classics The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer and The Liars' Club by Mary Karr, Blaine Lourd's meaningful debut, Born on the Bayou, is a powerful gothic memoir set in the bayous and oil towns of 1970s Louisiana. In honest, confessional prose, Born on the Bayou - a roller-coaster rags-to-riches story - transports us to a pocket of the South where Lourd learns how to be a man from the two people he looks up to the most: his larger-than-life father, "Puffer", a prominent figure in the oil business; and his successful older brother, Bryan.
With an eye turned perpetually toward the gruff and distant Puffer, Lourd illustrates how those closest to us can cause the most hurt, even as we seek their approval. Whether he's learning how to skin a duck at age 10, enjoying his first beer at 13, or detailing the finer points of ride-on lawn mowing, Lourd gets to the heart of being a Southerner with rawness and grace. From his early childhood through his eventual pilgrimage to the West Coast, he beautifully details what it means to have tangible roots to a place so ingrained, it is a part of your own being.
From barreling down the low-country roads in a shiny Thunderbird to chasing women and learning to be a gentleman, Born on the Bayou is one man's struggle against the forces of family love, loyalty, and obligation and the ties that keep us tethered to our roots no matter how far we run.
©2015 Blaine Lourd (P)2016 Recorded Books
I have listened to over 300 audiobooks and none have come close to touching me the way this book did.
Perhaps it was because we were raised in neighboring towns... Lake Charles and new Iberia. Perhaps it was because we both had "self made" fathers who rode to the very tip top of the oilfield wave only to violently crash when it came down...leaving us as their children with only a remnant of the men we once knew as a king now clawing their way back to simply surviving.
Perhaps it's because Blaine's voice, sayings and accent screamed with the voices of my childhood growing up surrounded by swamp, the oilfield world, and the unique culture only a coonass knows... Those voices I've tried for so long to silence bc remembering is sweet but painful.
I can't say for sure which of the above or if was a mixture of the all of the above and more but for the first time while listening to the end of one of so many emotional stories I've listened to, this time I found myself in tears and unable to make them stop.
This book is a treasure and I must get my hands on a hard copy. I finally feel like I have a memoir to hold onto until mine is complete. All oilfield brats, coonass kids, and, most of all, those who have watched their hero fall from his throne while grasping for anything to stabilize him as he descends quicker and quicker ... We all owe this author a debt of gratitude for capturing the emotions of a time and place we thought we wanted to forget...
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