Why we think it’s a great listen: When it comes to author/narrator pairings, nobody tops James Lee Burke and Will Patton in the Robicheaux thrillers. Beloved Burke hero Detective Dave Robicheaux here returns to New Iberia to solve a series of grisly murders. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit.
JLB is not for the Twitter mentality with his descriptive prose and flawless dialogue. He transports you to the bayous and deep into the character's flaws and pulls you right in with them. Will Patton, the narrator, has become Dave Robicheaux and his voice haunts your inner eye's shadows.
This author specializes in psychopaths and the inner demons of the heroes without cheapening the books into trite thrillers. This book used a device JLB hasn't used for awhile, foreshadowing events that left me holding my breath until the last punctuation mark.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In the 1970s Dolly Freed lived off the land dirt cheap and plum easy. Living in their own house on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia for almost five years, Dolly and her father produced their own food and drink and spent roughly $700 each per year. Thirty years later Dolly Freed's Possum Living is as fascinating and pertinent as it was in 1978. Tin House is reissuing the survivalist classic with a foreword by David Gates and an afterword by the author.
It's beyond me what all the hoopla is about this book. We're supposed to look back to the 70s with a misty eye and gain encouragement and insight to bring into our present lives with the content and manner of life in this book.
The author is obviously uneducated, anti-social, and self-righteous. She is estranged from her mother and siblings because her father refused to work. She blames her mother for the divorce because the mother wants to work and then preaches wage-slavery against the rest of society, or feels a need for health insurance or to live in any other location but a city. Her logic is impaired, her facts unchecked and she counsels her readers to lie to the taxman like she does, although she claims to live a biblical life. They spent $200/yr on food and half that on moonshine-making supplies and we're supposed to believe they have their priorities in order.
If you care to read this as one point of view of the back-to-land movement of the 70s do so, but it is no way representative of the movement. It is, however, a great insight against those who think the end of the world movement is a new idea.
Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.
Fully-fleshed characters, firm plot, tears at all the right places, gripping drama, two astounding narrators and a skillful author. Even the little bits of music added were perfect. I mourn the ending of this book but not the ending.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year-old girl, is arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
If this was the best the book editor could do with the manuscript it will have to do. It was frustrating to have to read "the girl" through the first 1/3 of the book as we were not supposed to know the name of the main character, and then have the same awkward stumbling at the end with the baby because the editor couldn't get the author to use more elegant means. But the book covers important historical French actions during WWII that are not usually spoken of. I had a hard time caring about the husband but I had to take the good with the bad.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Against the backdrop of growing civil rights turmoil in a sultry border town, the hard-drinking ex-POW attorney Hackberry Holland yields to the myriad urgings of his wife, his brother, and his so-called friends to make a bid for a congressional seat - and finds himself embroiled in the seamy world of Texas powerbrokers.
The Publisher's summary reads like a romance novel when this is is classic James Lee Burke: Intellent story telling based on deep introspection and human nature. Dark poetry in hot, steamy Texas in the time when "Negro" was considered polite language and Hispanics were ignored. A preclude to Rain Gods, it explains many character mysteries and painful memories. Will Patton, the narrator, layers language with meaning and tonality like silk over callouses.
39 of 40 people found this review helpful
Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.
I live near Littleton and encountered Klebold and Harris at a mall shortly before the Columbine incident, because I was deeply disturbed by Klebold's Nazi attire. Watching the jumbled local live news I could see how distorted things were becoming. This book changed my mind, though, about the true reason for the killings, and shamed me for judging the parents of Harris and Klebold so harshly.
It also leaves me with a strong belief that no parent should leave kids in basements unsupervised and no high school child deserves total privacy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb.... As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends – and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is.
This tale is one of those that lives in you and leaves you wondering what continues to happens with the characters after the story ends. I've found myself wondering what happened with this or someone while I'm folding laundry and I've pounded the Internet for photos and history of the times. The writing creeps up on you with cats feet, causing you to surrender to the plot through the characters. I suspect this is a tale I'll pick up again and again for the sheer delight of it.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful