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Gleaned from her own taped memoirs and other previously written articles as well as interviews with friends and accquaintences the professional life of Norma Wallace, New Orlean's last madam, seemed rather lack luster. With so much raw material, what went wrong? Oddly the later parts of the book, after Ms. Wallace's retirement from the business seemed to hold much more interest for me than those dealing with her working days.
From a historical perspective I think this was a good read as Ms. Wallace's life in the French Quarter spanned quite a long period of time. This is not the stuff you learn about in Louisiana history. I learned alot more about our past mayors from this book than I ever did in a history class. I particularly liked that addresses of the houses where she was a "landlady" were given. I will definately spend some afternoon in the near future scouring the French Quarter for these addresses.
All in all it was a fairly decent book. I think it will hold particular interest for New Orleaneans like myself, but would not be as appealing to the rest of the general popluation.
The descriptions of the French Quarter during the 1st half of the 20th century are great reading for lovers of New Orleans. I'll be sure to walk down Conti St. on my next visit and see if I can find some of the places described in this book.
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