The fate of New Orleans rests in the hands of a wayward grifter in this novel of gods, games, and monsters.
The post–Katrina New Orleans of The City of Lost Fortunes is a place haunted by its history and by the hurricane’s destruction, a place that is hoping to survive the rebuilding of its present long enough to ensure that it has a future. Street magician Jude Dubuisson is likewise burdened by his past and by the consequences of the storm, because he has a secret: the magical ability to find lost things, a gift passed down to him by the father he has never known—a father who just happens to be more than human.
Jude has been lying low since the storm, which caused so many things to be lost that it played havoc with his magic, and he is hiding from his own power, his divine former employer, and a debt owed to the Fortune god of New Orleans. But his six-year retirement ends abruptly when the Fortune god is murdered and Jude is drawn back into the world he tried so desperately to leave behind. A world full of magic, monsters, and miracles. A world where he must find out who is responsible for the Fortune god’s death, uncover the plot that threatens the city’s soul, and discover what his talent for lost things has always been trying to show him: what it means to be his father’s son.
About the Author
BRYAN CAMP is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop and the University of New Orleans’s MFA program. He started his first novel, The City of Lost Fortunes, in the back seat of his parents’ car as they evacuated the Crescent City during Hurricane Katrina.
"With mysticism emanating from every page, Bryan Camp paints a stunningly deceptive post-Katrina New Orleans in his debut, The City of Lost Fortunes...Camp succeeds in creating an alluringly magical fantasy realm, and he also knits it seamlessly into the reality of a vibrant New Orleans. The City of Lost Fortunes is a composition as stunning as the music that springs from its Louisiana setting. Play on, Bryan Camp, play on."—Shelf Awareness
"Stunning debut...Bryan Camp crafts a spellbinding vision of one of American's most magical cities."—BookPage
"It is rare that a serious literary novel is an easy read as well. The City of Lost Fortunes is an extraordinarily enjoyable read."—Washington Book Review
"A complex story that seduces the reader into a Crescent City filled with beauty and danger, loss and hope...seeking New Orleans and finding his own secret city...is Camp’s true magic as a writer."—The New Orleans Advocate
"Aloving ode to New Orleans and everything that makes it superlative: the food, the music, the soul-crushing humidity, and of course, the people. Ambitious, insightful, and filled with commentary on the diversity and similarities across world mythologies, this novel is absolutely the product of a writer who is worth keeping an eye on."—FantasyLiterature.com
"Camp clearly cares for the Crescent City’s soul, and he brings its scenes to sweltering life: the cafés, cemeteries, flood-damaged ruins, low-life bars, botanicas, pelican-skimmed causeways, diners, guard dogs, festivals — a phantasmagoric panorama of a true urban fantasy." —Seattle Review of Books
"A masterly game played by gods and monsters, a devastated city trying to rebuild, and compelling characters struggling to find their place in a strange world are all pieces of this fantastic and enthralling puzzle of a story. VERDICT Camp's thoroughly engaging debut is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, with the added spirit of the vibrant Big Easy." — Library Journal, STARRED
"A phantasmagoric murder mystery that wails, chants, laments, and changes shape as audaciously as the mythical beings populating its narrative....boisterously ingenious debut novel....For a first-time novelist, Camp shows adroitness in weaving the real-life exoticism of present-day New Orleans with his macabre alternate universe that's almost—what's the word—supernatural. (Among the unique characters attending a burial service for one of the murder victims: a centaur, a hairy giant, and "a fat, brown-skinned man with the head of an elephant.") Things only get weirder and more intense from there, but the engaging style, facility with folklore, and, above all, impassioned love for the city its characters call home keeps you enraptured by the book's most chilling and outrageous plot twists. One hopes for more of Camp's dangerous visions to spring from a city that, as he writes, 'is a great place to find yourself, and a terrible place to get lost.'" — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
"There isn’t a dull page as Jude determines who his real friends are. Anne Rice fans will enjoy this fresh view of supernatural life in New Orleans, while fans of Kim Harrison’s urban fantasy will have a new author to watch." — Booklist, STARRED review
"Camp’s fantasy reads like jazz, with multiple chaotic-seeming threads of deities, mortals, and destiny playing in harmony. This game of souls and fate is full of snarky dialogue, taut suspense, and characters whose glitter hides sharp fangs. […] Any reader who likes fantasy with a dash of the bizarre will enjoy this trip to the Crescent City."—Publishers Weekly
"Take a walk down wild card shark streets into a world of gods, lost souls, murder, and deep, dark magic. You might not come back from The City of Lost Fortunes, but you’ll enjoy the trip."—Richard Kadrey, bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series
"In The City of Lost Fortunes, Bryan Camp delivers a high-octane tale of myth and magic, serving up the best of Neil Gaiman and Richard Kadrey. Here is New Orleans in all its gritty, grudging glory, the haunt of sinners and saints, gods and mischief-makers. Once you pay a visit, you won’t want to leave!"—Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts for the One Who Comes After
"Bryan Camp’s debut novel The City of Lost Fortunes is like a blessed stay in a city both distinctly familiar and wonderfully strange, with an old friend who knows just the right spots to take you to–not too touristy, and imbued with the weight of history and myth, populated by local characters you’ll never forget. You’ll leave sated with the sights and sounds of a New Orleans that is not quite the real city, but breathes like the real thing, a beautiful mimicry in prose that becomes its own version of reality in a way only a good story—or magic—can. You won’t regret the visit."—Indra Das, author of The Devourers
"With sharp prose and serious literary chops, Bryan Camp delivers a masterful work of contemporary fantasy in The City of Lost Fortunes. It reads like the New Orleans-born love child of Raymond Chandler and Neil Gaiman, featuring a roguish hero you can’t help but root for. It’s funny, harrowing, thrilling—the pages keep turning. The City of Lost Fortunes establishes Bryan Camp as the best and brightest new voice on fantasy literature’s top shelf."—Nicholas Mainieri, author of The Infinite
"Anyone who loves New Orleans will love this mystical adventure where gods, magicians, vampires, zombies, angels, and ghouls clash in the only city where a story like this is actually possible. The City of Lost Fortunes expertly blends the real and the surreal, capturing the essence of New Orleans in such a unique way. In this city, just as in this story, the line between fact and fiction blurs, and your imagination is set free."
—Candice Huber, Tubby and Coo's Bookstore (New Orleans, LA)
"Myth and archetype combine with the gritty realism of modern post-Katrina New Orleans in this fast-paced novel. Throughout the twists and turns of a clever, compelling plot, the soul of the city and strength of its survivors shine through. As a southern Louisiana resident, Bryan Camp saw firsthand the devastation and impact on people’s lives caused by Katrina, and the emotion of that experience fuels the power of the story and its unique, well-crafted characters. If you like the work of Neil Gaiman and Roger Zelazny, you’ll enjoy this book. A fun, engaging read. Highly recommended."—Les Howle, director of the Clarion West Writers Workshop