Burke is one of the most descriptive writers I have ever read. I have read and listened to nearly all of his books. When he teams up with Will Patton there is no better listening experience. Kudos to both the writer and the narrator.
I have 'read' (always on audiobook format) many Dave Robicheux novels by JL Burke, and several of the 'linked' Holland boys novels from over in Texas / Montana, and somehow I feel this one, Pegasus Descending was only almost as good as the rest. Don't get me wrong, I really thought it was good, but something in it left me feeling that Mr. Burke had perhaps truncated this one after Katrina/Rita hit not allowing him to finish it with the depth and philosophical reflection that he is well-known for, and almost as if he had been writing it when the hurricanes hit and just lost his focus, probably as he relocated his own personal life and abode from the Gulf Coast to Montana... I like how he brings in the story of what Robicheux was doing during Audrey, and then in the epilogue submits a salute to the Coast Guard, and basically starts his messages of even further decline of Southern Louisiana, but of course, the Tin Roof Blowdown, clearly written later shows that he's not given up on writing about the Louisiana we all love so dearly. I have to admit that the Robicheux series is one I've read spottily for a number of years and have missed installments... Like everything else, I have my favorites, and this just wasn't a favorite, but it was still good...and I recommend it. I missed that he has let go his bait shop, and that Alafair and Baptiste were not even in this story... Maybe Baptiste got sacrificed to a former story? I know Alafair is still off at school as he mentions her coming home for the Holidays... Well, I just need to get his bibliography all in order and make sure I read through all the 'gaps', and maybe it'll make it. Well written with some wonderful philosophical soliloquies and words of wisdom spilling from the mouths of some of the least likely characters, typical of Burke, and well worth the listen! Just not Confederates in the Mist, but to each his own!
Though the author of multiple books, James Lee Burke avoids the Stuart Woods/James Patterson syndrome of rushing through the dialog and forgetting the narrative. Burke rewards the reader with lush descriptions of environment and emotion, and characters rich with history, attitude and depth. His stories, this one in particular, are not formulaic and manage to surprise and amuse.
With all due respect to Scott Brick (my favorite reader), who has become typecast and slightly weary in his "smart, young and sarcastic rebel with a righteous cause" roles, this could be the best read book I ever listened to. Will Patton injects an energy and attitude that’s the perfect complement to Burke’s writing. His different character voices are amazingly distinct, almost to the point where you listen hard to make sure it’s not a different reader. Where others are “reading,” Patton is “acting” and “projecting” like a Broadway star, and it comes across marvelously.
If you listen to pass the time and prefer a fast moving story, you probably won’t like this one. If you enjoy and appreciate the art of writing, and want to savor the experience of a commanding read, give it a shot.
Will Patton is a fabulous reader who makes all the characters and the setting come alive. Clete, Helen, Dave and Molly seem like people I''ve met. I can almost feel the humidity and smell the dust. I read and enjoyed James Lee Burke before I started listening to his books. But his books almost demand to be heard. Bravo!
It is hard to describe a story so well written and narration this tremendous. I was swallowed up and could not wait for each time that I slipped back into the tale. The narration was so amazing that I would like to listen to another book by this narrator to see if this story was just perfect for him or is he that good with any story. There were no extremes or excesses that are hard to believe. The caracters were real and their emotions were palpable. I am sorry it is over
The excellent narration almost makes up for the flaws in the narrative. I missed the bits of humor in JLB's previous book "Crusader's Crossing" and got tired of Dave's self-rightousness.
However, I look forward to what JLB will do in Iberia Parish in the wake of Katrina.
When I find myself not wanting to get out of the car, running in the house to continue where I left off, and finding reasons to listen to a book, I know I have found a winner.
This is one of those books, and I picked it off the best sellers list; a first for me.
<b> I put the rest of his books on my wish list.
<b> Bravo, is all I need to say........ </b>
one of the best
Dave as always. Clete close behind
I'm a native of the area. He is as close as I guess it will get
When Dave thought Clete was dead
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
Burke is an author I place apart from all the other cop/thriller/espionage/etc... writers because of the poetry that comes out of his writing... don't get me wrong, sometimes its a little too much to spend 2 pages describing what a porch looks like but at the same time he can describe a backyard that extends into water in such a way I feel I'm breathing in the air, sitting next to Dave, & smelling the different flowers & fresh cut grass transporting me into a whole new place.
As with most Robichieux books, they start one way & end up all over the place in an ending that leaves ur head spinning & wondering where the start button was for this particular book & if its the same book u pressed start on! Yet Burke will bring it all together in the end & make the book fit like a jigsaw puzzle.
In this book u not only see the 'old Robo' that was in his downward spiral days as he helplessly watches one of his friends go back to the mud, then he runs into his old friend's daughter but she's a character u have no clue what way the wind is blowing & of course Clete is magnetized by her & the fun (structural damage, physical damage, & overall destruction at an extinction level to those around him) they have together. But as always, things don't appear as they seem & lets see u guess exactly who gets who & who is working for whom & how Dave finally buries more than his guilt & past historical mistakes.... A great book
I can't say its a top 3 because everyone narrated by Patton is so much better in my opinion than Hammer & I can't give all the books a fair review when an abridged gets substituted... Audible, PLEASE do all the unabridged Robo books with Will Patton as the narrator... PLEASE... I grew up nowhere near the south or near a place that has its own geographic dialect like Creole or the other twangs in N.O. or the neighboring states but Patton sure has me convinced much more because of his ability to provide variety in the tones of characters, I think Hammer just drones on in one monotone that very well could be southern but not everyone in the south sounds like each other just like all us Yankees don't sound like Southies from Boston. Either way, with all the books since 'Pegasus' I think Patton combined with the literary quality of Burke, u can put them all ('Tin roof', 'Swan', 'Glass Rainbow', 'Creolle', & the pre-ordered 'Light of the World.) in a SOLID category of entertaining, walk the line craziness as even the relationship between Dave & Clete is slowing morphing into something else... ENJOY
Another good Burke.
I love the intellegent writing combined with the reality of the Louisianna bayou area.
But, the best thing is the combination of Burke and Patton.
There isn't anything I don't like. He does a wonderful job with the different charactors and the dialect. He brings something to the reading of James Lee Burke's writing that is just top notch.
Obviously I am a fan! Anything Burke and Patton, I want to hear.