Burke brings southern Louisiana to wherever you happening to be listening - he is one of my favorites. And Will Patton performs has job extremely well. Definitely worth the read.
I am the author of "Inner Fears", a thriller by MFKing. I am a social media manager for Jazz Social Media. Audio books are my main entertainment, and I think the best entertainment offered today.
WI/NWI--5 WI means worth it! This book, as a wine taster would say, has a full body. It melts off the reader’s tongue like syrup and the images are so well portrayed that I recognized a song by its description. History rich, full of friends and foes. Great book all around.
Plot--5 The plot stems from deep New Orleans history and the characters themselves. It flows and tumbles and ends naturally.
Characterization --5 The deeply drawn, real, lovable, questionable people stumble through the story like we all do through life. If you know the series, you’ll be glad to spend time with these folks again, and meeting them for the 1st time is completely possible without the rest of the series.
Violence--5 Lots of violence, but it emerges naturally from the story, and fits.
Grossness --2 Not too bad. A dog dies, which is always bad, but its used to set scene and mood. The violence isn't described in a yucky kind of way.
Sex--0 No sex, but a lot of passion.
Supernatural Elements--4 Though not a main part of the story, the ghost paddle boat and the New Orleans dead shadow and affect the entire story. Treated as a fact of life. Really well done.
Crossing the Line--2 (Lower number is better.) To me, crossing the line is the brutal murdering animals (especially dogs), or children. Stephen King is the worst offender. A dog dies here rather horribly, but serves to set the tone and mood. But I could do without the picture I now carry in my head.
Setting--5 The setting flowed from the speakers and carried me back to New Orleans, deep in the south, and made me a native, not a tourist. For these precious hours, I lived among bayous and plantations, Zydeco and alligators. Wouldn’t have missed this vacation for the world.
Prose--5 Like one long poem. Beautifully written, words create a place I call home, because the characters call it home. True literature.
Deeper Message--5 The story is set in the greater set of the BP oil spill, and how it affects all life, and New Orleans.
Performance--5 James Lee Burke is Dave Robicheaux, and reads the other characters well, too. His accent and his tone of voice makes every word important. Wonderful, poignant performance.
Absolutely! Thanks to Will Patton!
It is difficult to determine a favorite character because James Lee Burke creates characters like Charles Dickens did years ago. They are alive; they are vivid; they are complex; they are real people with their heroic abilities and lingering weaknesses. They fight injustice; they take on corrupt corporations, government and evil people and they also fight their own demons. That said, Dave Robicheaux is one of my favorite characters in all literature. And in the J L Burke series, dear old lovable Cletis is not far behind.
Most moments in a James Lee Burke novel are moving and I consider "Creole Belle" as one of his best. This novel is filled with memorable and deeply moving scenes; Clete's revelation to Gretchen particularly moved me.
This is something I've never done before. I finished "Creole Belle" and then went immediately back to the beginning and I'm now re-listening to the story. James Lee Burke takes on the BP oil spill off the Gulf coast, Nazi war criminals, systemic racism, human torture, complacent law officers and other manifestations of the "dark clouds" of humanity. However, amid this battle waged primarily by Dave and his loyal and dangerous friend, Clete, there is humor (I thought this was J L Burke's most humorous work), there is love between fathers and daughters, husband and wife, friends, colleagues - and all clothed in the author's beautiful poetic language.
I believe many books and stories are read and forgotten. "Creole Belle" will stay with you as long as you live.
And long live James Lee Burke! Long live Will Patton!
Burke's writing is lovely (as always), the story is complex and interesting, the characters are compelling, and Will Patton brings the story to life. This one is very dark, but not heavy handed. I have come to adore these characters--even the bad guys. As most Audible listeners will agree, the narrator can make or break a novel. Will Patton is among the very best narrators. I think the guy could make the classified section of a small town newspaper hard to turn off! Combine him with a novelist like Burke and you've got a winner. If only EVERY audio book could be this good! I'm tempted to postpone using my next credit in favor of listening to this book again. Get it! You'll be glad you did!
Yes! Thanks to Will Patton. He makes the story live.
Yes. Love the characters. Like seeing old friends.
He is the only one that should ever be allowed to preform this series.
Mr. Burke can't write this series as fast as I would listen to them.
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
The combination of Burke's prose and Will Patton's performance make this novel and the whole series of Dave Robicheaux novels irristable. I'm going to make a few critical observations, but nothing here should prevent you from purchasing this book. It's a solid 5 star experience.
The Louisiana represented in True Blood seems far safer to me than the one Burke portrays. The violence seems to never be bridled and is often glorified. His heroes and villians seem impervious to the ill effects of gross amounts of boozing, drug abuse, fist fighting, and even aging. The evil he writes of seems to cover every part of the state, oozing out of every pecan tree, bayou, bar, oil rig and plantation. He seems to attribute this to the rich and powerful, as if he is the original "occupy Louisiana" spokesman.
I cannot recall one character, large or small who does not have a ridiculously unique French/Cajun name. Well I suppose Clete Purcell is a rather large exception, but I always get a kick out the names in Burke's books.
The two dark knights have mystical, even supernatural visions and abilities. They see ghosts, hear music that is not playing, read minds, can look into your eyes and determine whether you are good or evil. This is explained by their past experiences, and Burke makes it clear only those who have had their experiences can know how this is done. Never mind that is unlikely any cop in real life who shared and lived through even one of their adventures could never serve again.
Whether you are conservative or liberal, we can all agree politics in Louisiana is rotten to the core. This is not because of Big Oil or Katrina or a fumbling federal government, though they have not helped matters. Louisiana and particularly New Orleans's problems are self inflicted. Mr. Burke seems to be blaming the rest of the country or some nefarious industry for their problems while celebrating the people who keep the state down.
Nevertheless I would never think of changing a word of this book. I loved every second of it.
Tell us about yourself! I'm a teacher who loves cycling and plugging into a book for 10 or more hours on long bike rides.
I've listened and read all the Burke books and I was stunned by the depth of description of the natural world of the book and the touch Burke has on the dark depths that Clete is drawn into. His description of the inner life of his characters is simply amazing. Every character is alive, real, and feels honest. Will Pattons voice is so smooth and fits the characters with perfection. I kept wanting to share with my wife the language of Burke as it spoke so powerfully and was so unique it stuck to me. I rank this one as his best one yet. Is there violence? You bet. Are there EVIL people? Always. The relationship between Clete and Dave as they face their own limits is so clearly portrayed through it all with the sound and images of Viet Nam always near the surface.
Yes, The narration is spectacular, storyline is great. The depth of the characters and the author's observation is part of my favorite things about this series.
The characters now seem like old friends.
The accents are great. I feel like I know the main character better "listening to him think". He's great
Looking forward to the next one!
There is new life in the series. Not just the survival of Dave and Clete, but the appearance of a new (and most likely long term) character, a 20 something hit woman. Besides developing an intriguing character in Gretchen, Burke seems to have planted enough seeds to sprout a new sequel with her character front and center.
The assault of the black female deputy by the retired red neck sheriff.
Will Patton as usual was superb! You could tune into any part of the book and believe he was reading poetry.
The Gulf Coast hit by another force of nature.
intensely satisfying read/listen
Dave Robicheaux is a flawed but admirable character, attempting to wipe out the powerful, corrupt sinister evil that threatens his family and his Louisiana and has an equally flawed but often admirable sidekick, Clete; they are the Bobbsey Twins of NOPD.
All of the scenes where Daveand and Clete deal with ghosts from the past and present, doubting their past actions and their sanity.
too many to note
It is an exciting trip to a place where there is warm air that smells of salt and rain and tropical flowers. James Lee Burke’s writing and Will Patton’s narration do not disappoint!