So let me start this out by saying I liked this book. I read it several years ago and it was a page turner and well written. It’s a book I’ll probably read again at some point.
With that being said I enjoyed it even though I knew most of it is bullshit. Usually that’s something that turns me off on a book if I’m looking for true life happenings.
Kent “Frenchy” Brouillette was a real life guy. That much is true. It’s just that most of what came out of his mouth, apparently, wasn’t true to life accounts of his experiences. According to Frenchy he knew anyone and everyone in New Orleans of any note. Mafia figures, Madame’s, crooks, sleazebags, politicians and an assassin who shot a President of the United States in 1963. He knew these people by just being in the right place at the right time while often doing something for them that they loved and were eternally grateful for while he danced through life…..and of course they all loved him. A lot like Forrest Gump.
I’ve spoken with many people who knew or had experiences with Frenchy during his heyday. Many of them retired law enforcement guys. Many of them also read Mr. New Orleans. According to them Frenchy was nothing but a pimp and a junkie and 70% of the info he passed on to Matt was bullshit. I’ve also had the opportunity to ask a few guys that were around the New Orleans underworld during the time period and they just laughed when I mentioned Frenchy.
Matthew Randazzo, the author, has gotten upset over a lot of the comments made about the book. I guess I can understand that but at the same time he notes at the beginning of the book in several different ways that many of the stories are unverified and hard to believe.
Many of them are hard to believe. Some of them don’t hold up to scrutiny or known/verified info. Some are just ridiculous. Weirdly enough Frenchy never did have exact dates or very precise timelines for the info he gave out. Just general timelines.
So, in closing, a good read but take it with a whole shaker of salt.