65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.
James Lee Burke created Dave Robicheaux 25 years ago, in The Neon Rain, in 1987. Burke is a brilliant writer. His ability to describe the place of his birth, Southern Louisiana, is unparalleled. New Orleans and Iberia Parish are places that you want to visit, because Mr. Burke has captured them so vividly. Likewise, Dave Robicheaux is such a vivid creation that you almost believe he is flesh and blood. Dave and his best friend, Clete Purcel, have suffered in their lives, the rages of alcoholism and Viet Nam, among other curses. Dave has married twice and has adopted Alafair, in a rescue scene so extraordinary that I remember it clearly, almost a decade later. Alafair Burke is now a novelist herself, in the real world. These books are full of violence and thoughtfulness, scholarly reasoning and deep moral convictions. In this book the bad guys are horrendous, a family named Duprix, wealthy and sinister, an incestuous grandfather at the top, a man who was also a highly-placed Nazi at one of the death camps. The reading is not for the faint of heart or stomach, but it is brilliant for all of that. Will Patton is perfect for these books. His voices are of extraordinary range and expressiveness. Male or female, his characters speak with astonishingly human voices and a range of emotions that rival those of the best narrators. I began reading Dave Robicheaux books 25 years ago, and I hope to keep reading them for a long time. James Lee Burke has lost none of his unique talent, and it is a pleasure for me to be able to recommend his work to you. It is thrilling.
I had never heard of Lou Manfredo before, but I had heard of Bobby Cannavale from his theater work and his reading of Richard Price's Lush Life. This story is an excellent police procedural, with an old, experienced cop and a new, fresh kid who gets thoroughly introduced into the corruption and evil that are New York City politics and the NYPD force. I take it that much of this book is exaggerated, and it provides great entertainment, no matter how fictional it is. The story is wide-ranging and includes a few scenes which are truly thrilling and cinematic. It is not, however, made for the movies, as are a few books which just cannot hide their ambition. "Heat" is one of these, and I believe that it was actually created to go with the TV series.
The real find, though, is this narrator. Bobby Cannavale has a wonderful voice. He voices many characters with understanding and skill. He is believable and has great dramatic abilities. The absolutely wonderful thing about him, though, is the fact that his natural voice is one of the most delightful instruments to listen to in my entire life of hearing actors speak their lines. His voice has a grainy, rough, masculine texture that cannot be imitated. Clearly a New Yorker, he can disguise his natural accent, and he can rise and fall to match the emotions demanded by the character, the author and the plot situation he finds. Having heard him work will change your view of narrators forever, IMHO. I can't wait for him to do more of this work. If you get to see him on stage, you are a lucky person, indeed.