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Publisher's Summary

Dave Robicheaux has spent his life confronting the age-old adage that the sins of the father pass on to the son. But what about 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 thirty 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 killer 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, All Rights Reserved (P)2000 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"Will Patton brilliantly portrays the succession of cops, thieves, and politicians with the perfect mix of violent intent (or action) and intriguing character. How can he make these bad guys so interesting? Patton has honed these characters... Patton just excels. He uses the languid, descriptive prose to capture the colors and scents as they come across the bayou." (AudioFile)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Abridged

Abridged - it just doesn't seem like James Lee Burke. I must not have paid attention when buying this abridged version. It's too jumpy, I lost interest in it. I couldn't keep all the characters straight at points which never happened with other James Lee Burke books. I'm sure the unabridged version flows much better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Too abridged

Will Patton's lazy voice reading James Lee Burke's brooding and passionate prose should not have been abridged. Besides that, it's a thoroughly satisfying combination.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely Narration

My first James Lee Burke audible book and it is wonderful. Love his poetic prose and the narration is by far the best I've listened to thus far. I wish it had not been abridged!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KP
  • 01-15-05

Purple Cane Road

Burke never disappoints - his prose is clean and beautiful. His characters age in the series, but he reveals them, flaws and all I am a sucker for Southern writers and he's one of the best. I'm surprised none of this series has been optioned for movies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved every minute of this book.

This may have been the 4th Dave Rubashow book I've listened to, and I credit narrator Will Paton, with 50 percent of the pleasure these books offer. I love the colorful figures and the winding plot, threaded with many story lines.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great performance by Will Patton

I normally never get abridged versions as they make me feel cheated out of the scope and nuances of the story,, however I had to get this one because for some inscrutable reason the full version is narrated by someone who was just AWFUL. If Will Patton or Mr. Hammer aren't narrating it's just not worth it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another home run for J.L.Burke and Will Patton

What did you like about this audiobook?

Burke and Patton combine to deliver quality every time. Burke's rhythmic writing full of descriptive adjectives and colorful Bayou characters becomes a playground for Patton's fabulous reading and voice inflection. Patton's interpretation melds with Burke's stylistic flair to be unmatched in audible entertainment, especially good for long drives.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

All the Robicheaux novels are rich in a similar but varied flavor. They are centered around the New Orleans police department and street life. If you like one sample, you will love the series.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

Burke is a great author in that he hits hard with information that peaks your interest right away but his humor and humanity are ever present in his story. He is flawless at driving a plot and always keeping you guessing or smiling or both.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Will Patton is the spot on reader for Burke's novels. I pity the fool who would try to follow Will in doing a novel in the Robicheaux series.

Do you have any additional comments?

This book was particularly well suited to the strengths of Burke and Patton. A reat tour de force in the audible world. If you want to start somewhere with this series this is a good place.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Burke & Patton

Where does Purple Cane Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Great read. Patton makes you feel like you are one of the characters in the story. Not the best Dave Robicheaux story, but still very interesting.

Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I search for Will Patton reads. Patton reads from his heart & soul. I am originally from Louisiana. Will Patton reminds me of home.

Any additional comments?

Try the whole series

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

World class prose!

Reading (or listening) to James Lee Burke is like wrapping yourself in a down blanket on a cool summer evening and just letting the sound of his thoughts flow over you like a gentle breeze. His descriptive narrative is so enjoying to listen to. Will Paton does great justice to James' words. Love this author and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another James Lee Burke-Will Patton Winner!

I am a James Lee Burke and Will Patton addict. I have read all of the Unabridged Burke/Patton books. I really don't like Abridged books especially from someone like Burke, but this one is an exception. The plot is great fits together nicely at the end. There are plenty of typical beautiful 'Burke' descriptions of characters and places even in the abridged version. Only one minor complaint, there are occasional musical interludes which were a bit annoying. Bottom line, if you have read the others, get this one, you won't be sorry.