Dave Robicheaux has spent his life confronting the age-old adage that the sins of the father pass on to the son. But what was his mother's legacy? Dead to him since his youth, Mae Guillory has been shuttered away in the deep recesses of Robicheaux's mind. He's lived with the fact that he would never really know what happened to the woman who left him to the devices of a whiskey-driven father. But deep down, Dave still feels the loss of his mother and knows that the infinite series of disappointments in her life could not have come to a good end.
While helping out an old friend, Dave is stunned when a pimp looks at him sideways and asks if he is the son of Mae Guillory, the whore a bunch of cops murdered 30 years ago. Her body was dumped in the bayou bordering Purple Cane Road, and the cops who left her there are still on the job.
Dave's search for his mother's killers leads him to the darker places in his past, and solving this case teaches him what it means to be his mother's son. Purple Cane Road has the dimensions of a classic - passion, murder, and nearly heartbreaking poignancy - wrapped in a wonderfully executed plot that surprises from start to finish.
©2000 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio
This narrator did not relate to the characters being read. AT.ALL. The narration is rushed and has none of the cadence or personality of the southern Louisiana dialect. It greatly distracted from one of the best stories in the series. My brain kept trying to disconnect from the reading.
I have all of Burke's books. When Mark Hammer or Will Patton narrate, it is time well spent. With Nick Sullivan, not so much. The man doesn't even have a mild southern accent let alone any hope of giving Dave and Cletus the Cajun inflections and cadence. What were you thinking, Audio.com??
Nick Sullivan is a good narrator, but Will Patton and Mark Hammer bring Dave Robicheaux to life with their great Cajun dialect.
I love James Lee Burke and have great anticipation for his books. Having said that I believe that Nick Sullivan can probably read anything else but he is not authentic in a Louisiana setting. It is very difficult to tell when the character changes and there is no Louisiana cadence. Will Patton is 100% more successful and I look forward to his low, lazy voice. Please find something else for Nick Sullivan.
I love New Orleans though I never spent much time there. It is the culture and language that set it apart from almost anywhere else in the world. So the narration is important to the story. Nick Sullivan is a good narrator but his interpretation of the French-Cajun dialect does determent to the story.
People of Louisianan are a mixture of almost all Caribbean cultures but the narrator uses a distinctively Jamaican accent to interpret the French creole. Burke is a great student of language in his stories. In many of his books, he can determine a person’s origin by listening to the dialect. So we as his readers and listeners know how important this is to him and the story line.
It is akin to substituting Maurice Chevalier with Jar Jar Binks and hoping no one notices.
As always Burke has a point of view or observation that is completely fresh, naked, and free from self delusion. He is like Hemingway. He writes about the things he knows and dares anyone to deny its truth.
Nick Sullivan is a good narrator but his interpretation of the French-Cajun dialect does determent to the story.
It is with extreme effort that Burke centers Dave Robicheaux’s character on his concepts of good versus evil. We understand him best through his weaknesses. When he is wrong, he is driven to drink and not until he makes amends does his ability to resist his greater temptations find victory. Except for the perfect among us, this is a path of contrition we all could use in our daily lives.
I once thought I could write until I read James Lee Burke. It is a shame his work has not garnered more serious attention just because he is a mystery writer.
I'm sure, given the high caliber of all the others in the Dave Robicheaux Series, I would have loved this story. However... HOWEVER, I feel I have been robbed in that the narator just plain sucks. Couldn't stomach him for even five minutes. Sorry Mr. Burke...
Mark Hammer or Will Patton
Its not that Nick Sullivan is bad but its not the Dave Robicheaux we all know.
This Robicheaux book has a very good plot, and was easy to follow.
After listening to perhaps 200 books, this is the first review I have written. The reader, Nick Sullivan, has done well over 100 books, so he is not a beginner. But my feeling is that he would be better suited for something by Crighton or some other suspense thriller author, and I have probably heard him before.. He just does not make it in this book. His interpretation of a Creole accent was distracting, no matter how accurate it may have been -- I don't know. And he ruined my concept of Helen Soileau. I note he does not read any more Burke-Robicheaux books.
That said, the plot in this book is fantastic, and I would put it in the list of best of the Robicheaux books, the others for me being Neon Rain and Pegasus Descending. A while back I decided to read (listen to) all of them, from the beginning, this being the latest. I have at least 8 to go (though I've already read Pegasus - my first one - can't wait to read it again).I have a list of all the books, in order, with readers.
I note that Mark Hammer comes back for 2 books, and then it is Will Patton all the way. I like both of them, Patton for his slow style and drawls, Hammer takes it a little quicker, and I like that too..His accents are fantastic. Clete just comes alive for me when either of them read. But just give me Will Patton, and I can go down to Louisiana for a while in my mind, anytime I want.
James Lee Burke definitely. Nick Sullivan---NEVER. Sorry Nick Sullivan, but you're up against Will Patton who OWNS the Dave Robicheaux narration franchise.
If Will Patton had done it.
Yes, never read another Dave R book narrated by Nick Sullivan
I love the Dave Robicheaux books by James Lee Burke but the narration is not good.
Nick Sullivan did a poor job. Mispronunciations abound. Slight improvement on proper nouns, but common southern words are butchered. Sorry, it's BRIM not BREEM for the freshwater fish "bream". The attempt at a Southern accent is laughable. Some of the characters sound like Chicago instead of New Orleans.
Yes, because Dave Robicheaux is such a wonderful character, and James Lee Burke is such a master of descriptions, characterizations, and dark plots.
I just wish that anyone trying to narrate a James Lee Burke novel would do some research ahead of time to figure out how to pronounce things.
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