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Natchez Burning: A Novel | [Greg Iles]

Natchez Burning: A Novel

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.
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Publisher's Summary

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.

Penn's quest for the truth sends him deep into his father's past, where a sexually charged secret lies waiting to tear their family apart. This long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK. Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?

Drenched in southern atmosphere, Natchez Burning marks the brilliant return of a genuine American master of suspense. Tense, disturbing, and filled with electrifying plot twists, this novel commences the most explosive and ambitious story Greg Iles has ever written.

©2014 Greg Iles (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (807 )
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Story
4.1 (717 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carolyn 04-29-14
    Carolyn 04-29-14 Member Since 2006

    Avid book listener. I love anything James Lee Burke,John Sandford and Nelson Demille. Stephen King has entertained me recently.

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    "Can't get past reader"
    What made the experience of listening to Natchez Burning the most enjoyable?

    Just started book but worst reader ever. I can't hear story because of extreme theatrics of reader.. This is very disappointing.


    58 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Perry Hall 05-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Mississippi Burned"

    The audio version of NATCHEZ BURNING is such a disappointment. I'm finishing it in hardcover.

    Perhaps I'd have a different view had the narrator (and the producer) not decided that this should be orally portrayed as a Shakespearean tragedy to be shout-acted from the stage.

    Maybe that too could have worked if he could call on the range of voices needed for the myriad characters introduced in the first quarter of the book (I've heard). But, he doesn't; nor does he have the requisite acting skills. His gaudy effusions evoke a blushing empathy and recollections of my summertime TV conflicts with Mom to drown out the latest, worst soap opera hero.

    Our narrator here sounds as if he's going for the voice of a 1960s Southern black from the documentaries on the civil rights battles of the 50s and 60s: FOR ALL OF HIS CHARACTERS (with some slight moderations), from the 1960s African American to the numerous KKK rednecks-from-hell to the lily-white main character, a Southern mayor in the 2000s.

    In short, the narrator gets in the way of THE STORY. I bought the audiobook because of THE STORY. It seems like the publisher would want to hire a narrator that at least, if he couldn't help the story, would not hurt it.

    On the bright side though, I've purchased the book in hardcover and look forward to finishing it in the ink. My parents grew up in Natchez during the early period of the book so I was looking forward to this in audio. Oh well.

    37 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Memphis TN 38117 05-03-14
    Mary Memphis TN 38117 05-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Terrible Narrator - Really, really BAD"
    What would have made Natchez Burning better?

    Someone else reading it. A pro like Scott Brick or Dick Hill. Lorelei King would have been a million times better than this guy!


    What could Greg Iles have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Love Greg Iles - hate this narrator's performance so much that I could not get through the first chapter.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In everyway possible. Over-acted, no enunciation, way too much voice inflection. Just terrible, terrible performance. The company that released it would do well to just toss this performance and get someone else to read it.


    What character would you cut from Natchez Burning?

    none. I couldn't get through the first chapter because of the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I vote to permanently ban the narrator from ever performing on another audio book.

    33 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Charlotte, NC 04-29-14
    Eric Charlotte, NC 04-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Worst narration of an audio book in history!"
    What disappointed you about Natchez Burning?

    I have been a fan of Greg Iles for a long time and have been waiting for this book for YEARS! The previous narrator in the series (dick hill) was THE voice of these characters and the nuance he added to the story helped make them my favorite audio books. Why they would change to a new narrator is beyond me and why they would use someone who from the sound of it has never actually heard someone from the south speak is flabbergasting. I've never been more disappointed in a book in my life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The end of the screeching


    What didn’t you like about David Ledoux’s performance?

    Nothing to like. AWFUL


    39 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimberly 05-06-14
    kimberly 05-06-14
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    "This is so terrible"
    What disappointed you about Natchez Burning?

    I have been waiting on this book for MONTHS. Seriously. I actually noted the release date in my iPhone calendar. I've read everything Isles has ever written. I can't describe my disappointment. I have rewound and restarted this book more times than I can recall. As I'm listening my mind wanders. Then I realize I have no idea what's going on so I have to rewind it again. It can't hold my attention. The description of the books sounds great but when am I going to get there?! I am strongly considering returning it.


    What was most disappointing about Greg Iles’s story?

    I don't know. I haven't gotten to the "story." I can't get past the worst narration I've ever heard in my entire life!!!! Seriously Isles?! Did u listen to this yourself??? I'm telling u this: John grisham is my favorite author of ALL times. I read his books the second be releases one but I have to tell u even if grisham came out with a new book tomorrow, I would NOT read/listen to it if he used this narrator.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Ledoux’s performances?

    Absolutely, unequivocally, NOOOOO!!!


    What character would you cut from Natchez Burning?

    IDK. Can't get past the beginning. This is terrible.


    Any additional comments?

    Please, trust me save your money or credit. Please. Don't do it. You'll regret it!!

    28 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shelley Raleigh, NC 05-01-14
    shelley Raleigh, NC 05-01-14 Member Since 2010
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    "WHERE IS DICK HILL????"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator! I am having such a hard time listening to this. I think I would be better off reading it. Story is great but I am having such a hard time enjoying this because of the narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    This is the worst narrator I have ever listened to. After listening to all of the previous with Dick Hill who is wonderful, I am so disappointed. His inflections and candece is just wrong and no southern accent.


    Any additional comments?

    Who picks the narrator? They should be forced to listen to this!

    41 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johni Draper, UT, United States 05-09-14
    Johni Draper, UT, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Giving the Narrator One Star is Generous!"

    I couldn't listen for more than 30 minutes because the reader is HORRIBLE! Why would anyone choose him over Dick Hill? I recommend buying the Kindle edition for a more enjoyable experience.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seneca Baton Rouge, LA, United States 05-08-14
    Seneca Baton Rouge, LA, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Still just pop fiction, dragged down by narration"
    What would have made Natchez Burning better?

    Chopping many many long drawn out conversations and contemplations that had no purpose but to lengthen the tome, and in many cases became tedious. Guessing that readers of the print edition likely skimmed through many of those. Readers should also understand that much of the gushing praise is because it is of course going to be very popular when the rednecks and crackers get their just desserts.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Story was actually pretty good, just not higher quality fiction as i might have expected from the length and gushing reviews. It was a little bit difficult to invest in a protagonist/narrator whose lack of internal substance (which is part of the plot) too often came off as a whining, wheedling drama queen.


    How could the performance have been better?

    My 1 star is mainly to alert readers that I think they would prefer the hard copy of this particular work. High praise for not trying to achieve too much phony southern accent, or overdoing different voices. But. It simply isn't my preferred form of narration for the reader to try to add drama to the narration by sounding as if he's telling a ghost story at a cub scout campout. To me, this is at best distracting; others may like a little audio stage play in their audio books. Also, the dragging pace of the narration way way exacerbated the tediously long conversations and contemplations. I just wanted to be able to enter a command 'Get on with it!' The narrator's overdone narration also caused him to carry dialog tone over into the story narration. For example, if a character burst into a room saying "What in blazes is going on here!", the narrator keeps that same exclamatory tone going for "Billy said, gazing around the room until his eyes fell on the gun." and on for the next 2-3 sentences. Narrators need to be able to transition out of the dialog tone, back into narration of text.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Tedium.


    Any additional comments?

    I would add that the author's climax near the end is carried off in a believable, not too predictable fashion. Really well done with that. The sort of epiloge-ish denouement returns to the tedium however.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 05-07-14
    Jennifer 05-07-14
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    "Narrator's voice "Nails on a chalkboard!""
    What disappointed you about Natchez Burning?

    I could not even listen to the whole book because the narrator was so awful


    What other book might you compare Natchez Burning to and why?

    I like all of Greg Ilse's Penn Cage books. Whomever set David Ledoux up to do the narration did the book, the author and the series a great disservice.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Ledoux?

    Will Patton


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger because I have absolutely no tolerance for racism and injustice.


    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 05-16-14
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 05-16-14 Member Since 2013

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

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    "No My Ears Were Burning"

    I am shocked that I disliked this book as much as I did. I typically am a fan of this author. I am not sure what Mr. Isles was thinking as he wrote and wrote and wrote this way too too long book. The plot kept going round and round and never really got off the ground. The characters were not very likable and often acted in ways that were inconsistent. And yes I agree that the narration was worse than horrible. The fake southern accents were insufferable and Mr. Ledoux over acted with many of the characters. I just couldn't wait for this book to end. I suffered for over 30 hours hoping that something would improve and it just never did. UGH.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
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