Buying a book for my brother’s birthday several years ago, one of James Lee Burke’s books was recommended to me. Unfamiliar with Burke, I wanted to sample his writing and couldn’t put the book down. I became an immediate fan of Dave Robicheaux, Burke’s recurring character and one suspects his alter ego. The writing is tight, with serpentine but believable plots, and packed with action. Characters and scenes are beautifully painted with words. A Faulkneresque Monet. Burke is quite simply the best contemporary American mystery writer out there. The only thing separating him from being a great writer beyond his time is the inability to transcend his mystery genre, and he has tried. Outside of Robicheaux, the writing lacks the intensity and conviction. Inside is greatness. Burke should be required reading for advanced writing and literature courses except, I suspect, parents and school boards might have a problem with some of the language and sometimes lurid scenes.
Will Patton's narration of this book was wonderful. I listened to it during a long trip and found myself sorry when the book ended before the drive.
I like the Dave Robicheaux series and have always read, not listened to them. I don't know if it was the fact that I was listening or that it is one book too many in the series but I find the descriptions of weather, smells, memories repetitive and not always relevant - almost as if the author is getting too caught up in the sound of his own voice. While a good mystery, it was almost as if he said "OK, long enough, I have to end it now", without tying up the threads.
Another outstanding story from Mr. Burke. Will Patton is a wonderful reader of James Lee Burke novels because he understands the prose. This is really great listening. Beautiful descriptions and character development. Highly recommended.
As usual, JLB had brought us a wonderful book. Dave Robicheaux, who must be pushing or past 60, is still in prime form. But the reader, Will Patton, sounds too young, and his indefinite "Southern" accent detracts from Dave's Cajun roots. If Mark Hammer had read, I would have given five stars.
I had to stop a few times just to savor James Lee Burke's descriptive language. He is still a powerful writer. I was initially disappointed to find that Mark Hammer was not the narrator, but Will Patton proved himself a worthy reader. It was great to revisit some of favorite flawed characters.
I love hearing the Burke books and want more and more unabridged. I've listened to them exclusively for the past couple of months, including on a trip to New Orleans. So imagine my dismay when the voices I was so used to, of which I craved more, disappeared and were replaced by this limp, beat poet reading. No fair! I wish I'd checked the narrator before I bought it, I just assumed it would be Mark Hammer. What a disappointment!
This is the first Burke novel I read. I liked the main character, Robichaux, and I liked the description of people and places. This is a drama, detective, mystery story. Not my favorite genre. Lacks the thrill and adventure that I enjoy, never the less, giving it three stars and will probably get The Tin Roof Blowdown sometime in the future. Even though it was a little slow for me it was every well written.
I have two other Burke books that I can't stand to listen to because the reader actually made me gag. He sounded as if he were ready to join his ancestors in the sky with about as much breath left as a person with emphyzema. I'm going to try this after listening to the new narrator.