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Publisher's Summary

They looked like a slightly mischievous version of the all-American couple: a handsome army veteran and his gorgeous artist girlfriend. Zackery Bowen, after completing his tour of Iraq, came home to New Orleans, and in two weeks before Hurricane Katrina, he met Addie Hall. Their improvised, hard-partying endurance during and after the storm inspired news outlets around the world to feature the couple as the personification of the indomitable spirit of New Orleans.

But Addie had a long history of abuse that colored her world and everyone who entered it. And Zackery fell for Addie completely, until his personal demons, unleashed in the desert of Iraq, combined with hers in a perfect storm of violence that shocked evn rough-and-tumble New Orleans.

©2009 Ethan Brown (P)2009 Phoenix

Critic Reviews

"Heartbreaking." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Brown creates a riveting portrait of a gruesome crime while detailing the heart of a city in distress. A grim...story delivered with skill and verve." ( Kirkus Reviews)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    18
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    9
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Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    15
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    10
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    1
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Robin
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 08-08-10

Avoid this one!

The description of this audio book drew me in. After listening for about an hour, though, I thoroughly regretted my purchase. This story would perhpas be worthy of a seven-to-ten page magazine article; the author has spun it out into a whole book by adding tedious background factoids and glorified parentheticals that are irrelevant to the storyline and do not move it along at all.

There's not much of a story here to start with. The reader is not particularly good. Save your money and/or Audible member credit for something better.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 09-17-10

Not really interesting

The whole story is told in the introduction, and the details of the book don't really add much of interest. The reader reads with too much expression, as though he's reading to children, or giving a sermon. At the end are three hours of the story of New Orleans, but I'm not going to listen to all of it. Enough already.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed, I just wanted the story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story is such a compelling one, I didn't need the author's opinion on the state of society and politics in the wake if Katrina.

What could Ethan Brown have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Tell more about Addie, and less opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good...but

I enjoyed the book as I became deeply interested in this couple's story after hearing it told by a tour guide when vacationing in New Orleans. I listened to numerous podcasts on the subject which referenced this book so I thought I'd give it a try. As others have stated, I wish the author had dug a bit more into Addie. So much time and detail was put into Zack's story to paint an image of why he turned out the way he did, but Addie wasn't painted complete other than a tragedy here and there (no spoilers). Devastating story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

outstanding!

in all ways possible. He was meant to write this book. From beginning to end. outstanding work and compassionate writer. did his research and lived the life. highly recommend

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Insight

Great story and narration, very respectful. I was hoping it would be darker, but it still held my attention all the way though.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It’s ALL about Zach

Addie had a life before she moved to NOLA. I know this directly from her best friend from Durham, NC. Listening to this book in its entirety, it seems almost like the author in a way, justifies the gruesome murder and dismemberment and cooking of his “beloved” girlfriend, Addie Hall. I gathered more information about Addie as an actual human being that had feelings, dreams, talents, and love for life from her “soul sister” from NC. This is a biography and nothing more about Zach. Why the author even included Addie’s name in the title ( in addition to her photo on the cover), shows a slimy and pathetic attempt to increase sales. No one in Addie’s past was interviewed (only those that knew her in NOLA). No family interviewed, no friends from her life in Durham. This author makes me sick. And so does this book. Addie DID NOT deserve the horrid end of her life. But this author seems to justify it by using PTSD CONSTANTLY throughout. Crap.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too Much Preaching, Too Little About the Story

What disappointed you about Shake the Devil Off?

This book could have been more focused and much shorter. There are many tangents that don't tie back into the story. While some details about NO are needed, this is just overkill. During the second half of the book, I felt as if I was reading a story about post Katrina NO. The crime took a back seat.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ethan Brown again?

Maybe a short piece or newspaper article he has written. However, it is unlikely that I would read another one of his books.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader read as if he was reading a novel, not an investigative reporting piece. It could have been better if he adapted to the material.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration and disappointment. As I stated before, the second half of the book seemed to be a post Katrina NO narrative. It would have also been good to have more information about Addy. The book seemed very unbalanced with its emphasis on Zach.

Any additional comments?

The book provides some insight into what may have caused Zack Bowen to snap as he did.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Greg Finch
  • New Orleans, LA United States
  • 05-30-18

Narrator Did Not Do His Homework

The story is fascinating. The organization is clunky and overridden with character development. The narrator could not have mispronounced more New Orleans street, city, and landmark names if he tried. Not even close! Brah, if you don't know the word do some homework!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful