Shake the Devil Off by Ethan Brown
A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans

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Synopsis

A charismatic young soldier meets a tragic end in this moving and mesmerizing account of the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and no-safety-net America



Zackery Bowen was thrust into two of America's largest recent debacles. He was one of the first soldiers to encounter the fledgling insurgency in Iraq. After years of military service he returned to New Orleans to tend bar and deliver groceries. In the weeks before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, he met Addie Hall, a pretty and high-spirited bartender. Their improvised, hard-partying endurance during and after the storm had news outlets around the world featuring the couple as the personification of what so many want to believe is the indomitable spirit of New Orleans.



But in October 2006, Bowen leaped from the rooftop bar of a French Quarter hotel. A note in his pocket directed the police to the body of Addie Hall. It was, according to NOPD veterans, one of the most gruesome crimes in the city's history. How had this popular, handsome father of two done this horrible thing?



Journalist Ethan Brown moved from New York City to the French Quarter in order to investigate this question. Among the newsworthy elements in the book is Brown's discovery that this tragedy—like so many others—could have been avoided if the military had simply not, in the words of Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, "absolutely and completely failed this soldier." Shake the Devil Off is a mesmerizing tribute to these lives lost.


 

About Ethan Brown

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Ethan Brown has written for New York magazine, The New York Observer, Wired, Vibe, The Independent, GQ, Rolling Stone, Details, The Guardian, and The Village Voice, among other publications. He is the author of two previous books, Queens Reigns Supreme and Snitch. He lives with his wife in New Orleans. 
 
Published September 1, 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shake the Devil Off

Kirkus Reviews

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“Zack’s untreated PTSD triggered a free fall,” writes the author, “from the dissolution of his marriage to trouble at a string of low-paying jobs to an abusive relationship with Addie that ended so tragically.” Captivated by the story, Brown moved to New Orleans for his research, tracing Bowen's ...

Jul 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Shake the Devil Off: A True S...

The New York Times

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A sickening account of a murder and suicide that riveted post-Katrina New Orleans.

Aug 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Shake the Devil Off: A True S...

The New York Times

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A nonfiction account that points a finger at Katrina and Iraq.

Sep 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Shake the Devil Off: A True S...

AV Club

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An author examines the true story of a murder in post-Katrina New Orleans, but doesn't always dig deep enough.

Sep 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Shake the Devil Off: A True S...

Bookmarks Magazine

Their improvised, hard-partying endurance during and after the storm had news outlets around the world featuring the couple as the personification of what so many want to believe is the indomitable spirit of New Orleans.

Aug 31 2009 | Read Full Review of Shake the Devil Off: A True S...

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