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 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.
To start with, I am from New Orleans and I know what a Cajun sounds like. This narrator no more sounds like a Cajun than Donald Duck. His tone is dull and slow, very boring. Maybe the story is good but I can't continue to listen to the narrator. In one of the other reviews someone from PA states that the narrator has a great grasp for the Cajun dialect. This person is very wrong. I invite anyone to come to New Orleans and go into Cajun country and listen.
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".
I thought the book was very good,but I felt that the reader was hard to follow. In order to sound like he was from New Orelans he sounded like he was drunk. Either get another reader or have him just read the book.
The reader destroyed a perfectly good book. He is a boring reader. I feel I wasted a selection. I will not get another book read by him. I always waited for a James Lee Burke book but if this is the reader of choice for him I will give him a miss.