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Last Car to Elysian Fields | [James Lee Burke]

Last Car to Elysian Fields

When Dave Robicheaux, learns that an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan has been the victim of a particularly brutal assault, he returns to New Orleans to investigate, if only unofficially.
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Publisher's Summary

For Dave Robicheaux, there is no easy passage home. New Orleans, and the memories of his life in the Big Easy, will always haunt him. To return there means visiting old ghosts and opening himself to new, yet familiar, dangers.

When Robicheaux, a police officer based in the somewhat quieter Louisiana town of New Iberia, learns that an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan has been the victim of a particularly brutal assault, he returns to New Orleans to investigate, if only unofficially.

Meanwhile, back in New Iberia, three local teenage girls are killed in a drunk driving accident. Robicheaux traces the source of the liquor to one of New Iberia's "daiquiri windows," places that sell mixed drinks through drive-by windows. When the owner of the drive-through operation is brutally murdered, Robicheaux immediately suspects the grief-crazed father of the dead teen driver. But his assumption is challenged when the murder weapon turns up belonging to someone else. Tying together these disparate threads is a maniacal killer named Max Coll, a deeply haunted hit man sent to New Orleans to finish the job of father Dolan.

©2003 James Lee Burke; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All Rights Reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"James Lee Burke is at the top of his game." (The New York Times)
"This is an outstanding entry in an excellent series" (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (412 )
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4.2 (140 )
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Story
4.1 (141 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph Overland Park, KS, USA 10-14-03
    Joseph Overland Park, KS, USA 10-14-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another winner."

    Great, intelligent writing, good story, wonderful narration, a pure pleasure. The "hero" is an imperfect human being but someone you are a better person for spending time with. Please, please re-record the other Burke novels in an unabridged format with Mark Hammer doing the reading. I will be listening to this often over the years. Thank you, James Lee Burke, and especially thank you, Mark Hammer. What a team!

    34 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecil Beaumont, TX, USA 06-06-04
    Cecil Beaumont, TX, USA 06-06-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    36
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    "Kept me listening, narrator perfect for the book."

    Perhaps the saddest tale of this series. Dave's wife has died; he's tempted to start drinking again, a priest trying to save the soul of a hit man moves in with Dave, Dave keeps taking wrong turns in his search for the bad guy, the "good" people have serious faults, some of the "bad" guys have redeeming virtues, and I kept listening even when I should have gone to bed. The narrator's world weary voice is dead, solid perfect as the tired-of-life but dedicated detective.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Alan Coulter New Orleans, LA USA 10-22-03
    W. Alan Coulter New Orleans, LA USA 10-22-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Vintage James Lee Burke"

    If you enjoyed earlier versions of the Dave Robicheaux series, you'll love this novel. The descriptions of south Louisiana are vivid and Burke's phraseology brings the emotions and dilemmas of his characters to life in ways the author continues to perfect. This is a novel that can easily be heard several times as you fall into the easy pace of a geographic area's culture and the rich descriptions within a multifacted plot. If you like James Lee Burke, you'll love "Last Car to Elysian Fields."

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet C. Walker Summerville, SC 10-28-03
    Janet C. Walker Summerville, SC 10-28-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    243
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    42
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    "This is the best Robichaux yet."

    This may be one of the best book credits I have spent. Burke's creation of the bayou country is consistently excellent. His world will draw you in with a sense of reality that is hard to find elsewhere. As Dave meanders from one clue to the next, more of the plot is revealed and the character descriptions and interactions are terrific. I don't want it to end, and I am still only half way through part 1.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William New Orleans, LA, USA 01-20-04
    William New Orleans, LA, USA 01-20-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, great narration, other reviews off base"

    First James Lee Burke novel I have listened to, and first review I have felt compelled to write after listening to almost 30 books on audible. I took a chance on this one as many of the reviews were less than positive on the story and the narration and am glad I did. Having spent all of my life in Southern Louisiana I thought I could make it through the dialect and accents with no problem but there was no need. First, the accent used in the narration is NOT a South Louisiana accent. It is however a great sort of smoky, slow, country wisened drawl that fits the lead character perfectly if not exactly accurately as far as regional dialect is concerned. I had NO problems understanding anything that was said and can only wonder if some of the reviewers downloaded lower quality audio formats which I find unlistenable regardless of the accent of the narrator. Finally the story does not move at an intolerably slow rate, but rather gives just the right amount of time to character and location development. This is a great listen of a pretty good novel don't pass it up based on the negative reviews for the above mentioned reasons.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron L. Morningstar Eastern Washington, USA 11-16-07
    Ron L. Morningstar Eastern Washington, USA 11-16-07 Member Since 2005

    Voracious Reader

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    "Love Burke's Works"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Cary, NC, United States 09-14-05
    Sandra Cary, NC, United States 09-14-05 Member Since 2003

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Atmospheric and excellent"

    If you like Southern lit, you'll really appreciate this novel. At various times, it reminded me of Bobbie Ann Mason, Flannery O'Connor, and Cormac McCarthy (Suttree, in particular)--dark, complex, and yet, sometimes, laugh-out-loud funny. The reader is exquisite--perfect pacing, inflection, and emotion, deftly conveying the patois, the humor, and the reality of the deep South. Characters and plot are multifaceted. Story lines intertwine, diverge, and meld again, like the flavors in a real file gumbo. Go for it. I'm already searching the Audible catalog for my next Burke novel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 01-17-05
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 01-17-05 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

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    "Good Story Well Told"

    This is my first Robicheaux novel, and I thought that it was great. I liked the interwoven plots and the "small town" feel of the Big Easy. I thought that the narration added to scenes that would have otherwise lacked dynamic. And I learned that Leadbelly wrote "Goodnight, Irene". I'll buy others in the Robicheaux series and narrated by Mark Hammer.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-20-03
    11-20-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator doesn't have a clue how a Cajun sounds."

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gil Gilbert 12-03-03
    Gil Gilbert 12-03-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Elysian Fields"

    Love...Love ...Love James Lee Burke's writing and his characterizations. The narration on this particular book, though, was brutal. Very slow and slurry readings and very hard to understand. I had to keep backing it up to understand pivitol messages.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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