This was my first Burke novel though not my last. Atmospheric is the only word that comes to mind when describing this novel, since the reader is gently transported to the south. A marvelous mystery with a very real hero and a host of intriguing characters, I recommend Jolie Blon to the novice or seasoned Burke reader, since it pressed this particular novice get on her way to the seasoned group.
I still haven't gotten through this and, it's not because I don't like the story - I just have a really hard time understanding the narrator. Unlike others, I don't care if his emotion isn't great or his age is wrong - I just want to be able to understand him. I wanted to enter my comments too because I'm hoping the audiobook company will take that more into account. Even though someone said JLB really liked this reading, I don't think that's a fair call because he knows the story!
I enjoyed the story and the reader. I was at times nauseated and depressed by Burke?s too vivid description of the crime and killing. I would also have preferred his love scenes were somewhat less graphic.
Hard to put down. I find myself hoping for a traffic jam or delay so I can hear more. Worth listening to more than once. Great writing, and the reading puts you right in the book. Just don't get lost and miss a turn like I did while listening to an especially good part!
Burke's "Jolie Blon" is a great story that relies more on the character development than on the suspense of the mystery. The author creates a terrific atmosphere and a believable, sympathetic character in this novel; after listening to this book, I will definitely look for more of Burke's works. The narration left a bit to be desired, however. Hammer's narration was adequate to the task, but was fairly monotone throughout. He managed to cover all the basics, but did not truly capture the style of the geographic and cultural setting. All in all, I really liked the story, but could have wished for a somewhat better narrator.
I love the Audible service. It turns driving time into enjoyable time every time. I called customer service to complain about the narrator of this book and of course Audible has no responsibility for the person the publisher chooses as the reader. The sales rep on the phone pointed out to me that the member can always hear an excerpt from the book before purchasing. To be honest I never noticed that little button on the page, but now I listen to the narrator every time BEFORE I purchase a book.
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james lee burke has become a favorite...but i have to say...If all his books were narrated by mark hammer...i'd pass...He sounds like a new york drunk trying to come off with a cajaun accent..failing !! i thought i'd never finish this book..the story was great...but narrator sucks!!
This was a good Robicheaux novel, full of complicated characters and a central mystery that is too twisted to be easily guessed. And it has James Lee Burke's usual high quality of writing, metaphor, and insight into the human spirit. Quite a good story.
Unlike some, I love the narrator. The late Mark Hammer read the way Burke writes, and I honestly can't understand how someone can like Burke's writing and not like Hammer's languid, melancholy reading. To me it matches the book perfectly, even when he messes up local names or accents.
Burke's novels have become increasingly supernatural in some ways, and that is my one gripe. It's almost enough to turn me off to his writing, but so far it's not fatal.
I really enjoy reading Burke's books and listening to them when the reader is good. This reader is so monotonous I cannot follow the book because the reader does not hold my attention. I am on the third chapter and about to give up.
I typically devour Burke's novels, they are wonderfully written and beautifully scripted - but this one is just awful and I think it is the fault of the narrator. I do not have a clue what is going on - except I thought the narrator Mark Hammer was going to die after he finished Chapter 12. He wheezes, he drags on, he makes some of the words unintelligible. He makes Dave Robicheaux sound like he is about to die as well. Hammer must have had a good nap or some new meds when he began Chapter 13, he almost sounded perky.
My advice, either chose another Burke book narrated by Will Patton (he is an incredible narrator with the voice of New Orleans and he makes the story so incredible and enjoyable) or pick up the book if Mr. Hammer is the narrator, he is going on my boycott list. I am going to have to check the book out of the library just to figure out what is going on.
If this were my first Dave Robicheaux book I would never read another - this narrator has killed it so bad. But I will, Burkes tells a good story just as long as Mr. Hammer has not attempted to struggle through it.