I read all the available reviews before ordering and, because the author is a long-time favorite of mine, ordered it despite strongly conflicting opinions of the quality of the narration. Be warned by this lover of audio books that this otherwise fine Burke book is all but ruined by the narration of Mark Hammer. Hammer's voice qualities are those a very elderly man and one with almost no dramatic color. Even if you are a fan of Burke's poetic and lively writing this is likely to disappoint. The story's still-youngish hero is almost impossible to picture when all his observations are droned in the crackly voice of a man who sounds twenty or thirty years his senior!
What is wrong with Simon & Schuster audio folks? What possessed James Lee Burke to let this happen to his creation? Why did I not heed those who warned me in their review??
As always, James Patterson has written an absorbing story with well developed characters. Mark Hammer's narration, with it's effortless switch to dialects of Louisiana, brings the story to vivid life. I'd rather listen to Mark read one of these stories than read it myself. It's a great experience.
I liked the book but it is not the same without Will Patton reading. It was very hard to get into the book, narration is so important, and Will Patton is the voice of Dave. Stick to the ones Will reads for audible and read the others.
Hopelessly addicted to Audio Books! I started listening as a distraction to the aggravation of driving, now I listen all the time :)
This is a terrific story.
The bad guys in this book give evil a unique face and a different level wickedness with each one, as do most of Burke's story.
I found this book to be one of the more enjoyable JLB books. As always the dialogue is witty and near-genius level.
I would have loved to give this a 5-star or even 4 and 1/2 stars, but I just didn't like the reader that much. He was not bad, he just in no way lived up to the abilities of Will Patton, who I wish had read the story.
I am surprised and disappointed by some of the comments about Mark Hammer's narration. I've now read (er... listened to) all the Dave Robicheaux books that have been narrated by Hammer. He so captures the feel of Southwest Louisiana, with its various accents, subtle innuendo and unusual characters, that I have found it almost impossible to continue listening to other JLB books. I know that Will Patton is a fine actor, but Hammer has gotten into my skin in a way that's rare in my experience, and I am a little grieved that there isn't more by him to look forward to. I certainly hope to hear more from him in the future.
I've read a few reviews where Hammer's narration style is criticised heavily. I couldn't disagree more - Hammer takes an already great story and adds his style to create genuine syngergy. Fabulous complex story, and narrated equally fabulously. I liked Hammer's style so much I'm struggling to enjoy those Burke books read by Patton. Narrator changes are a pain with character based novels.
I'd rate my enjoyment of JB's Bounce up right up there with other Audible books like Memoirs of a Geisha, The Human Stain, and Tis/Angela's Ashes - all great stories enhanced by great narrators.
This book is extraordinary. The plot is good, but unexceptional, solid, fast paced and secure. The characterisation and the creation of the environment of the south of this period is what sets the book apart. Reading books aloud is becoming an art form of its own, and the reader in this case creates the mood that is this book's strength
I struggled getting through this book for 2 reasons:
1. The reader - he had the Louisianna sound down pat, but took way too long to find a way to distinguish one voice from another. Especially in the beginning I had to rewind several times to figure out which character was speaking, especially in conversations between Dave and Clete. It got better towards the end of the book, but the reading is mediocre at best.
2. Lack of action. Right up front we get 2 brutal murders, we meet the characters who are supposed to be solving the crimes, then spend 2/3's of the book tolerating an endless circus of immature and violent behavior from the suspects as well as the "good guys" without a shred of evidence that anyone is trying to find the killer. We don't even get a clue until the final hour of the reading why the crimes were committed.
In the long run, I'm glad I stuck it out - the ending did finally tell the story. But there were too many red herrings to make this a first class suspense story. Reduce the number of characters by half, spend the same amount of effort developing the ones that remain, and then you'll get a story to invest in.
I second and agree with the reviewer JD Wills. I wish I read his review before I bought this book. I just finished listening to the Lion's Game and the reader was excellent 10/10 but not this one.
With a different narrator I feel this could have been a great book. But the monotone delivery on this book drags it down and makes it a tough listen.