One of my favorite audio books. A great, captivating story read beautifully by William Patton. His voice made the story come alive. You felt like you were living in the bayou's of the South. I now mourn for the New Orleans I never knew. A must read...
I am a retired school counselor (middle and elementary) and an avid reader. I am a lover of great mysteries, quirky protagonists, and medical/scientific non-fiction. I travel a lot and love the freedon audiobooks give me to drive, work, and relax while enjoying a good book. On my ipod I have eclectic musical selections as well as audiobooks. I will strive to never steer you wrong in a review.
James Lee Burke has long been a master of language and place. If you visit Southwestern Louisiana after reading one of his books you will certainly experience deja vu, so authentic is the world his characters inhabit.
I fell in love with New Iberia, Lafayette and the rest of the "Cajun Country" in my teens and have kept a long-distance love affair going ever since. My late husband and I returned to New Orleans often to visit his classmates from Tulane. I have not returned since Katrina.
The language of this book is beautiful , heartbreaking and heartbroken. I have just finished listening and am starting to listen again. Mr Patton does a fine job of reading the book although I don't think he pronounced "pecan" correctly until almost the final chapter. Well, don't sweat the small stuff.
I envy you discovering this series of books and I do believe that not since Ross McDonald has there been a finer writer in any genre certainly not this one. Enjoy!
This is a powerful book by an excellent writer. As always, Burke throws his troubled, flawed heroes into a complex murder story full of vivid characters set in a south Louisiana that outsiders don't fully get. This time, however, the setting was impacted by a catastrophic disaster that changed the lives and realities of everyone in the region, and Burke does a masterful job of working real life into a fictional creation. My family is all from New Orleans, and I grew up in nearby Mississippi, where Katrina destroyed all of my childhood memories, so this book was almost too painful to hear.
Once again, Robicheaux has to deal with tragedies created by weak people in painful circumstances, not all of which center on the storm, and once again the conclusions and resolutions are as insightful, sad, and relevant as you would expect. Burke's maturation as a writer, and maybe as a person, are clear, as the characters seem less like cutouts from other fiction, and more like people he may have met in real life. If you like where Burke has been going in recent novels, you won't be disappointed.
Where this one really hurt was in the way the city is reflected in the introspection of the characters, and obviously of Burke himself. Seeing your home, the place you love, devastated like New Orleans or Mississippi (or New York after 9-11) were is something you can't shake, and can't explain, but Burke captures it poignantly. I was in tears reading Purcell's attempts to understand his grief.
And I have to add, those who want to make this book part of a political issue should have their reviews deleted. This isn't about Bush, it doesn't take one political side over another. Those who blame New Orleans or its residents, may you never feel what they felt. If you can't handle a sample of the reality in a book, the real thing would destroy you. Many cities are built along faults, seacoasts, forests--places prone to disaster. May your perfect world never be disrupted by reality.
I downloaded this because it was listed as one of the best books and had so many positive reviews here...I wasn't entirely let down, but I also wasn't as thrilled as others. The narration was good and the characters voices seem to fit them well. Overall, just not a great, "must read" in my opinion. Something that passed the time well enough to deserve some praise, but not enough for anymore stars.
I downloaded this as soon as it was available, and didn't listen to anything else until I finished it. Burke is a master at his craft and Patton is quickly becoming my favorite narrator.
The way these two bring the post Katrina Big Sleazy to life is amazing.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I've read a ton about post-Katrina New Orleans and nothing has come close to how it's described in this book. With Patton's delivery, it nearly breaks your heart. It's so spot-on, it becomes another aspect of the book.
Though the relationship that's developed between the characters adds to the richness of the storyline from book to book, I believe this book can stand alone in the series. If you've ever wanted to get your feet wet in one James Lee Burke book, this might be the one. I'm not certain what it's like to read this book rather than listen, but I can tell you for certain that this is one of the finest blends of writing and narration you'll encounter.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
The only worthwhile aspect of this book is Will Patton's narration.
James Lee Burke writes using similes. Some are clever but the majority are meaningless, lame or simply boring. This book is like a bad dream. It deserves that simile.
The flashbacks mostly to Vietnam are lengthy, boring, and detract from the story. The apparent reason for them is to lengthen the book from novella to novel status.
The time frame of the book is late August through September 2005. The setting is New Orleans immediately before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. The novel uses the names of real city, state, and federal government officials and Burke supposedly describes the real conditions on the ground. He then sets Dave Robicheaux and others fictional characters in the midst of this to develop a fictional novel around the supposedly non-fictional Katrina background. Burke may be a good, even great, writer of fiction, but he did not pull it off in this case. The story is lame (putting it mildly) and the supposed non-fictional portions are so distorted and politicized as to call into question Burke's integrity.
This sorry book was published 8 years ago and will likely be read by few in the future, so writing a review to alert future readers makes little sense. But novels as dishonest and poorly written as The Tin Roof Blowdown inspire me to record the reasons for poor ratings.
If you like Burke, this is one of his best. The writing is excellent and very evocative of the time and place - this time being post-Katrina. You have to be prepared for low life miscreants and gratuitous violence, however. The narration by Will Patton is some of the best in any audio book I've listened to. I highly recommend this book. The only disappointment, however, is the ending - which seems to come too quickly, is not as well developed as the rest of the book, and is not as credible as the rest of the story.
Usually the books of the year chosen by the Audible editors are pretty good...I really can't understand why this one won the best book of 2007. I found it to be boring, full of cliches, and unbelievable characters. The only redeeming factor was Will Patton's narration.
This is my favorite so far from America's best. JLB's most powerful novel yet. Payton reads JLB so well that I prefer to listen rather than read. I found my myself listening to the same paragraphs over and over again just to feel the beauty of the bayou or the pain and suffering of the destruction. JLB provides descriptions of the chaos left in the wake of Katrina and Rita that should be read be everyone. My thanks and praise to both men.