Love all of James Lee Burke's books. This one though was hard to get into. I agree with some of the other reviews, in that the narration was difficult to follow, most characters dialect being slurred too much.
This was my first Burke novel. The pace is slow and even a slower narrator. Although the accent may be southern Louisiana, every character sounds the same. All the females sing bass in the choir. The only character you can distinguish is the Irishman. It may have been a good 10 hour book that was stretched to 15 hours of bordom by a slow narrator. I will keep an eye out for Mark Hammer and avoid any books he narrates.
This was the first book in 5 months that I was disapponited in the narrator. Most others do a terrific job.
I left off expecting an easy listen after the first couple of books. They are rich in very atmospheric detail, such as anecdotes about the characters, culture and geographical area which all add layers to an already complex plot. I love these books and the characters, despite the less-than-perfect editing, Burke's iffy relationship with females in his novels; and the requirement that all major characters be Vietnam vets. Now he's even gotten rid of Bootsie, and effectively, Alafair. But if all that, and Mark Hammer's 'gramps with a mouthful of cornbread' style of narration, and especially Nick Sullivan's narration, haven't dissuaded me from listening, there's no doubt I will finish them all. I am very happy to see the next book is narrated by Will Patton again...whew! Burke's and Patton's voices are much happier together. I love getting on Google Earth and finding the places mentioned in the book; this area of our country has been a complete mystery to me until Burke's novels. Regarding Burke's compulsion to cast everyone as a Vet, I'm aware that Southern boys made up a disproportionate number of soldiers in Vietnam even when the draft lottery started, and maybe in Louisiana it was a matter of southern pride for all young men to respond to any military call...what do I know? But that was my generation too, and while I knew many who went, most of my friends were in college and got deferments. There was a great range of after-effects. I've lost Vet friends from alcohol, drugs, and self-destructive behavior, but know more who saw combat and still lived full, healthy lives. Note...one thing that keeps coming up in the books and kind of niggles at me..."the touch of malaria". MAYbe, but after my many bouts of malaria (from living in the middle east), my take is that "a touch of malaria" is kinda like "a touch of pregnancy".
Yikes! Get that reader some antihistamines and a box of Kleenex. I gave up after an hour. I kept clearing my throat in hopes that the reader would do the same, but no such luck.
Daily commuter relying on Audible to keep awake. I need excitement! If something crazy doesn't happen in the first 20 mins I'm done!
Being from California, I love hearing the tales of Dave Robicheaux and New Orleans. What an interesting and historical place. James Lee Burke always tells an interesting story and I wish I had begun them in chronilogical order so I could keep up with all of his wives and Clete's activity. But, I have nearly listened to them all and am greatful he has kept the same narrator, who does a fantastic job. Love em!
I'm a real fan of JL Burke's Robicheaux series and I was taken aback when Mark Hammer's voice instead of Will Paton's came through my ear phones. I don't know about accents, I've never been to LA, but Mr. Hammer 'snorks' while reading and it was very bothersome, distracting. I like the writer's work but not the reader. Maybe he had a cold, or sinus problem but I would love to hear Will read this, I'd enjoy it so much more.
Have read and enjoyed all the unabridged books by this author. I wish the rest were available as unabridged. I will not buy abridged books, particularly by an author whose descriptive imagery adds so much. If they become available unabridged I will buy them all.
Burke's stories take you to Louisiana and then drops you right where you can participate (if only in one's mind); see what the characters see; hear what they hear; and readily agree or disagree with Dave's or Clete's shenanigans. I have read Burke for sometime; but must admit I so enjoy the audibles. The audible book reader lend themselves to the whole experience and makes for enjoyable time.
This books sounds as though it were a home recording with background sounds and a totally amature reader. I'm amazed at the folks who enjoyed his reading. Slow book opening, slurred reading, nobody with whom to identify--I didn't make it through the first chapter. And, usually, I LOVE all the books.
I totally agree with Brenda. I thought my extreme difficulty in understanding the reader was due to english not beeing my mother language. I have been very reassured to know that some american people also finds this audio confusing and difficult to understand. I will not download any other book by the same reader.