Meely LaBauve: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Meely LaBauve Unbound – Import, August, 2001

51 customer reviews

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Unbound, Import, August, 2001
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers also viewed these available items
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Unbound
  • Publisher: Random House (August 2001)
  • ISBN-10: 1588361012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588361011
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Ken Wells, novelist and journalist, grew up in a beer-drinking family deep in South Louisiana's Cajun bayou country. His father was a part-time alligator hunter and snake collector and his mother a gumbo chef extraordinaire. Second of six sons, Wells began his journalism career covering car wrecks and gator sightings for the weekly Houma, La., Courier newspaper.
He has gone on to an illustrious career: a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the Miami Herald; editor of two Pulitzer-Prize-winning projects for Page One of The Wall Street Journal where, over a 24-year period, he also roamed the globe covering the first Persian Gulf War, South Africa's transition to a multiracial democracy and many other stories. He has since worked as senior editor for Conde Nast Portfolio magazine and is now an editor-at-large for Bloomberg News, writing and editing longform narrative journalism for Bloomberg's projects and investigations team.
Wells is the author of four well-received novels of the Cajun bayous: Meely LaBauve (a 2000 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book); Junior's Leg (2001); Logan's Storm (2002); and Crawfish Mountain (2007).
He has also penned two non-fiction books: Travels with Barley: a Quest for the Perfect Beer Joint (2004), a travelogue through America's $75 billion beer industry; and The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous, a story of blue-collar heroism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The Pirates, published in September 2008 by Yale University Press, was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize and won the Harry Chapin book award in September 2009.
His fifth novel, Rascal, a Dog and His Boy, will be published by Knopf-Random House Young Adult in September 2010. He is currently working on a memoir.
Wells lives in New York City, where he continues on his quest to find the Perfect Beer Joint and dabbles in his hobbies that include photography and song-writing. He often wishes he were fishing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Eric P. Duplantis on February 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Huck Finn with a Cajun patois. Fifteen year old Emile "Meely" Labauve is part ruffian, part home spun philosopher, and completely charming. He is a wise, uneducated man-child, fighting the basic battle--how to survive in a hostile world. This good short read (290 pages) takes you into Meely's world, where a man (even a fifteen year old man) is judged by his ability to survive by his wits, his honor, and his courage. Like any good novel it takes you to a place you may have never been, in this case, the swamps of Louisiana in the early 1960s. Ken Wells' debut novel is extremely entertaining. Mr. Wells' characters are vivid, memorable and authentic. His tale is both simple and complex. In this coming-of-age tale, Meely comes face-to-face with prejudice, loneliness, and sex (for the first time); not to mention alligators, snakes and bad cops. Althought it is a tale of children, it delivers an adult lesson. Meely's saga contains lots of action (swamp car chases, wild animals, shootouts) but its real power comes from Meely's conflict with prejudice: white vs. black; rich vs. poor; young vs. old. In Meely's world, his friend Joey, the educated son of a rich landowner, saves the day by defying his class prejudiced father by doing what is right instead of what is safe. Make no mistake, this is an entertaining tale, not a philosophy book. But like Mark Twain's Huck, Meely Labauve, if you are not watching, can sneak up on you and teach you something about life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth MacDonald on March 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As hard-bitten as I am, it's rare that a book sticks with me, much less makes me cry or affect my waking hours for so long after reading it. That's exactly the effect Meely LaBauve has on readers, it's a book that has "Hollywood Movie" stamped all over it. This debut novel is a vivid tour-de-force set in the backwoods of the Louisiana Bayou, a coming-of-age book that is so shot through with rich, textured landscapes and honey-combed with vivid dialogue that it ranks right up there with Call of the Wild and The Outsiders. I was sad to finish it, and wanted more. To cut to the chase, Meely LaBauve is a story about a lonely, little boy who has to survive on his own by fishing, who wears his sense of realism and dignity like a badge of honor, who lost his mother and has to routinely battle local toughs. His favorite recreation is fishing alligators with his derelict but lovable pa, an adult whose every element in him has a blood feud with his opposite tormentor, crooked, and emotionally constipated, cops. If you want to find out what it's like to eat Cajun sauce piquante, how to use fire ants in fights with bullies, or whether hogs eat people (they can), then read this book. After a long dry absence on the best fiction lists, Meely LaBauve is a welcome relief.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Linda Al-Alawi on March 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After leaving Louisiana 35 years ago, Meely La Bauve took me back, shedding the years in betwen. I have never enjoyed an ethnic book as much as I did Meely. So many words and phrases that I hadn't heard for years came rushing back to me with lovely nostalgia. The descriptions of Meely's surroundings and his thoughts and actions were so vivid that I was in another world which I didn't want to leave. I look forward to more wonderful books, Mr. Wells!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By zydeholic on February 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This novel was set in the area where I grew up, and I must say, Ken is successful in conveying a real sense of place, to the point of being archetypal.
What I read began touching a deeper chord in me than just reading a humorous story. Country, swamp, wild life, sugar cane, palmetto and St. Augustine grass. Everything from crawfish clamping on your fingers, to hunting and fishing in order to eat, to Cajun schoolyard bullies, to fledgling encounters between the sexes in the cane fields, to corrupt cops, to class and race distinctions, to honor between folks who had little, regardless of race.
This book is fiction only in one sense of the word. I've met some of the people in this book. What takes place in this story really happened, and still happens, somewhere, to someone. There are none of the overblown plot turns of a James Lee Burke story. These are real people in real life situations, just removed from the common experience of most of us. Hell, I bet the flying gator was drawn from real life too.
My only regret is that the book ended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jack Patterson on March 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I spent some time in South Louisiana where this book is set but I'm not sure that matters. Meely's one of the best books I've read in a long, long time set anywhere. Meely himself is a great character--a kid full of heart and honor, but a bit of a rascal too. His daddy is an alligator hunter, part Native American, who never quite got over the death of his wife years before. Meely's being left to pretty much raise himself on the "lonesome end of Catahoula Bayou." He shoots his food, including a mocking bird when he's hungry enough. He runs afoul of the bayou bully, a hulking, mean-spirited farm boy who doesn't like Meely because he's a fearless runt and doesn't like Meely's pa because Junior is a bigot who holds the LaBauves' "Wild Injun" blood against them. When Junior and his pot-bellied, racist uncle, a local cop, get after Meely, it forces Meely's dad to re-enter his son's life in a major way. I know a lot of people will compare Meely to Huck Finn but Wells writes nothing like Mark Twain. His, in fact, is a clear, simple, accessible prose and Meely's voice, though he speaks in dialect, is singular and pure. And there's a lot packed in this little book--insight into race and class, not to mention an amazing chase scene and one of the best, and most hilarious, sex scenes I've ever read. This is not a child's book, but I think teenagers would really enjoy it as much as I have.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?