I spend so much time driving on business trips or suffering in boring exercise. For over 40 years I dreamed of something like Audible.
I have recently added James Lee Burke to my list of recorded books. The stories are good, and I enjoy the performance, but these recording will skip several minutes with no way of retrieving the missing parts. I've listened to hundreds of Audible books. This is the first time it has happened. It happened in Morning for Flamingos and now in A Stained White Radiance. This is very annoying.
So, I Read This Book Today . . .
I am a huge fan of James Lee Burke. His is, literally, a poet of a novelist. His words bring the history, culture, and people of Louisiana to life. You come to know these people, to see, feel, hear, and know the things they know. He is, in a word, one of the very best writers I have ever read.
Now for the however - - - Hammer is a NIGHTMARE!!!! I don't know where this man grew up, but I have a sneaky suspicion he is a something like a New Jersey native, as he certainly isn't Southern! I don't know if I find him more phony, hokey, or just plain obnoxious. I have to hold my sides and laugh hysterically when I see people who have apparently never stepped foot in Louisiana, or possibly even the South, raving about what a wonderful "Southern" reader Hammer is. Believe me - - this is NOT Louisiana Cajun, in any shape, form, or fashion! Obnoxious...... especially when he forgets to play up his phony southern accent and drops into his normal accent - is that New Jersey? New York? It certainly isn't Cajun! In addition, if you are going to read the book, it would be really nice if you would at least look up how the names of towns and the names of people are ACTUALLY PRONOUNCED. What a mess. It made my skin crawl trying to listen to him.
Will Patton IS Dave Robicheaux. The accent, the smooth delivery, the pronunciations - all are spot on. He pulls you into the story, makes you a part of Burke's world, and leaves you wanting more.
Here's a shout-out to Recorded Books:
When you are deciding on a narrator for a particular book, actually LISTEN to the prospective narrator before you make a decision on who does the reading. If the reader is distracting, doesn't fit the language, or sounds irritating for any reason, whether it be a lousy accent like Hammer or droning pitch, etc., it is going to RUIN the experience. I can't tell you how many times I have failed to purchase the (more expensive!) audio books of certain authors because I can't stand the narrator.
I buy a LOT of books - they are my entertainment, rather than sitting and watching the idiot box. And most of my books (over 600 at last count) are in AUDIO form. I listen to books just about every minute I am not sleeping or working. Losing out on good authors because of bad narrators is really disappointing.
Would really LOVE IT if you would re-record these masterpieces of Southern literature with Will Patton. I would be the first lined up to buy them!
James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors and Dave Robicheaux one of my favorite characters, but this novel didn't live up to Burke's ability to tell a believable story. The plot was weak and didn't really fit with Robicheaux's character in other stories. Even Burke's descriptive abilities seem to have left him in this story, when he throws in a phrase now and again about birds singing or some such drivel. Basically Bad Burke.
James Lee Burke infuses his scenes and character with such detail and color....I can almost taste, smell and feel all that he describes. His heroes are truly human...good men, but troubled, tortured and imperfect as are all of us. Nothing comes easily for them....and they are often torn and undecided. Hey, I can relate. Love these books, love the series.
Bought this book on sale last year because I love how James Lee Burke always makes the characters in his stories believable. The narration was not the best... but I got used to it. So, if you are able to get this book on sale... and you are already a fan of JLB, this will be a great choice.
I'm a fan of JLB novels and this one stands out as more complex, less predictable. At the end of the first reel, the story had gotten us through a climax, but certainly the story was far from finished. As another reviewer noted, the characters are somewhat more believeable and the protagonist actually develops an ambivalent relationship with the "baddie," finding redeeming qualities and commonalities with him. Mark Hammer did a stand-up job narrating the characters, mood and pacing. You can tell he enjoyed this story.
I have listened to a couple of these Dave Robicheaux (sp?) novels and I really enjoyed this one. The story is interesting and I kept wanting to know what happens. I like how many of the characters and not "good" or "bad" but are conflicted and have both good and quailites about them. I love how the author paints a vivid picture of the area, the landscape, the food, and the culture of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Makes me want to visit!
A feast with all the fixin's! There's much to like about this book and its presentation. One thing I must single out though: why I read reviews, other than my own, is a mystery; at tiimes when I do I feel like one of those folks back in the teens that would pack a picnic and take the carriage out on Sundays to watch the inmates at the local asylum. Anyway, in some of these things I've read knocks on Mr. Hammer in response to which I must say: you flat don't get it! This is the real deal. If anything, Mr. Burke ought to build an extra room on his house...he's an asset, no doubt about it! He's got it down, cher!
Addicted to Audible - I listen to at least three books a month while I'm out walking. I'm a motivational speaker based in North Carolina.
I'm only giving this a two because of the terrific writng about New Orleans. The rest was utterly unbelievable. Give me a tough cop anytime, but this one gets the hell beat out of him regularly and then runs 4 miles. More like a cartoon than a developed character. A seemingly sane women falls in love with him after she is almost raped because of him on their first date. Save your money and your time.