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21. Rhino Ranch
22. The Glass Rainbow (A Dave Robicheaux
23. Dixie City Jam
24. Last Car to Elysian Fields: A
25. A Dave Robicheaux Audio Collection
26. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
27. Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Boy Howdy)
28. A Stained White Radiance (Dave
29. Burning Angel (Dave Robicheaux
30. Boone's Lick
31. Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux
32. Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux
33. Purple Cane Road (Dave Robicheaux
34. Fine Just The Way It Is: Wyoming
35. Jolie Blon's Bounce
36. Crusader's Cross: A Dave Robicheaux
37. Primal Fear: Price-Less
38. Gump & Co.
39. Cosmopolis: ANovel
40. The Thomas Berryman Number

21. Rhino Ranch
by Larry McMurtry
 Audio Cassette: Pages (2010)
-- used & new: US$110.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1440784663
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22. The Glass Rainbow (A Dave Robicheaux Novel)
by James Lee Burke
 MP3 CD: Pages (2010)
-- used & new: US$34.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0046JYVOM
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23. Dixie City Jam
by James Lee Burke
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-03)
list price: US$9.98
Isbn: 0671582526
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A Nazi submarine buried off the coast of Louisiana provides the linchpin for the newest Dave Robicheaux novel. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars He Gives Himself a Larger Canvas, and He Uses It
"Dixie City Jam" (1994) was the eighth novel published by American author James Lee Burke in his New York Times bestselling detective Dave Robicheaux series.Like the earlier books of the series, and most of the series' works to follow, the book, a Southern noir, police procedural/mystery, is set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, more or less home country for Burke, who was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936, and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast.

In his previous work in this series, Burke has frequently mentioned a German submarine, sunk with all hands aboard during World War II, underwater in the Gulf of Mexico.So is the twisted wreckage of an oil rig that exploded while Robicheaux's father was working aboard: his father's body, too, is under the salt of the Gulf of Mexico, now so much in the news due to another recent oil rig explosion.In "Dixie City Jam," the buried Nazi submarine assumes central importance when Hippo Bimstone, a powerful Jewish activist from New Orleans, requests that Robicheaux, formerly of the New Orleans Police Department, now of the New Iberia Sheriff's Office, locate the sunken vessel.The beginning of Robicheaux's search is enough to draw a neo-Nazi psychopath, Will Buchalter, who insists that the Holocaust was a hoax, to town, and it seems Buchalter will stop at nothing to find the sub first. Buchalter is pretty much Burke's usual hit man/bad guy, funny-looking, homicidal, psychotic.Of course, this being a book by Burke, New Orleans wise guys soon start coming out of the woodwork too, for reasons of their own: we have here Tommie (Bobalouba) Lonighan, and the Calucci brothers, Max and Bobo. And, to be sure, Clete Purcel, Robicheaux's former partner on the New Orleans Police Department, an overweight, heavy-drinking, brawling, heavily-scarred survivor of the city's tough Irish Channel neighborhood, as are the gangsters, is around to help the detective.We'll also meet the Reverend Oswald Flat and his wife; and a mysterious nun, Sister Marie Guilbeaux, who may have more to do with Buchalter than is helpful for the detective.Then there are some good cops, such as Lucinda Bergeron, and some dirty cops, such as Nate Baxter.

Robicheaux is of Cajun ancestry, and is still reliving the nightmare of his service in Vietnam. He has a drinking problem, and a tendency to violence.In addition to working for the sheriff, he still owns and operates a boat rental and bait business, while living in the house in which he was actually born.He is assisted in the operation of his business by a black man, Batist, whom we've met before, and will see again.Robicheaux is, by this point, on his third wife, Bootsie, who has developed the generally fatal disease lupus.The detective's quietly, illegally adopted daughter, an ethnic Hispanic, whom he's named Alafair, has morphed into a fairly ordinary American teenager, and she's got her pet, the three-legged raccoon Tripod, whom we've met before and will meet again.

The novel at hand is rather longer than Burke's usual, and is shot through with discussion of New Orleans' music: Sam Philips' Memphis Sun Studios, where Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis got their starts.Jimmie Clanton's "Just a Dream" the most popular song on the jukebox in Robicheaux's salad year, 1957.And the locally- beloved Fat Man, Fats Domino. Burke also gives us a couple of pretty grotesque characters, a hallmark of Southern literature.He continues to write with energy, passion and power, and the longer length seems, if anything, to have given him a bigger canvas than usual to work upon.In fact, like Michael Connelly, the creator of a detective whom he named Hieronymus Bosch, after the great 16th century Dutch artist that used all his canvas to the corners, jamming it full of grotesque characters, Burke in this book seems to have used every inch of his larger canvas, and has himself given us some memorable grotesques.
More than anything else, seems to me, in Burke's work, we'll enjoy some of the most beautiful, knowledgeable writing ever committed to paper about the flora, fauna, geography, and human occupants of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, now so much in the news.Burke attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute; later received B. A. and M. A. degrees from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, a pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps. His work has twice been awarded an Edgar for Best Crime Novel of the Year. At least eight of his novels, including the more recent Jolie Blon's Bounce, and Purple Cane Road (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) have been New York Times bestsellers.But "Dixie City Jam" is certainly one of the more outstanding books in this series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dixie City Jam
James Lee Burke again excels in a great book. I am reading each of the Dave Robicheaux books in order and I look forward to the next in sequence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great find
My husband and I are voracious readers--both fiction and nonfiction. James Lee Burke was a great find. Not only are his plots clever and intelligent, his characters have those oh-so-human foibles we all can relate to, and his settings solid enough to put me right in the bayous, he's written a slew of books I never heard about before. It'll keep me in stories for, oh, a few weeks anyway.

3-0 out of 5 stars Dumbest cop alive
Warning: spoilers---
This is my first Burke novel. It won't be my last, but I sure hope that Robicheaux wises up in the other books. Let me count the ways in which he demonstrates he's not smart enough to dress and feed himself, let alone be a cop:

1. Twisted bad guy attacks and terrorizes wife. What does hero cop husband do? Does he tell his tough-as-nails fearless hired man, who works all day a hundred feet away from the house about it, and to keep an eye on her? No. Does Bootsie the wife go "yo, husband, I'm taking a little vacation until you catch this lunatic."? No. Does Robicheaux stay home himself? No, he gallivants all over the landscape and when he comes home gets ambushed by the exact same bad guy, who has an accomplice and Bootsie tied and gagged.

2. All kinds of people, both cops and colorful bad guys, warn him that he's up against something seriously bad and scary. He goes "huh" and leaves it at that.

3. Twisted bad guy breaks into the house a couple nights later, while Bootsie and hero cop are sleeping, and watches them sleep. Then writes a message on the mirror and leaves other obvious signs he was there. Meanwhile, Robicheaux doesn't have nightmares about twisted bad guy like a normal person, oh no, he has nightmares about something a creepy little preacher told him, and sleeps right through this guy breaking through a deadbolt and sneaking around his house. No alarm system, no dog, none of his tough but colorful cop friends helping out.

4. Three times the twisted bad guy invades their home and does horrible things. But Bootsie still stays put, and Robicheaus gets dumber, which hardly seem possible. Every strange car that creeps down their driveway he dismisses as nothing important. Then he gets caught by the twisted bad guy in the absolute stupidest ambush of all time- a truck supposedly broken down just down his street, with a suspicious vehicle lurking behind it. He walks right into it, not a care in the world.

Burke creates a nice sense of atmosphere and locale, and he draws a colorful cast of characters. Men characters, that is, the women might as well be cardboard cutouts. Bootsie gets terrorized, and she's worried about husband? Yeah, whatever! Still, it's a lively, engrossing read. I just wish the hero cop wasn't such a dunce.

1-0 out of 5 stars Overwritten and Ridiculous
James Lee Burke is a good writer, but this isn't a good book.The paperback edition is more than 500 pages long.The book would have benefited greatly from an editor who could wield a red pen and delete about 250 pages of excess fat.

The story makes the protagonist, Dave Robicheaux,look like a dunce.He knows someone is out to intimidate him and his family but he takes no precautions.So time after time, the bad guys get into his house and physically abuse his wife and then him.It is hard to believe a former New Orleans' homicide detective who now works for the sheriff's office could be so stupid and cavalier.

The story is written in the first person.Rather than explain some of the local New Orleans lingo, the author has Dave's friend Clete Purcel explain it to him.Pretty tedious.

I recommend trying one of Burke's other books. ... Read more

24. Last Car to Elysian Fields: A Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)
by James Lee Burke
Audio CD: Pages (2007-03-06)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743561066
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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. So to return there -- as he does in Last Car to Elysian Fields -- means visiting old ghosts, exposing old wounds, opening himself up to new, yet familiar, dangers.

When Robicheaux, now a police officer based in the somewhat quieter Louisiana town of New Iberia, learns that an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan, a Catholic priest always at the center of controversy, has been the victim of a particularly brutal assault, he knows he has to return to New Orleans to investigate, if only unofficially. What he doesn't realize is that in doing so he is inviting into his life -- and into the lives of those around him -- an ancestral evil that could destroy them all.

The investigation begins innocently enough. Assisted by good friend and P.I. Clete Purcel, Robicheaux confronts the man they believe to be responsible for Dolan's beating, a drug dealer and porno star named Gunner Ardoin. The confrontation, however, turns into a standoff as Clete ends up in jail and Robicheaux receives an ominous warning to keep out of New Orleans' affairs.

Meanwhile, back in New Iberia, more trouble is brewing: Three local teenage girls are killed in a drunk-driving accident, the driver being the seventeen-year-old daughter of a prominent physician. Robicheaux traces the source of the liquor to one of New Iberia's "daiquiri windows," places that sell mixed drinks from 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.

The trouble continues when Father Jimmie asks Robicheaux to help investigate the presence of a toxic landfill near St. James Parish in New Orleans, which in turn leads to a search for the truth behind the disappearance many years before of a legendary blues musician and composer. Tying together all these seemingly disparate threads of crime is a maniacal killer named Max Coll, a brutal, brilliant, and deeply haunted hit man sent to New Orleans to finish the job on Father Dolan. Once Coll shows up, it becomes clear that Dave Robicheaux will be forced to ignore the warning to stay out of New Orleans, and he soon finds himself drawn deeper into a viper's nest of sordid secrets and escalating violence that sets him up for a confrontation that echoes down the lonely corridors of his own unresolved past.

A masterful exploration of the troubled side of human nature and the darkest corners of the heart, and filled with the kinds of unforgettable characters that are the hallmarks of his novels, Last Car to Elysian Fields is James Lee Burke in top form in the kind of lush, atmospheric thriller that his fans have come to expect from the master of crime fiction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

4-0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old from Burke - but that's not necessarily a bad thing
If you like James Lee Burke, you'll like Last Car to Elysian Fields.My only complaint about this novel is that it's `more of the same'.You know what to expect in a James Lee Burke novel and that's what you get in Last Car.I like Burke so I wasn't disappointed.If you're not a fan, don't expect to be converted with this novel.I've a read a number of Burke's novels and enjoyed them but I have to admit that I would be hard pressed to tell you much specific about any of their plots.They tend to blur together over time because they are so similar.

Dave once again has his sights set on a corrupt and wealthy family.The story, as always, is filled with multiple seemingly unrelated plot lines that will inevitably trace back to the aforementioned corrupt wealthy family. Burke doesn't shy away from his left leaning political point of view which may aggravate more conservative readers.I'm a tree-hugging Canadian so this isn't an issue for me, but it may be for others.There is no shortage of moral ambiguity in a Burke novel except when it comes to the issue of rich people.In a Burke novel, rich people are always the epitome of evil - rotten to the core.

True, Burke sticks close to the tried and true formula in Last Car - but that doesn't mean there isn't still so much to like.I love Burke's lyrical prose and Last Car is no exception.This novel, as in other Burke novels, is filled with colorful characters. I think Clete Purcell may be one of the best fictional characters ever created.Burke's dialogue is top notch - almost as good as the great Elmore Leonard. His novels, including this one, are dark and brooding and complex, filled with flawed characters and moral ambiguity.I appreciate the multi-layered plots to these novels (even if they are contrived).

One element of Last Car that isn't standard fair is the character of Jimmie Dolan, the Irish hit man who comes to Iberia County.I loved the character and the strange relationship he develops with the priest he was hired to kill and the cat and mouse game he plays with Dave.

Deciding whether or not to read this novel is pretty straightforward.If you like Burke, you'll like this novel.If you don't, you won't.If you're new to Burke and you want to start at the beginning, you could read Neon Rain (although it isn't a standout novel in the series).Or you could start with the best in the series, which is probably Purple Cane Road.I don't think it matters much though.This is as good a place as any to start.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as Fresh as It Might Be, Still Worthwhile for Fans
"Last Car to Elysian Fields" (1994) was apparently the thirteenth novel published by American author James Lee Burke in his mighty New York Times bestselling detective Dave Robicheaux series.Like the earlier books of the series, and most of the series' works to follow, the book, a Southern noir, police procedural/mystery, is set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, more or less home country for Burke, who was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936, and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast.

Robicheauxhears that an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan, a controversial Catholic priest, has been assaulted in a particularly brutal manner: this draws the detective back to New Orleans.He also starts investigating the decades-old disappearance of Junior Crudup, noted black blues player, who apparently never made it alive out of Angola, Lousiana's notorious, brutal state prison.Needless to say, he's going to step on some toes in opening this long-ignored mystery.Then, back in New Iberia, three local teenage girls are killed in a drunken driving accident; the driver is the seventeen year old daughter of a prominent local doctor.And the girls had just been illegally served liquor by one of the state's many "daiquiri windows," places that serve mixed drinks from drive-by windows.The operator of the window is brutally murdered; Robicheaux suspects the driver's father, the doctor.And Robicheaux takes up, with Father Jimmie, the cause of a nearby poverty-stricken black community being slowly poisoned by a toxic landfill.

Robicheaux is still employed by the Sheriff's Office of New Iberia, Louisiana, a smaller quieter town near New Orleans.Helen Soileau, a former partner whom we have met before and will meet again, is now sheriff.The house in which Robicheaux was born, and used to live, has been burnt down as a result of careless electrical work by a mob-connected electrical subcontractor, and the detective is living in rental housing. He has sold his boat rental and bait business to Batist, the black man who worked there with him, whom we have met many times before and will again.The three-legged raccoon, Tripod, pet of the detective's adopted daughter Alafair, who is studying at Reed College, Oregon, has been given to Batist.Bootsie, the third wife of Robicheaux, died a year ago, of lupus.So Robicheaux is living alone, at least until he takes in a stray cat, and calls it Snuggs.

Of course, this being a book by Burke, New Orleans wise guys soon start coming out of the woodwork for reasons of their own: we have here Fat Sammy Figorelli and his assorted employees.And, to be sure, Clete Purcell, Robicheaux's former partner on the New Orleans Police Department, an overweight, heavy-drinking, brawling, heavily-scarred survivor of the city's tough Irish Channel neighborhood, as are the gangsters, is around to help the detective.We'll also meetJumpin' Merchie Flannigan, a New Orleans-bred semi-underworld player, whom Robicheaux has known since childhood: a frequent attribute of Burke's mobsters; Theodosha Flannigan, Merchie's hot-to-trot beautiful wife, with whom the detective had a relationship in the past, another frequent attribute of bad guys' wives in Burke's work; and Castille LeJeune, Theodosha's father, a wealthy and powerful local blue blood, ruthless and greedy, who doesn't care whom he hurts - also frequent attributes of Burke's similarly situated rich men.And then there's Max Coll, the odd-looking, psychotic Celtic killing machine, arrived from Ireland to execute a hit on somebody; and, to be sure, Max strongly resembles many of Burke's hitmen/ bad guys. And Burke continues to give us the odd grotesque character, a sure hallmark of Southern literature.

Robicheaux is of Cajun ancestry, and is still reliving the nightmare of his service in Vietnam. He has a drinking problem, and a tendency to violence that is exaggerated by his friend and alter-ego Purcel. The book is also shot through with discussion of New Orleans' music: the 1951 prominence of Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell; Sam Philips' Memphis Sun Studios, where Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis got their starts.Jimmie Clanton's "Just a Dream" the most popular song on the jukebox in Robicheaux's salad years.And the locally- beloved Fat Man, Fats Domino.

Well, you can see, there's a lot of familiar material in this series' entry; and the plot, while it hums along and introduces quite a few characters, is a little thin--for Burke.
You'd have to consider "Last Car" one of the weaker entries in the series.Still, Burke continues to write with noticeable energy, passion and power.More than anything else, seems to me, in Burke's work, we'll enjoy some of the most beautiful, knowledgeable writing ever committed to paper about the flora, fauna, geography, and human occupants of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, now so much in the news.Burke attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute; later received B. A. and M. A. degrees from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, a pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps. His work has twice been awarded an Edgar for Best Crime Novel of the Year. At least eight of his novels, including the recent Joli Blon's Bounce, andPurple Cane Road (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)have been New York Times bestsellers.This isn't the place to start reading Burke; but it's worthwhile if you're following the series.

2-0 out of 5 stars Terrible, turgid book
I had never read any of Burke's Robicheaux books before, and obviously it was a mistake getting this one. As others have noted, the plot plods along like a crippled mule, the characters are almost comic book types, and there are all sorts of preposterous acts throughout. Evidently, his early books with these characters were much better, had I only known to try one.

He does have a nice flair for descriptive prose, and early on I enjoyed his descriptions of the countryside, but he beat it to death. Every page or so, between languid movement of the plot, another long description of the scenery or the weather appears, for no appreciable reason. By half way through this turgid prose, when I came across still another mention of the live oaks or the pecan trees, I was ready to tear my hair.

Robicheaux seems to be one of the more inept detectives I've come across in fiction, blundering on through three quarters of the book without ever solving a case or apprehending a felon. In once scene, he is lured to a run-down, seedy part of town to a ratty bar to meet a woman, and soon leaves after realizing there was no business for him to be there. He comes outside, finds one the tires on his pickup is flat, and without being at all suspicious, proceeds to change it. Without paying any attention to his surroundings, he gets cold cocked and dragged away to a couple days of torture. Now, even I as a civilian know enough constantly to be aware of my surroundings, yet this so-called experienced cop lets himself get caught unaware.

Later, he has chased down astone cold killer in a church he has been after throughout the book. He sits down next to him in a pew and the killer tells him he has a gun under his jacket. Apparently this so terrifies the armed, longtime cop that he does not know what to do, even outweighing him by 100 pounds or so. He lets him wheel an old lady in a wheelchair down the aisle, and make his escape. Now even a rookie cop probably knows a dozen ways to subdue a perp, but not our hero. This sort of ineptitude seems to be the modus operandi of this detective all through this silly book.

I had to skip through whole sections of the book, time and time again, just to get to some place where something of note was happening.

This turgid book left such a bad taste in my mouth that I am loath to try one of his early books, but maybe after a few months I will try one.

I could not recommend this book to anybody.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great Robicheaux story
No author I've read has the ability to paint such vivid pictures as James Lee Burke.Perhaps it helped that I read the entire book while in the midst of a Detroit heat wave, but Burke makes you feel the heat, humidity, rain and thunder that is Iberia parish in Louisiana.

Robicheaux remains an imperfect man, which is a big part of his appeal.His world is still dominated by his friend Clete Purcell and people with French and Creole names.Good story and gripping as always.

4-0 out of 5 stars Missing Chapter??
I started reading James Lee Burke's Robicheaux series earlier this year and have come to love both the characters and Mr Burke's deliciously descriptive prose (I live in Australia but one can almost taste the essence of Louisiana in his writing!). After having been carried along in Dave Robicheaux's life in the previous 12 novels, sharing his darkest and brightest episodes, it was a great disappointment to find so much has changed in his life in the beginning of 'Last Car to Elysian Fields'!Okay, so maybe we didn't need to share his darkest moments - the loss of his wife; the destruction of his father's house; and giving up his boat and bait shop - or perhaps Mr Burke is still writing about this part of Dave's life in a yet-to-be-released flash-back novel?Whatever the reason, I believe fans of Dave Robicheaux deserve to told this missing chapter in his life. ... Read more

25. A Dave Robicheaux Audio Collection
by James Lee Burke
Audio CD: Pages (2006-05-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$21.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743555244
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

From The New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke comes five thrilling audiobooks in one package, all read by the phenomenal Will Patton.


The death of a cop draws police detective Dave Robicheaux into a dangerous web of madness, murder and incest. But Robicheaux has devils of his own. And they've come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator -- and the people he holds most dear.


Hollywood has sent its emissaries to New Iberia Parish to film a Civil War epic in the steaming mists of the Louisiana bayou -- reawakening the ghosts of a past best left undisturbed. The restless specters wait in the shadows for cajun cop Dave Robicheaux -- as he hunts a serial butcher who is preying on young.


Detective Dave Robicheaux finds himself and his family at serious risk when he is stalked for his knowledge of a watery burial ground by a mysterious man named Will Buchalter -- a man who believes that the Holocaust was one big hoax.


Dave Robicheaux becomes entangled in the affairs of the Fontenot family, descendants of sharecroppers whose matriarch helped raise Dave as a child. They are in danger of losing the land they've lived on for more than a century. As Dave tries to discover who wants the land so badly, he finds himself in increasing peril from the local mobsters and a hired assassin.


When former Klansman Aaron Crown is finally imprisoned for a decades-old murder, it is to Detective Dave Robicheaux that he proclaims his innocence loudest. Crown seems to be a lightning rod for every kind of trouble that the state of Louisiana can unearth. But it's not until a figure from Dave's past is elected governor that his involvement with Aaron Crown becomes deadly. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great item!
I love Will Patton's performance on this audio book!He does not just read the book; he paints a rich verbal picture with sound, rhythm, tone, and cadence of his voice.The combination of James Lee Burke's writing and Will Patton's voice is a thing of beauty and a great item to take on a road trip.

4-0 out of 5 stars Booknerd
I was a bit annoyed that this collection was abridged, however I bought it because of Will Patton and I was NOT disappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome world of James Lee Burke
GREAT selection of early Burke/Robicheaux(character) books!!The price, considering there are 5 in the collection cannot be beat!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars great deal
I think this was an unbelievable deal. Most books on CD are around $20+ for one, this included 5 great stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars sure beats the car radio!
I enjoy the tales, and Will Patton's voices...+)... I do have to back up the cd now and then, when traffic, or daydreaming make me lose track of the plotline, but a well read story is a good use of car time! ... Read more

26. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
by Kimberly Willis Holt
Audio CD: Pages (2006-11-14)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$15.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739337343
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Nothing ever happens in Toby's small Texas town.Nothing much until this summer that's full of big changes.
It's tough for Toby when his mother leaves home to become a country singer.And Toby takes it hard when his best friend Cal's older brother goes off to fight in Vietnam.But now their sleepy town is about to get an even bigger jolt with the arrival of Zachary Beaver, billed as the fattest boy in the world.Toby is in for a summer unlike any other, a summer sure to change his life.

From the Trade Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
Summer in the tiny Texas town of Antler is traditionally atime for enjoying Wylie Womack's Bahama Mama snow cones and racking upthe pins at Kelly's Bowl-a-Rama, but this year it's not going well forToby Wilson. His 13-year-old heart has been broken twice: once by hismother, who left him and his father to become a country singer inNashville, and then again by his crush Scarlett Stalling, the townbeauty who barely acknowledges Toby's existence. But when ZacharyBeaver, "The World's Fattest Boy," comes to Antler as part of atraveling sideshow, Toby begins to realize that there might just bepeople who have it worse than him. By reaching out to Zachary in smallways--such as helping him realize his lifelong dream of beingbaptized--Toby is better able to put his own problems intoperspective. At the baptism, Toby finally feels at peace: "Zacharysmiles and I wonder if he's feeling different. Because standing herewaist deep in Gossimer's Lake... I'm feeling different--light and goodand maybe even holy." By summer's end, Toby's friendship with Zacharyhas provided him with the emotional stamina to begin dealing with hismother's decision and to gracefully accept the fact that Scarlett willforever be just beyond his reach.

With Zachary Beaver, Kimberly Willis Holt, author of theaward-winning MyLouisiana Sky, further explores southern-flavored small townlife. Toby's quirky, yet ultimately rewarding coming of age story willserve as a gentle reminder to teens that sometimes the best way towork through your problems is by helping others with theirs. (Ages 11to 15) --Jennifer Hubert ... Read more

Customer Reviews (116)

5-0 out of 5 stars great deal & shipping=AAA+++
Great deal-fast ship & as promoted.The star rating is a big factor on my purchase.

This work, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is a rather difficult book to review.It is one of the better short novels in the YA category I have read in quite some time now and I thoroughly enjoyed each and ever world.That being said, it must be noted that this opinion is coming though the eyes of a reader who is looking down the barrel of 70 years!I was forced to ask myself if my joy in reading this work would be the same if I were a 12 or 13 year old middle school child; more about that later...

This is the coming of age story of a young boy in a small dusty town located near Pala Dura Canyon, Texas, an area I lived for several years so I know the author has pretty well nailed the geographical area.The story encompasses a relatively short period of time in the boy's life, but the life altering events, the learning and maturation process of this young lad during that time is rather overwhelming.The young lad of about 13 is faced with a situation where is mother has abandoned the family to seek a singing career in Nashville, his father, a rather eccentric mail carrier who raises worms, has become a bit more eccentric and withdrawn, his best friend's brother is killed while serving in Viet Nam, the girl he thinks he is in love with turns out to be unattainable, and mingled in with all his other problems is Zachary Beaver who is abandoned by his guardian in a small trailer.Zachary Beaver is billed as the "Fattest Boy in the World," and is as quirky as the other residents of this small town in the middle of nowhere although in Zachary's case, he is at first meeting, rather unlikable.

This on several levels is a rather easy read.It is filled with humorous observations, situations and conversations.The locals are quite colorful although pretty typical of that time and place.The author may have gone over the top here and there with her stereotyping, but she obviously knows rural America and its people. While the setting here is in Northern Texas, it could quite well have been placed in just about any area of our country.I personally liked this.The syntax is easy on the mind and eye and although there are numerous plots and subplots, none are too difficult to follow.

The main character of this work has been criticized for his reactions to many of the events as they unfold.Personally I found his reactions to be pretty typical for his age.He is no doubt wise beyond his years in many instances, but then I can name you at least of dozen or so kids his age that fit this profile perfectly.The reader must take care here!The young boy's reaction and manifested by his actions certainly do not reflect the turmoil that is going on in his mind and soul.Read carefully please!I must admit that my reactions at that age would have been quite similar.Young boys of the era and before simply were not encouraged to overtly show their emotions. Right or wrong, that was the way it was.

There are aspects of this story that are truly sad and indeed, tragic.The author has "mellowed over" these to a certain extent, and taken away many of the sharp edges making what could have been a tear jerker into a readable story. For this I was personally grateful.Still and all though, there is a shadow of whimsical sadness hanging over the entire work.

Now, as stated above, I as an old man, enjoyed this work.I am not at all sure if the younger set would or not.To truly appreciate the tale the author is telling here would, it would seem to me, require a lot more life experience than most at this age would have acquired.Like many wonderful works which target this age, it will be hated simply due to the fact that they are forced to read it in the first place.Many good books languish on the shelf due to this fact.I would strongly suspect that if the same young reader read this work ten for fifteen years down the road, their opinion would change drastically.

Personally I would have enjoyed this work more if the author had jacked the age targeted up a bit and turned this into an adult read rather than a YA.I should think that to truly appreciate this work, to understand the story being told, would require a maturity level often found lacking in many, if not most, kids in this age group and of these times.We were all that age once and most of us recovered in fine shape as will the current generation of readers it is hoped. I am optimistic in this area.

All in all though, I found this one to be a delight.I am torn between giving this one five stars or four but will go with the five simply because I personally enjoyed it and feel it is truly a worth read.The author is a skilled writer and story teller and you will certainly not waste your time in reading this one and quite possibly will be richer for the doing of such.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read!
So it was about to be Thanksgiving break and I asked the school librarian to recommend some books to me for the break. She's a bit cooky and sometimes gives me books I don't really like or want to read but this time I decided to take some of her suggestions. I checked out this book, not really excited to read it, however boy was I surprised! I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a bit slow in the beginning but I got sucked into it. I usually like books with action and mystery....not this book. In fact nothing HUGE (no pun intended) happens in it however I connected with each of the characters very well. This is one of those book you shoul NOT judge by it's cover. The award it won was well awarded!

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazon used books
This was a great experience: had never ordered used books before. The book was in excellent condition, as described. The sender even included an extra book that she thought the reader might enjoy. Received the book quite promptly. Highly recommend this seller. THANKS

5-0 out of 5 stars Book review
I had to buy this book for a children's literature class that I am taking at the University of Texas at San Antonio, we needed to read a book by Kimberly Willis-Holt, whom I will be meeting October 30.I am really glad that I chose this book, it is an easy read and great to read to a young audience. ... Read more

27. Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Boy Howdy)
by James Lee Burke
Audio CD: Pages (2004-02-01)
list price: US$14.95
Isbn: 0743537556
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Texas attorney and former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland has many secrets.Among them is Vernon Smother's son, Lucas, a now-teenaged boy about whom few know the truth -- Lucas is really Billy Bob's illegitimate son.When Lucas is arrested for murder, Billy Bob must confront the past and serve as the boy's criminal attorney.

Billy Bob knows the propensity of the town, Deaf Smith, Texas, to make scapegoats out of the innocent and to exploit and sexually use the powerless.During Lucas's trial, Billy Bob realizes that he will have to bring injury upon Lucas as well as himself in order to save his son.As a result, Billy Bob incurs enemies that are far more dangerous than any he faced as a Texas Ranger.

With the same electric language and hard-edged style that brought James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels to the forefront of American crime fiction, Cimarron Rose explodes with a new, evocative setting that will establish Billy Bob Holland as James Lee Burke's next great character.Amazon.com Review
Billy Bob Holland, the protagonist of Cimarron Rose, isan attorney in the dusty Texas town of Deaf Smith. An ex-Texas Ranger(cop, not ball-player) who mistakenly killed his partner during a drugbust, Holland is jolted from his brooding when his estrangedillegitimate son is accused of the rape and murder of a party girl. Hetakes the case, of course, and things get complicated mighty quick. Ona hunch only a father could believe, Holland is sure his son is beingrailroaded. Doggedly pursuing the truth, he runs afoul of sadisticcops, a powerful family, and the euphoniously-named Garland T. Moon, aferal thug with something to hide. Luckily, the folks on his team arejust as tough. Burke's book isn't gritty realism--Holland's deadpartner visits him often--but the characters ring true in a weirdway. They are quirky and appealing, and even the criminals make goodcompany while the whodunit unfolds. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Revenge Is Not Always Bad
Sometimes you find an author whose work is so fine s/he makes you ashamed of your own pitiful scribbling. James Lee Burke does that for me. His book "Cimarron Rose" is a good example of his stellar performance.

"Cimarron Rose," one of Burke's Billy Bob Holland novels, is the story of Billy Bob's search for the killer of a killer and his adolescent associates when a teen age girl is killed in a hangout popular with teenagers wilding. In that, maestro Billy Bob Holland takes the lead defending an adolsecent whose lower class family background preselect him as victim. In the episode that follows Billy Bob kicks open a giant hole in town corruption, wealthy power and seemingly immoral leaders of the social upper crust.

Billy Bob, raw fisted and quick tempered, seems to embody the fighting truth seeker a la Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer of 50 years ago. This novel is replete with uncountable fist, knife, and gunfights, mano a mano among the bad guys of "Cimarron Rose."

In this novel, author Burke follows the progress of attorney Billy Bob Holland gathering evidence of his client's innocence and stirs up a hornets's nest of the rich and their ties with evil forces in American life. The plot and conflict=tension is further enhanced by Billy Bob's dead friend, a PTSD-like ghost enduced by a shoot out with drug runners in northern Mexico, and wisdom found in reading his father's diaries.

Author Burke's skills with characterization lie in his deft use of short descriptions such as: "On the trial he met a hollow-eyed preacher whose face had been branded with red hot horseshoes by Comanches north of the Cimarron"; "L.Q. Navarro [the ghost partner] sat on top of a stall, the heels of his boots hooked onto a plank"; "Mary Beth Sweeny . . .still in uniform from the night shift, her thumbs hooked into the sides of her gun belt". With these short machine gun bursts of colorful description, author Burke develops his characters, depicts attitude, and progresses the action all in a single phrase.

Like the real estate legend of "location , location, location," in crime novels it's "plot, plot, plot." At that, James Lee Burk is the master plotster.

As conflict after conflict, each more life-threatening to allies, it's Billy Bob's personal and cool-headed rage that saves the day time to time. But, that's not to say his sticking his head into the lion's mouth is not dangerous -- because it IS dangerous, but author Burke has developed tough but likeable heroes and we fear for their lives.

Finally, James Lee Burke's "Cimarron Rose" will bowl you over with his "writerly" prose, i.e., control over language that literally sparkles with new views of life, e.g., "She pulled her T shirt over her head, her hair collapsing on her shoulders"; "he had crashed through the enemy line like a tank through a hedgerow"; "The headlights shone in my driveway, bounced across the chicken run and filled the barn and horse lot with shadows". If you like an unbridled wordsmith at the top of his game,you'll be as crazy as I am for the work of James Lee Burke. A solid read from the first word to the last.

4-0 out of 5 stars About as good a contemporary legal thriller as you'll get
Burke has created an imperfect protagonist with Billy Bob Holland, and although the book has some complex plots and subplots that may seem a bit conventionalized, the strength of the descriptive writing is such and the broad swath of characters he creates makes up for it. But more significantly is that James Lee Burke has in his more recent books created reverberations between the local and the culture at large. Virtually every law enforcement organization from the feds to the Mexican federales are shown to be not the law abiding and enforcing institutions they claim to be, and it's about as accessible a metaphor to the degradation of the cultural ideas of fairness, goodness, concern for the underdog and the perversion of personal independence that seems to have befallen a good number of Americans.You can read it for the language, the characters, the attention to emotional and physical detail, but when all is said and done, you have a portrait of America that is not very pretty and not painted by a so called 'liberal' but by a protagonist who, as Hemingway said every good writer should have, "A built-in Sh-T detector."

3-0 out of 5 stars Drop the vietnam verbage
I have read quite a few of Burkes books and am getting a bit bored with his reference to vietnam and LQ in all his Billy Bob books. Like the characters though and will continue to read James Lee just ready for another plot line will try Whit Dove next

3-0 out of 5 stars Texas' Lone Ranger
Defense attorney Billy Bob Holland is an ex-Texas Ranger who has taken a murder case where the chief suspect is his illegitimate son.But this isn't a simple plot; it involves his father and his great grandfather's diary as well.The past also haunts him literally-in the form of L.Q. Navarro.As a Ranger, Billy Bob accidentally killed his partner and friend.Periodically L.Q. appears to Billy Bob and offers him advice.The intricate plot and fluid writing definitely draw you into the Billy Bob's world in Deaf Smith.For instance, there isn't just one villain; the novel is full of unsavory characters.I fell in love with the lyric images floating from the pages and atmosphere, but I have to admit the ending was a bit confusing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Burke begins a new series set in Texas
Fans of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux/cajun cop series now have a new series with Texas lawyer Billy Bob Holland. If this had been the first Burke book for me, I would have rated it higher.

The main plot involves Billy Bob defending his illegitimate son against a murder charge in a fishy-smelling situation involving a rich kid deviant with fetal alcohol syndrome and speed on the brain, a former football hero, DEA officers, and a sociopath named Garland T. Moon.

The inner plot involves Billy Bob wrestling with ghosts and demons from his past, namely private conversations he has with his old partner from their Texas Ranger days. There is also some mystery surrounding the death of Billy Bob's father in 1965.

Burke does an excellent job weaving all of the plot threads together, and the characters are believable. His descriptions are spare and elegant, and he has the ability provide sensory detail in a few short sentences.

One word of warning is that the cast is a rogue's gallery, like other Burke novels, and features a very flawed protaganist, but one we can root for just the same. Still, we're in some dark territory here, and Burke's writing is edgy, graphic and not for everyone.

While the book was well-written, I didn't get enough distance between Dave Robicheaux and Billy Bob Holland, who are essentially the same character. Both are men in their forties who stay in good shape, have father issues, and share similar demons in their past. The same self-righteous attitude was evident in both men. I hope that Billy Bob's voice takes a different shape in future novels of this series.

The other problem is that Burke is starting to recycle some of his details. The wealthy southerners always hold glasses wrapped with paper napkins secured with a rubber band. He's used this one a lot. There's also one where the night smells of fish spawning that's been used multiple times.

Still, this was a gripping read filled with tension on every page that made me want to know what was going to happen next. ... Read more

28. A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)
by James Lee Burke
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1998-08)
list price: US$9.98
Isbn: 0671582496
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux knows the Sonnier family of New Iberia--their connections to the CIA, to the mob, and to a former Klansman now running for state office. An assassination attempt and the death of a cop draw Robicheaux into the Sonniers' dangerous web of madness, murder and incest. But Robicheux has devils of his own and they've come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator--and the two people he most holds dear. Simultaneous with the Hyperion paperback issue of Burning Angel. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Strong Outing for Burke
I've read the first five of the Dave Robicheaux series in order and have not yet been disappointed at all. Burke has quickly become one of my favorites authors; too bad it took me so long to start reading his work. Dave Robicheaux is simply a good, tough guy. He's fair, flawed yet balanced, determined, strong and justice-minded. This book has several interweaving stories within one overall deep plot. Robicheaux faces off against organized crime, white supremacists, and a family with ties to both and several family secrets. All the while he is a great dad and husband, and true friend to Clete and Batiste. I'm stunned more of the Robicheaux novels haven't made their way to television movies or the big screen - the main character and the story-telling are that good and that engrossing.

3-0 out of 5 stars A staind white radiance
The book was as described.It was a library book from Orange County.It has usual wear and tear.I got it quickly.

5-0 out of 5 stars beautifully written
A Stained White Radiance is a beautifully written book.An absorbing suspenseful story woven into the culture of the south.Burke gives us a sheriff who is complicated, masculine and sensitive to others and his environment.I read every word, not for the storyline but for the writing itself.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not much good
This product was very late being delivered and then when I opened it there were no tapes in the box.I got ripped off on this one.Will never order from this seller again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not his best
I'm reading his books in order and this is number 5. It's not as boring as Black Cherry Blues but certainly falls far short of the other 3. This one can be skipped as like Black Cherry it contains no "significant" changes in Dave's life. ... Read more

29. Burning Angel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)
by James Lee Burke
Audio Cassette: Pages (2001-10-01)
list price: US$9.98 -- used & new: US$7.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743523091
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description


When Sonny Boy Marsallus returns to New Iberia after fleeing for Central America to avoid the wrath of the powerful Giacana family, his old troubles soon follow. Meanwhile Dave Robicheaux becomes entangled in the affairs of the Fontenot family, descendants of sharecroppers whose matriarch helped raise Dave as a child. They are in danger of losing the land they've lived on for more than a century.

As Dave tries to discover who wants the land so badly, he finds himself in increasing peril from a lethal, rag tag alliance of local mobsters and a hired assassin with a shady past. And when a seemingly innocent woman is brutally murdered, all roads intersect, and Sonny Boy is in the middle.

With the usual James Lee Burke combination of brilliant action and unforgettable characters, Burning Angel is the author at his best -- showing that old hatreds and new ones are not that far apart.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Clete scratched his cheek with four fingers."
A friend is currently working his way through the whole of the Burke body of work. I'm not nearly that dedicated, but I do like his books quite a bit. I believe that I've said before that the best thing about mysteries is the way that an author can use the plot to unroll a place or a time (or both!) for the reader. Burke does that very very well in the way that he makes New Iberia come to life in his novels through the eyes of his detective, Dave Robicheaux.

Burning Angel is the third book that I have read by Burke, and it stands up well to the other two. It has its flaws-- notably an overly complicated plot that falls apart just a little bit towards the end. But the flaws are well made up for by the strength of the characters and the feel for place-- both elements that are amped up here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great author
I love the descriptions in this authors writing. He has a way with words, both feelings and surroundings. One of the best books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Dave Robicheaux Winner
This series is SOOOOOOO good!Remember to read the titles in order, however.It is definitely a progressive series.See my review of Crusader's Cross for a general view of the series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, a lot of this sounds like the same old story
Once again JLB has Dave dealing with people he knew back in New Orleans and Vietnam.Again it's some one who grew up around the Mafia in NO and he dealt with when he was in NOPD.Again it's a member of the local mafia and gentry that is behind a problem that doesn't ever seem to go away (a bad upbringing and abuse of them or their mother or both).

What makes this one different is the inclusion of drugs for guns in south america and the american government involvement with both.An old friend from 'Nam shows up and gives a 'diary' to Dave which is purported to have info that will tie people in souteastern Louisiana to war crimes committed in Nicaragua.At the same time, one of the local gentry who has fallen onto hardtimes because of his involvement with a 'woman of color' is looking for a way out and big score.The big score is over use of his ancestral land for environmentally damaging industry which is nothing new in the polluted swamp-lands and marshes of the area around New Iberia.

There is also the touch of the 'supernatural' when after his friend Sonny is killed; he seems to turn up all over the area, and is seen by Alafair, Clete and Batiste.A nudge from Sonny, saves Dave's life and determines that one of the bad guys will take his own life.

There's a nice piece about Dave and Alafair, and dealing with your baby girl becoming a teenager and all that that implies to a parent.I thought he handled it very forthrightly and with honesty.Dave's as confused as to what to do as the rest of us mortals.

For me, at least, it seemed that he walzed through this one, getting ready for something big in the next.

5-0 out of 5 stars James Lee Burke's Trip to the Dark Side
The Dave Robicheaux novels by James Lee Burke have always had a spiritual component--see IN THE ELECTRIC MIST WITH CONFEDERATE DEAD--but in BURNING ANGEL the supernatural darn near takes center stage with the presence of a real, honest-to-gosh no-doubt-about-it ghost.I loved the series before...now I'm really hooked. ... Read more

30. Boone's Lick
by Larry McMurtry
Audio CD: Pages (2000-11-01)
list price: US$35.00
Isbn: 0743510259
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Boone's Lick is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry's triumphant return to the kind of story that made him famous -- an enthralling tale of the nineteenth-century West.

McMurtry brings his unique blend of historical fact and sheer storytelling genius to the Cecil family's arduous journey from Boone's Lick, Missouri, to Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming. Fifteen year old Shay describes the journey that begins when his Ma, Mary Margaret, decides to hunt down her elusive husband, Dick, to tell him she's leaving him.

The family sets out across the plains in search of him, encountering grizzly bears, stormy weather and hostile Indians as they go. With them are Shay's siblings G.T., Neva and Baby Marcy, Shay's uncle Seth, his Granpa Crackenthorpe, and Mary Margaret's beautiful half-sister Rose. During their journey they pick up a bare-footed priest named Father Villy, and a Snake Indian named Charlie Seven Days, and persuade them to come along.

Boone's Lick is high adventure, a perfect Western tale and a moving love story -- it is vintage McMurtry, combining his brilliant character portraits, his unerring sense of the West and his unrivalled eye for the telling detail.Amazon.com Review
Master storyteller Larry McMurtry unfurls a short, bright banner of a book following the fortunes of the Cecil family as they travel from Boone's Lick, Missouri, to the Western frontier. Though the story is narrated by her oldest son, 15-year-old Shay, the real hero of the book is Mary Margaret, the mother. Her husband, Dick, has left her and their four children in Boone's Lick while he seeks his fortunes in the West. Mary Margaret lives contentedly with the children and Dick's brother, Seth, until one day she decides she's had enough of playing the estranged wife and packs up the entire household. And so the Cecil family leaves their little town (where Wild Bill Hickok makes a cameo appearance) and travels by wagon to Wyoming, accompanied along the way by a fat Qu├ębecois priest and a Shoshone. They do find Dick, and they also arrive in Wyoming just in time for the 1866 Fetterman Massacre.

McMurtry writes with an ease that younger writers would do well to emulate. Here Seth fights off an ambush of white trash dastards:

Uncle Seth fired again and a third horse went down--though just saying it went down would be to put it too mildly. The third horse turned a complete somersault. Its rider flew off about thirty feet, after which he didn't move.
"'It's rare to see a horse turn a flip like that,' Uncle Seth observed." That cool "observed" gives an idea of the book's wry, pervasive humor. But there's more here than shooting and quipping: McMurtry's wagon full of frustrated Missourians makes a fine narrative vehicle: we get a first-hand account of the Native American wars; we get the perspective of the women left behind in the opening of the West; we get a wagon's-eye view of the hard journey of the settlers; and, ultimately, we get an insightful family romance. All that, and scalpings too. --Claire Dederer ... Read more

Customer Reviews (58)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice, enjoyable book to read
This is the first book I've read by this author.Except for his having real people interacting with the characters, I really enjoyed this book.It was very well written.I have never cared forthe of placing a real person in a fictional setting and putting words in their mouths and giving them action.I like my fact to be fact and my fiction to be fiction.That said, it was a very good book.

I loved the strong female characters of Mary Margaret, Rosie, and Geneva.I had to laugh at the wussy and somewhat silly character of G.T. I also liked Uncle Seth. I kind of wondered why he wasn't in the north more with his business.Dick, well, Dick was a womanizing adulterer.What more can I say about that?I adored Charlie and Father Villy.And, I must agree, the real Col. Fetterman was an inept, lame-brained fool, as were many of the leading officers during the Indian wars.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good One from An Old Western Hand
This is a relatively short (for McMurtry) Western tale about a backwoods Missouri family (it was probably pretty much all "backwoods" in those early days!) which, driven by the family matriarch, Mary Margaret Cecil, heads west to Wyoming in search of her absentee husband -- a man who returns to her once every year or so to leave her with another child before hightailing it back to the western territories. Mary Margaret suspects (as we gradually come to learn in the book's first half), that her wayward spouse has tucked a second family away somewhere in the territories and she means to get to the bottom of it.

The Cecils are a tightly knit group consisting of two teen age boys and a daughter just hitting puberty along with Mary Margaret's most recent addition, the infant Marcy. Mary Margaret has already buried four other children as well as her ma, though ornery (and apparently senile) Old Granpa Crackenthorpe, her pa, is still hanging in there. Fortunately for all, wayward husband Dick's big brother, Uncle Seth, a Civil War veteran on the Union side and a crack rifle shot from his years as an army sniper, lives with them. The relationships among the Cecils themselves and between the family and some of the locals form the first part of the tale which, while nicely rendered, with McMurtry's characteristic tightness and insight into character, is a little slack in the narrative department.

The decision Mary Margaret abruptly announces surprises Uncle Seth and old Granpa Crackenthorpe and even the young 'uns but, after a little bickering, they all fall into line because there's no stopping Mary Margaret once she's made her mind up. From Missouri, upriver to the wild plains of Kansas, and thence to Iowa, Nebraska and into Wyoming the family treks, picking up the usual assortment of McMurtry oddballs along the way including Charlie Seven Trees, a lone Indian from upriver on a mission from "the Old Woman" (Sacajawea of Lewis & Clark expedition fame, it turns out) and an itinerant priest as big as a house from French Canada, Father Villy, who has taken a vow to "walk the earth" and is doing so -- barefoot. Rosie McGee, the town whore from back in Boone's Lick, Missouri, comes along, too, following a family surprise of her own.

As in other McMurtry tales, this one tracks yet another long trek by a bunch of unusual characters, undertaken and pursued to the end for entirely personal (and often mysterious) reasons. If Lonesome Dove: A Novel was the tale of an epic cattle drive by a bunch of old Texas Rangers and their hangers-on, who no longer fit into the south Texas countryside they have helped pacify (with an equally seemingly quixotic return quest by one of their number), and Dead Man's Walk was the tale of a feckless attack by a bunch of wild Texas "patriots" upon a much more formidable Mexican army and the long road back from the hell their recklessness had thrust them into, this one partakes of a similar motif. We've seen it before in the Fort Smith wife's mad quest for her lover, Dee Boot, in Lonesome Dove, as well. Indeed, McMurtry seems to have a number of such motifs to which he returns again and again (see Sin Killer: A Novel (The Berrybender Narratives)). But the lack of originality does not detract from the freshness of events in this one, even so.

Despite the relatively tame episodes that occur along the Cecils' trail west, this story got richer for me the farther it went. Although I was rather neutral throughout the first half, despite appreciating the finely wrought dialogue and the sense of backwoods life McMurtry conveys, I found less and less reason to willingly put the book down as the second half progressed and we began to get closer to the missing Dick Cecil and whatever it was he was hiding from poor Mary Margaret (which Uncle Seth already knew but refused to tell out of loyalty to his brother and maybe some other fine sensibility which does not become entirely obvious until the second half). Indeed, I began to resent the inevitable intrusions one will endure during the course of the day, intrusions which kept obliging me to put the book aside.

It's a relatively short book and, in fact, it only took me a day to read it (interruptions and all) but by the end I had discovered a keen interest in the complex factors which drove Mary Margaret to uproot herfamily and take them west to confront the man she had married -- along with those that kept Uncle Seth with them to the end despite his dissent on the matter of making the trip in the first place. It was clear, of course, that Mary Margaret knew him as well, if not better, than he knew himself.

A young Wild Bill Hickock plays a part in the first half of the book, by the way, where we learn that Seth Cecil and Hickock are former army colleagues and somewhat wary competitors in the game of reputation though poor Uncle Seth, because of his attachment to his brother's family, has apparently ceded success in the fame department to Wild Bill. Still the two find time to join up with a local Missouri sheriff right off in order to bring in some miscreants, a situation which results in some gunplay albeit with little of the famous drama old Wild Bill would come to be famous for. The tale ends on a nice note, too -- prompting me to wonder if McMurtry made the whole thing up or actual built his tale out of the records of some real folk who actually lived in those times. Of course, even if he didn't, the wrap-up rather nicely puts it all into a broader perspective so that we feel a sense of genuineness in the narrative at its end.

A good and satisfying novel of the old West though certainly nothing like the cowboys and gunfighters shoot-em-ups we so often end up with in western fare! It's a small book about some ordinary folks but one which resonates deeply by its close. Glad I took a chance on it.

Stuart W. Mirsky
author of The King of Vinland's Saga

1-0 out of 5 stars angry and confused
I never received the product or an explanation even after inquiries with Amazon and seller.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dad loved it!
I purchased this audio book for my 82 year old father who is legally blind.He is from near where this story took place, so it was especially interesting to him, and he really enjoyed the writing style and the narration.Wants more by this author!

4-0 out of 5 stars Boones Lick
Boone's Lick : A Novel by Larry McMurtry is true to Larry's style of writing-great novel ... Read more

31. Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)
by James Lee Burke
 Audio Cassette: Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$9.98 -- used & new: US$5.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074352117X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

When former Klansman and piney-woods outcast Aaron Crown is finally imprisoned for a decades-old murder, it is to Detective Dave Robicheaux that he proclaims his innocence loudest. Crown seems to be a lightning rod for every kind of trouble that the state of Louisiana can unearth. A documentary film writer seeking to prove Crown's innocence is found murdered; a button man for the New Orleans mob accuses Robicheaux of taking a pay-off to ignore Crown.

But it is when Buford LaRose -- scion of an old Southern family and author of a book on the Crown case -- is elected governor that Dave Robicheaux's involvement with Aaron Crown deepens to a level he can barely fathom. And it is Buford's social-climbing wife, Karyn, with whom Robicheaux had an affair years before, who proves to be his most poisonous adversary.

Filled with thrilling adventure, lightning-paced action, and street smart realism, Cadillac Jukebox is a brilliant addition to Burke's standout Dave Robicheaux series.

Amazon.com Review
One of Burke's series of crime stories set in the Louisiana bayoucountry, this story chronicles the difficult mission of Sheriff's DeputyDave Robicheaux to confirm the guilt of a redneck named Aaron Crown in thekilling of a civil rights leader back in the 1960s, and to find out whatCrown's recent arrest has to do with an upcoming gubernatorial election. Histask becomes mired in the history and inbred politics of New Iberia andthwarted by a ghoulish hit man who crawls out of the swamps to silence policeinformants. A wild story with enough oddball characters to make itinteresting and worthwhile. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

3-0 out of 5 stars It's Deja Vu All Over Again
"Cadillac Jukebox" (1996) was the ninth novel published by American author James Lee Burke in his massive New York Times bestselling Dave Robicheaux series.Like the earlier books of the series, and most of the series' works to follow, the book, a Southern noir, police procedural/mystery, is set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, more or less home country for Burke, who was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936, and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast.

Aaron Crown has spent decades in Louisiana's notorious Angola prison, sentenced for the murder of the state's most famous black civil rights leader.Nobody's too bent out of shape about that: Crown's family were emigrants from the northern part of the state, shiftless timber people, possibly members of the Ku Klux Klan.Then Crown starts protesting his innocence to Robicheaux, now a detective with the New Iberia Sheriff's office, and Robicheaux starts worrying that the filthy, smelly, uneducated redneck has perhaps been scapegoated for the greater society's sins.But as Robicheaux takes an interest in Crown, strange things start happening.Buford LaRose, scion of a wealthy old Southern family, an academic running -- successfully - for governor, and author of the book that sent Crown to prison, begins taking an interest in Robicheaux; he offers him the job of head of the state police.Buford's beautiful, hot-to-trot wife Karyn, a former flame of Robicheaux's, also is suddenly paying a lot of attention to the detective.Documentary filmmakers trying to prove Crown's innocence are murdered.And New Orleans wiseguys start coming out of the woodwork.Of course, Clete Purcel is around to help, his former partner on the New Orleans Police Department, an overweight, heavy-drinking, brawling, heavily-scarred survivor of the city's tough Irish Channel neighborhood. So is a female cop, Helen Soileau, whom, like Purcell, we will continue to see a lot of in later books in the series.

Dave Robicheaux is of Cajun ancestry, and is still reliving the nightmare of his service in Vietnam. He has a drinking problem, and a tendency to violence.In addition to working for the sheriff, he still owns and operates a boat rental and bait business, while living in the house in which he was actually born.He is assisted in the operation of his business by a black man, Batist, whom we've met before, and will see again.Robicheaux is, by this point, on his third wife, Bootsie.His quietly, illegally adopted daughter, an ethnic Hispanic, whom he's named Alafair, apparently the better to confuse his readers, as Burke's real life daughter, Alafair Burke, is also writing mysteries these days, has morphed into a fairly ordinary American teenager, and she's got her pet, the three-legged raccoon Tripod, whom we've met before and will meet again.

Burke is still writing with energy, passion and power.He's still giving us the odd grotesque character, a sure hallmark of Southern fiction. However, there's little discussion of Robicheaux's father and mother by now, no World War II German sub in the Gulf, and the detective's half-brother Jimmie, who associated with gangsters, is mentioned only briefly, in one sentence, as having been ordered shot by a New Orleans gangster.But people who've known the detective long time still call him by the nickname "Streak," for a supposed skunk white streak in his black hair - that Jimmie also had-- that's meant to reflect childhood malnutrion.Some of Burke's characters are now beginning to resemble each other in the many Robicheaux books: the New Orleans gangster Robicheaux has known since childhood.The handsome, arrogant, ruthless rich man of good family who doesn't care whom he hurts in acquiring his great wealth.The beautiful hot-to-trot wife of the rich man, with whom Robicheaux has a romantic history.The dangerous Southerner.The hit man from Brooklyn. Burke tells us that, as both the New Orleans and Brooklyn accents grow out of the Irish accent, the accents of these two cities resemble each other.And the outcomes some of these characters meet are also beginning to resemble each other.Obviously, at this point, eight books into the successful Robicheaux series, Burke is beginning to allow his work to reflect his inner needs, as best-selling writers often do.

More than anything else, seems to me, in Burke's work, we'll enjoy some of the most beautiful, knowledgeable writing ever committed to paper about the flora, fauna, geography, and human occupants of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, now so much in the news.Burke attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute; later received B. A. and M. A. degrees from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, a pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps. His work has twice been awarded an Edgar for Best Crime Novel of the Year. At least eight of his novels, including the more recent Jolie Blon's Bounce, andPurple Cane Road (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)have been New York Times bestsellers."Cadillac Jukebox" has its moments, but many readers may find it deja vu all over again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Southern Crime
The regular characters of the bayou are back in this Dave Robicheaux novel as well as the usual pyscho killer.
Thecharacters are colorful . The plot is okay.I'm not sure why the pyscho killer was hired to kill but, I never lost interest in the story. This novel is really 31/2 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lousiana Mobsters!
I really enjoyed this book. The mobsters are so well discribed and play into the plot. The mix of the southern artistocrats and the dirty underworld makes this a fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Burke does it again
James Lee Burke in Cadillac Jukebox does an excellent job of describing the corruption in Louisiana politics that has been around for years. This book kept me on the edge of my seat wondering where it was going next. This was my second Burke book and I will be reading many more. Recommended to all. Keep them coming Mr Burke.

4-0 out of 5 stars Story is good but becoming predictable
This is the third time that JLB has tackled the same type of story: a old murder, an old acquaintance, an old girlfriend and a boyhood friend (who is on the wrong side of the law).

The old murder involves the killing of a NAACP civil rights activist forty years ago by a KKK racist.The old acquaintance is an ex-vietnam marine (sound familiar) who became successful (came from the right side of the tracks) and is now running for Governor.The ex-girlfriend is now the politicians wife who has never forgiven Dave for dumping her.The old boyhood friend is a 'made-man' who has been playing both sides for a while and is now in trouble with everyone.

Needless to say the bad-guys get their cumuppence and the good guys win, but as always there is some collateral damage to someone near Dave.His old friend and bait shop buddy, Batist, gets stuck between a rock and a hard place, but thankfully survives. ... Read more

32. Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
by James Lee Burke
Audio CD: Pages (2008-07-08)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$2.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743576195
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A troubled young woman breezes into Detective Robicheaux's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of his friend -- a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life.

The twists begin when Trish Klein -- the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy -- starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim's child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And can Robicheaux make peace with his friend's murder in time to figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and death? Will his life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy?

In Pegasus Descending, James Lee Burke explores psyches as much as evidence, and tries to make sense of human behavior as well as of his characters' crimes. Richly atmospheric, frightening in its sudden violence, and replete with the sort of puzzles only the best crime fiction creates, Burke's latest novel is an unforgettable roller coaster of passion, surprise, and regret. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (117)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Storytelling
This is one of the better Dave Robicheaux novels.His characters are as compelling as ever and his descriptions of Louisiana almost make you feel as if you have lived there all of your life.This book is equal doses or mystery, procedural drama, and social commentary.The marks against it are for the fact the Bella Lujian seems to be a reqworking of the same old Robicheaux villains and for the over the top connection to Katrina.If Burke needed to make a statement about Katrina he could have done it through a story instead of a sermon.

5-0 out of 5 stars pegasus Descending
Another excellent Dave Robicheaux novel by James Lee Burke, a master storyteller. You'll feel you're actually down there in New Orleans and in New Iberia, LA .

Riveting murder mystery as are all of Burke's books. I'd recomment this to anyone who likes to read a book he hates to put down.I'm only sorry that I got to the end of the book. I keep wanting more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pegasus Descending - A Dave Robicheaux novel
James Lee Burke is a brilliant storyteller who writes multilayered, gripping, thrilling mysteries that are profoundly honest as they capture the flavor of the Louisiana bayou atmosphere.His work is intelligent, thoughtful, satisfying, and beautifully atmospheric.Burke's prose is lyrical, his characters complex, sharply and richly drawn.Burke has won two Edgar Awards and many New York Times bestsellers. I have read all of his books and eagerly look forward to the next one.

5-0 out of 5 stars "...wish to rise? Begin by descending...plan a tower to reach the clouds? Lay ...the foundation in humility." St. Augustus
Dave Robicheaux is working on three cases that he comes to believe are connected.

The first is the case of a young co-ed who is found dead of apparent suicide but the facts don't add up.

Then there is a black vagrant whose body is found in a gulley by the road. He is so decomposed, he is given the nickname the Crustation man. Not many people would care for the apparent victim of a hit and run but to Dave, it is a matter of justice.

Besides the third case, Dave is asked to question a young woman who is passing money at a casino that looks like it has the markings of a former hold up. Dave finds that this woman is the daughter of a friend that Dave had seen killed during an armored car robbery.

The third death is that of a college student. There had been a racial incident and the black man involved was known to sell drugs. The ambitious district attorney views this man as the main suspect when the college student is killed. However, Dave thinks that the man is being set up.

James Lee Burke is a master and the reader is glued to the action as Dave attemps to sort these crimes out. All of this is happening as New Orleans is on the verge of Hurricane Katrina and the destruction that storm brought with it.

Dave Robicheaux, with his sense of justice, his faith and his unstable temper is one of the great characters in literature. Together with his loyal but flawed side-kick Clete Purcel, these two characters leave an imprint that is unmatched.

5-0 out of 5 stars RECOMMENDED
I have read a few books in this series and am always pleased.For me, they are interesting, paced well, and exciting.It is hard to put them down.While the plot might be a little predictable, I particularly enjoy the writing and the language.The author combines street slang with some really intelligent dialogue in a seamless flow.Dave, the main character, is especially eloquent in his very Southern choice of words as he waxes philosophical.The rough action is well balanced by laments of the treatment of people and the ills of society.Some passages are almost poetical as the book appeals to the intellect as well as more earthy passions. ... Read more

33. Purple Cane Road (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)
by James Lee Burke
Audio Cassette: Pages (2000-08-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671582151
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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 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 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.Amazon.com Review
In New Iberia, Louisiana, memories are long and dangerous, and the past and present are seldom easy to untangle. Homicide investigator Dave Robicheaux is trying to help Letty Labiche, a New Iberia girl on death row for killing the man who molested her and her sister as children, when chance brings him to Zipper Clum, a pimp and pornographer who recognizes Robicheaux secondhand through a 30-year haze:

"Robicheaux, your mama's name was Mae.... Wait, it was Guillory before she married. That was the name she went by ... Mae Guillory. But she was your mama," he said.

"What?" I said.

He wet his lips uncertainly.

"She dealt cards and still hooked a little bit. Behind a club in Lafourche Parish. This was maybe 1966 or '67," he said.

Clete's eyes were fixed on my face. "You're in a dangerous area, sperm breath," he said to Zipper.

"They held her down in a mud puddle. They drowned her," Zipper said.

To Robicheaux, whose memories of the fun-loving Mae are few and bittersweet, the news comes like a bolt of lightning. Though she abandoned him to the uncertain mercies of a violent, alcoholic father, he loved her, and his desire to find her killers--cops in the pay of the Giacano crime family, according to Clum--is instantaneous and deeply felt. Unfortunately, Zipper Clum meets the wrong end of a .25 automatic soon after his electrifying announcement, but his conversation with his killer is recorded--and Mae Guillory's name comes up again.

The winding trail of evidence connected to both Letty Labiche and Mae Guillory leads Robicheaux almost immediately to Jim Gable, the New Orleans Police Department's liaison with city hall, whose position has afforded him a number of less-than-legal advantages. Gable also happens to be an ex-lover of Robicheaux's wife, Bootsie--formerly the widow of Ralph Giacano. From there the web of connections grows ever wider, and (not surprisingly) incriminates those in high places. These include the state attorney general, a woman who, if photographic evidence is to be trusted, was once friendly with the Labiches' parents, who were known procurers.

But if Purple Cane Road has its share of corrupt powermongers, it's also filled with beautifully rounded characters, like piano-playing governor Belmont Pugh and hit man Johnny Remeta, whose personality slowly begins to unravel as he gets closer to Robicheaux's daughter. The plot converges seamlessly to its climax--the true story of what happened to Mae Robicheaux--as James Lee Burke's trademark of uncompromising justice is brought to fruition. Like Burke's other Robicheaux novels, Purple Cane Road offers a solidly satisfying piece in the picture of a complex hero. --Barrie Trinkle ... Read more

Customer Reviews (103)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Faulkner of Crime Fiction
I notice one of the blurbs on the book's jacket calls James Lee Burke "the Faulkner of crime fiction" and I couldn't agree more. With description as spare and terse as the notes in a police blotter, Burke brings to life the aching, haunting beauty of southern Louisiana and the complex, morally compromised lives of the people who inhabit the borderlands between polite society and lawlessness, making a convincing argument that most of us wander closer to the edge than we probably care to acknowledge. In the meantime, the plot races from one terse, heartbreaking setpiece to the next, making the story almost impossible to put down.

I love how the author assumes his readers are clever enough to infer what is happening; I love how he never uses 10 ordinary words when 2 brilliant words (or a gorgeous simile, or a devastatingly quick flashback, often to the Vietnam War) will suffice; and I love how he challenges the reader to reflect upon what constitutes morality; but, most of all, I love becoming so vested in characters that they have the power to break my heart. By almost any definition, this is a work of literature disguised as crime fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Purple Cane Road
James Lee Burke has really outdone himself in this writing.Although I am probably one of his newest fans I really enjoyed reading "Purple Cane Road".His characters are so well developed and realistic and are truly believable.The plot is scintillating and engrossing.Those two attributes make this novel a must read and a best seller in my book.

Detective Dave Robicheaux finds himself involved in a double investigation, one to clear Letty Labiche, a death row murderer, and one to determine if the New Orleans Police Department is actually responsible for the death of his mother, Mae, some thirty years earlier, as confessed to him by a local snitch.There is the expected violence, even murder, but it all falls neatly into place as part of the story telling.This is a story well told and I look forward to reading more of Burke's mysteries.

E.J. Walden, author of "Operation Snow Owl"

5-0 out of 5 stars Burkke Meets Expectations
This is a typical Dave Robicheaux novel with all of his wonderful, colorful characters.Any James Lee Burke fan should not be disappointed.His plot and settings are exciting.His desriptions of Louisiana are so real, you can smell the smells and feel the air.Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love James Lee Burke
I LOVE James Lee Burke, especially the Thorn series, being from Key West...His descriptions of settings are amazing and accurate.
I also LOVE all of his other writing, and recommend him to everyone I know who is into other authors of his style or locations...
Further, I would like to recommend Alifair Burke to anyone who is a fan of James Lee Burke or his style.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Robicheaux
This is the 11th entry in the Dave Robicheaux series. Dave is a recovering alcoholic, a deputy sheriff of New Iberia, Louisiana, a widower now remarried and father to an adopted teenage daughter. He fights the good fight, against huge odds, where the ends justify the means and is usually paired with his friend and old partner, ex-cop Clete Purcell. Both are capable of incredible violence. To put it mildly Dave, (and Clete for that matter), has a past - which rears its ugly head in this book specifically concerning Dave's mother's life and death.

I was a little late coming to this series and I'm still meandering my way through it. These books are very well written, poetic at times and very dark with a slew of smarmy characters - crooked politicians, two bit thugs, underworld kingpins and assorted losers on the wrong side of the law. The latter is what keeps bringing me back to this author. I'm not sure if these folks are an accurate description of the dark side of Louisiana humanity or a tribute to Burke's imagination - probably a combination of both.

Regardless, they and Dave make for some highly entertaining reading.
... Read more

34. Fine Just The Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3
by Annie Proulx
Audio CD: Pages (2008-09-09)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$7.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0044KMSMA
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Returning to the territory of "Brokeback Mountain" (in her first volume of Wyoming Stories) and Bad Dirt (her second), National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx delivers a stunning and visceral new collection. In Fine Just the Way It Is, she has expanded the limits of the form. Her stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in the West are a ferocious, dazzling panorama of American folly and fate.

"Every ranch...had lost a boy," thinks Dakotah Hicks as she drives through "the hammered red landscape" of Wyoming, "boys smiling, sure in their risks, healthy, tipped out of the current of life by liquor and acceleration, rodeo smashups, bad horses, deep irrigation ditches, high trestles, tractor rollovers and 'unloaded' guns. Her boy, too...The trip along this road was a roll call of grief."

Proulx's characters try to climb out of poverty and desperation but get cut down as if the land itself wanted their blood. Deeply sympathetic to the men and women fighting to survive in this harsh place, Proulx turns their lives into fiction with the power of myth -- and leaves the reader in awe.The winner of two O. Henry Prizes, Annie Proulx has been anthologized in nearly every major collection of great American stories. Her bold, inimitable language, her exhilarating eye for detail and her dark sense of humor make this a profoundly compelling collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

1-0 out of 5 stars How bad does bad get?
Perhaps the strong reviews were written by Hired Hands!!!I kept searching for something positive and finally gave up after reading 4 stories.Certainly not up to O'Henry style.

5-0 out of 5 stars Annie Proulx kills us once again.
Bitter misfortune oozes from every sentence in "Fine Just the Way It Is," Annie Proulx's third and latest collection of Wyoming stories. Once again, Proulx finds imaginative ways to marinate her unfortunate characters in every conceivable form of pain, injury, and humiliation, and she makes us love it. To say the best of these stories have gut-punch power is to understate their impact severely.

Three of the stories in this volume rank with Proulx's very best. These are "Them Old Cowboy Songs," in which she creates a teenage pioneer couple, makes us like them very, very much, and then obliterates them; "Tits-Up in a Ditch," the story of a ranch-bred girl turned Iraq War soldier, in which Proulx reminds us that some fates may be worse than death; and "Family Man," a Chekhovian tragicomedy about old vs. young and cowboys vs. city folk, showing the myriad ways in which people misunderstand and misprize each other. But every story in the book is worthwhile, though I would caution readers against reading the book straight through. Too much undiluted Proulxvian pessimism would make even Samuel Beckett blanch, and the two satirical stories set in Hell, though witty and fun, can whiz right past you coming straight off "Them Old Cowboy Songs." These are stories to be savored (and internalized) one at a time.

The Chinese have a curse: "May you live in interesting times." I have an even more dire curse: "May Annie Proulx write the story of your life."

5-0 out of 5 stars bittersweet, still
She stole my heart with Brokeback Mountain. And still does. Many readers are derailed by her almost brutal presentation of life. She does not sugar-coat the harshness of this journey, nor does she hide the palpable beauty of love. The visits with el diablo were a change, and a jumping jolt, reminding us of human greed, and its' dire consequences.

4-0 out of 5 stars More than Fine
Annie Proulx is a fearless writer.Her prose can be as uncompromising as the Wyoming landscape she inhabits, but, like it, laden with complexity; as well, it can paint poetic images (crones vied for the favors of palsied men with beef jerkey arms.The men could taken their pick of shapeless housecoats and flowery skeletons.""Herons flying upstream, their color matching the sky so closely they might have been eyes of wind."Each piece deals with yet another aspect of the history of the land, and it is amazing how she manages to find fresh subject material to mine.I know of no other writer who could cast a character known as Mizpah Fur, a women so depressed by her barrenness that she gets fixated on a bunch of sagebrush, coddling and nurturing it like a child.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great The Way It Is
Super book! I just love Annie Proulx's writing style! Her words just come off the page and evoke my imagination like no other writer does! Frankly, this book is everything I expected. I was curious about Brokeback Mountain when it appeared in the New Yorker magazine. When I saw the movie I just had to read the story to find out more. If you want to read more about Wyoming and the country life this book is for you! When I go visit my friend's ranch here in New Mexico, Annie Proulx's stories come alive for me. Her writing style, again, is very polished and to the point. I am very happy I ordered this book from Amazon. ... Read more

35. Jolie Blon's Bounce
by James Lee Burke
Audio CD: Pages (2006-02-26)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$2.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743552067
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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New Iberia, Louisiana, is reeling from a one-two punch of brutal rape-homicides, and drug-addicted blues singer Tee Bobby Hulin has been tagged as the prime suspect. No stranger to bucking popular opinion, police detective Dave Robicheaux senses it's not Hulin behind the atrocities. With his longtime friend, Clete Purcel, Robicheaux treads among land mines of injustice, mob payoffs, and deadly secrets, all the while guessing: whom can he trust and whom should he fear?Amazon.com Review
Dave Robicheaux, the Louisiana cop who's easily one of the most complex and compelling protagonists in mystery fiction, confronts his own demons as well as a brutal adversary who might be the devil himself in this dark thriller. This is classic James Lee Burke, the master stylist, writing at the top of his game:

"I wanted to drive deep into the Atchafalaya Swamp, past the confines of reason, into the past... on the tree-flooded alluvial rim of the world, where the tides and the course of the sun were the only measures of time (and) all you had to do was release yourself from the prison of restraint, just snip loose the stitches that sewed your skin to the hairshirt of normalcy."
The plot hinges on a pair of murders that don't seem to be connected--a mobbed-up prostitute and a pretty young teenage girl--and the Cajun blues singer accused of both crimes. Robicheaux believes that Tee Bobby Hulin, the gifted musician whose original composition provides the title for this brilliantly realized Gothic crime novel, is innocent. Proving it puts him in the sights of a vicious old overseer named Legion, whose almost supernatural powers nearly drown Robicheaux in the swamp of his own addictions. The narrative proceeds slowly, but Burke's dedicated fans won't begrudge him one beautifully turned phrase, gloriously limned description, or insightful characterization: they just don't get any better than this one. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (86)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good idea pretentiously written and ultimately unbelievable...
The book started off with an interesting premise but the deus ex machina ending was almost laughable. I don't know if Burke likes to screw with his readers or not, but I don't see how he could have written the last part of the book with a straight face. If you liked how 'Twin Peaks' introduced aliens into the mix, then you probably will like the plot, but for me that was the end. How can you take a plot seriously when the author has to resort to divine intervention?

I also wish he'd give up on the Vietnam vet PTSD angle; it's unrealistic for the character and Burke's moralizing is discordant with the book.

The Dave Robichaux books are starting to become a bit formulaic; Robichaux has a run-in with a bad guy which leads to him taking his lumps, doubting himself, then coming back to kick ass. It works well in some books, and not so well in others. It didn't work that well in this book. Burke's description of south Louisiana is pretty accurate but his excesses on the culture are also a little too formulaic and play too much to stereotypes.

If you can handle a plot where God has to intervene in order to wrap things up neatly, then this is your book. If you'd like more gritty realism, then Burke's just a little too far down the bayou. Cheaper than $9.99, and the first part will tide you over a transcontinental flight, but expect to feel somewhat disappointed by the end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark, gothic, brilliant and also funny...
Last night I finished re-reading Jolie Blon's Bounce and I think I loved it better this time than I did when I first read it five years ago. It is part of Burke's terrific Dave Robicheaux series set in New Iberia, Louisiana and it seethes with atmosphere from alligators peering through Spanish moss hung trees to the ominous dark clouds laced with lightning hovering over the Gulf of Mexico but not coming ashore to relieve the relentless drought and heat. Dave Robicheaux may be one of the most interesting characters in American literature, a tormented cop with a history of addiction and bad luck with women. James Lee Burke may be one of the best writers in American literature with a gift for description, of both characters and settings, that is so finely-tuned you are rarely aware of the writing you get so lost in the story.

So the last few evenings I've been deep into New Iberia amid a cast of zydeco musicians, gangsters, Cajun fishermen, corrupt cops, good cops battling personal demons, and the offspring of plantation slaves. Two of the characters in particular, the relentlessly evil Cajun plantation overseer Legion Guidry and the mysterious Vietnam vet Sal Angelo, may not even be of this world. The ending is a little unsettling because we still aren't quite sure what happened but for me, that's good stuff. I've never been a fan of too-neat endings.

I am a reader who is very particular about the writing technique of the author. If an author's style is so noticeable that it distracts from the story I have a hard time sticking with the story. When I read fiction I want to get lost, totally lost with no distracting reminder that this is a story written by someone who has some stylistic quirks. I never have to worry with James Lee Burke.

While I have a lot of respect for writers of contemporary gothic novels with lots of creepy creatures, like Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris and Stephanie Meyer, I can't get enough of writers like Burke who can weave a spell that sucks me into a dark and mysterious world, dazzles my imagination, and leaves me a little unsure of what just happened.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extreme hard-boiled noir that does not go by the rule book
Those who love this book do so for, I believe, the same reason that others hate it.You don't see what's coming up at any point.Rationality is not a quality you'll find in any of the characters.Each has his or her personal demon. Then there's Legion who appears to be a demon in his own right possessing a supernatural aura.I'm not going into the plot here.Lots of other folks have done that.Reading this book is to enter a murky, tangled world where truth and justice are abstracts that don't really exist.There are no heroes here.Dave Rubicheaux is a character you can be admiring at one moment and dispising the next.He is strong and towering at times, and at others, he's weak and a victim of forces beyond his ken. I give this five stars because that's how it struck me.You might agree with this rating.You might not. Regardless, this is a book I highly recommend that you read.If you follow that recommendation, you may thank me afterwards.Then again, you might curse me.Who knows?

1-0 out of 5 stars Jolie Blon's Bounce Flat
This is the only book by James Lee Burke that I did not enjoy and I have read them all.He seems to have lost all of his ability to hold a story together. Boring too!

5-0 out of 5 stars James Lee Burke Fan
In trying to read EVERY possible novel by my newest, most fav author, Amazon has been a treasure chest!!!I have found books on cd through Amazon(PLUS a couple of movies made from a few of the books) that even our libraries don't have!!! Thank you!!!! ... Read more

36. Crusader's Cross: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries)
by James Lee Burke
Audio CD: Pages (2005-07-12)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$26.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743550005
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Critically acclaimed and bestselling crime writer James Lee Burke returns to Louisiana where his ever-popular hero, Dave Robicheaux, sleuths his way through a hotbed of sin and uncertainty.

For Dave Robicheaux, life in Louisiana is filled with haunting memories of the past. In Crusader's Cross, a deathbed confession from an old schoolmate resurrects a story of injustice, the murder of a young woman, and a time in Robicheaux's life he has tried to forget.

Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin. It was back in the innocent days of the 1950s when Robicheaux and his brother, Jimmie, met her on a Galveston beach. She was pretty and Jimmie fell for her hard -- not knowing she was a prostitute on infamous Post Office Street, with ties to the mob. Then Ida was abducted and never seen again.

Now, decades later, Robicheaux is asking questions about Ida Durbin, and a couple of redneck deputy sheriffs make it clear that asking questions is a dangerous game. With a series of horrifying murders and the sudden appearance of Valentine Chalons and his sister, Robicheaux is soon involved with the murderous energies of the New Orleans underworld. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (116)

5-0 out of 5 stars Robicheaux Winner
Another great Dave Robicheaux novel by James Lee Burke. Not only are Burke's stories very detailed and surprising mysteries, but even the detailed descriptions of the New Iberia area gives you that hot, steamy feeling of South Louisiana.

The characters are very interesting, whether friend or foe, and Burke makes you see them in your mind.

I have all of James Lee Burke's books and have never been disappointed in any of them. Burke is right up there with Hemingway and Faulkner.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and boring audio book.
I found this audio version of Crusader's Cross to be boring and did not hold my interest at all.It could be the reader, Will Pattons' tone put me to sleep but I found this book hard to follow, uneventful and not worth the effort. I have other James Lee Burke novels to listen to and hope these are better.The rating on Amazon does not reflect well with how I did not enjoy this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Writing 5 stars; story 2 stars
I am seriously out of step with the majority of people here. Like some others, I find the writing skill to be just ducky but the story made utterly no sense to me. Worse, the finale was utter and complete gibberish.

Mild Spoiler Ahead

The ending was so confused and senseless that even in retrospect I can't understand it. Was the killer acting alone or not? The killer, when identified, had no obvious connection to the crimes when looking backward at the rest of the story. It just had nothing at all linking the killer to the story. This book, therefore, fails utterly as a mystery novel.

End of spoiler

The protagonist is one of those standard ones warped from a Chandler novel. By warped, I mean he's not a Chandler character but rather one from Chandler wannabees. Have you heard this one before - the main character is a drunk who barges around pushing people this way and that, not listening to reasonable advice, making trouble wherever he goes and generally is a dangerous annoyance. Yet everybody loves him and the main girl goes for him big time.

He is supposed to be a detective but he detects nothing. Instead, he wastes public money following his own personal silly concerns and yet is kept on the public payroll. In the end, no one solves the mystery. Instead the killer just comes out.

The protagonist's nemesis, for no reason obvious, self destructs. The quest the protagonist claims to be on is banal beyond belief. The area the novel takes place in has only a few types: burned out civil servants; crazy violent hillbillies, prostitutes and their pimps, rich but corrupt gentry; shuffling blacks doing the yowza routine and do gooders from outside the area. Nobody just gets up, goes to work and then comes home to his family like a human would do.

I cannot recommend this mess.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dirty language, low-brow plot = TRASH
Yet another piece of garbage from Burke that I had could not finish but toss into the trash where it belongs.Glad I only paid a dollar for it at a lib book sale!

Burke's Dave R. in this one is a useless bumbling idiot, or lower--two steps lower, anyway.Dirty nasty language throughout, f*** this and f*** that, sexual episodes and sexual descriptions, all unnecessary to any decent detective story but used over and over as filler for Burke's inability to create a cohesive and interesting plot that goes somewhere besides visiting someone's crotch.I have no idea what Burke's regular readers see in this trash, or why they buy such garbage, unless...hmmm, well, maybe....

Here, a weak-kneed bumbler, laughingly called a detective, detects virtually nothing, doesn't have the sense to lock a door, pull a shade down, or get in out of the rain.This is the lowest of Burke's low-brow offerings...it seems Burke is unable to create a story so he just strings boring sexual encounters together with various boring idiot characters that add little to the tale.All the overdone descriptions of who wears what, from shoes to hats and hair is just plain silly, at best, but then there's the real need for yet more filler material.

Don't buy this one, folks, or any other of Burke's stuff from his private vomitorium; save your money, buy a gallon or two of gas while it's still affordable.You'll feel better and it will get you somewhere.

Oh, yes, thanks to Burke, my view of Louisiana has dropped lower than the collective IQ of ALL of Burke's idiot characters, which, collectively, I emphasize, struggles to reach 50.

5-0 out of 5 stars James Lee Burke Fan
In trying to read EVERY possible novel by my newest, most fav author, Amazon has been a treasure chest!!!I have found books on cd through Amazon(PLUS a couple of movies made from a few of the books) that even our libraries don't have!!! Thank you!!!! ... Read more

37. Primal Fear: Price-Less
by William Diehl
Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-04-06)
list price: US$8.99
Isbn: 0375405747
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Specially priced! Chicago, 1983. A sainted bishop is found murdered, mutilated, and dismembered in his chambers. An angelic-looking young man is discovered moments later hiding in a confessional, covered with blood, and proclaiming his innocence. The basis for the movie starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton.Amazon.com Review
In Chicago, a sainted archbishop is murdered, mutilated, and dismembered in his rectory.Aaron Stampler, an angelic-looking youngman, is found crouched in a confessional, covered with blood, clutchinga butcher's knife, swearing his innocence.

Martin Vail is the brilliant lawyer every prosecutor and politician lovesto hate.It is up to him to defend Stampler, the young human monster.Butfirst he must uncover the horrifying truth about the crime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars More suspense than fear
This first of a series set the stage.It's all there - the driven, self-made brilliant defense lawyer, the loving assistant, grouchy judge, legal buddies and enigmatic client.The only problem with the book was that the prelude predominated.An inordinate amount of time was spent before the trial and in some ways, the trial could have been an afterthougth.Still, it held one's attention, especially the star of the show.(Can't help but picture Richard Gere saying those lines!) My Grade -A-

5-0 out of 5 stars William Diehl-One of the best for Mystery and Suspense
Primal Fear. A believable story. It could happen.

Aaron Stampler, accused of murdering a church Bishop plays to the reader's compassion with his stutter and country charisma. We think that Aaron is truly innocent, as we subconsciously help his defense attorney, Martin Vail, to get his client acquitted.But Aaron is not your typical country bumpkin.He is equipped with a clever psychotic mind that manipulates his attorney and the reader's mind and leads them on a trail of doubt of his guilt.

The story is suspenseful and well written with great character development and a look into the mind of a person with multiple personality disorder. Diehl cleverly masks the truth through Primal Fear and keeps the reader turning pages until the real truth of the murder is revealed in an unsuspected ending.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is an absolute classic andone of the very best psychological thrillers.
This book is an absolute classic andone of the very best psychological thrillers.

In Chicago, a mutilating crime is committed against an archbishop.A suspect confess to the crime,But Aaron Stampler is not your ordinarily criminal. He has multiple personality disorders.

His attorney, Martin Vail, after being forced to take the case, assembles a great team to prive that his client is innocent.

Fast-paced and thorough, this thriller combines the best elements of the legal and psychological thriller genres to make for a fantastic read.Diehl is a first-rate writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Thrillers With Major Twists And Turns!
Primal Fear is such an awesome story and we certainly have Richard Gere and Edward Norton to thank for bringing these characters to life on the movie screen. This movie really was a thriller that had major twists and turns that hit you with shock and struck you with awe by the end of the movie. You are left thinking, 'like,oh my God,who would have ever thought Stampler was faking multiple personality disorder all along when he acted as though he really had it and had Vail and Molly the psychiatrist buying it. It is no wonder Vail says at the end to Stampler, 'You're good...you are really, really good,' And when we find out that Aaron never existed and that it was Roy all along, by the end of this movie you are thinking 'Wow, this was a shocker!!!' I think that was the classic shocking part of the movie. Who would have ever thought a criminal was that crafty to fake multiple personality disorder syndrome to get away with the crime and get off on insanity. The Aaron/Roy character really was SOME character!!! Edward Norton really played it to perfection!!! Originally they wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of Aaron/Roy but apparently DiCaprio turned down the offer and Norton took over the role. I give Norton 10 stars all the way because he played the role so cool and natural and sly. Richard Gere gets 10 stars all the way as big shot defense attorney Martin Vail because he really gave a powerful, dramatic performance as a lawyer looking to make it big on the cover of magazines and in the public eye. I own the movie and practically know every line to it. This is a definite favorite thriller of mine for life. I recommend seeing the actual movie and compare it to the book and you will see how the book comes to life on screen by two very talented performers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Highly Enjoyable Courtroom Thriller
PRIMAL FEAR is one of the best courtroom thrillers I've read in a while.The plot is fast paced, the characters are well developed, and the Chicago setting is vividly atmospheric.There are also some genuinely surprising twists in the plot.This work is far better than your usual effort by John Grisham or Steve Martini.

Storywise, this novel is quite over the top, which makes it more of a guilty pleasure than a true classic.It doesn't surprise me that this novel was turned into a successful movie, since PRIMAL FEAR is structured very much like a blockbuster film.Still, that is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the book entertains.This one does that, and it does it consistently.

My only warning about this novel is that it is quite graphic and not very friendly in tone toward organized religion.So socially conservative readers should steer clear of this one.

The author, William Diehl, passed away a few years ago, which is a shame since he was obviously very talented.He apparently did not start writing novels until he was in his fifties, so he had something of a late start.I'm surprised he is not better known in the thriller field.
... Read more

38. Gump & Co.
by Winston Groom, Will Patton
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1995-09-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$1.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067153680X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The "Gump" phenomenon continues! Forrest Gump is back! The lovable man for all ages, who captured America's heart in the #1 bestselling novel "Forrest Gump" and in the blockbuster film, returns in the long-awaited sequel to the book hailed by Larry King as "the funniest novel I have ever read." A little older, and wiser in his own unique way, he is still running through the kaleidoscopic events of our times -- and straight into the age of greed and instant gratification known as the 1980s. When "Gump & Co." begins, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has gone bust and Forrest is flat broke, sweeping floors in a New Orleans strip joint and trying to raise his son, little Forrest, who needs his father more than ever. As always in Forrest's easy-come-easy-go life, a change in the weather is never far off...and when the opportunity to play championship football comes his way once more, Forrest is back in the limelight and in the money. Forrest's remarkable, touching, and utterly comic odyssey has just begun: in store for him is his own dubious recipe for adding life to New Coke; an encounter with Ollie North; and a chance yet again to unwittingly twist the nose of history. The Rollicking Sequel to the # 1 "New York Times" Bestseller "Forrest Gump." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars Will Patton, Storyteller
I started listening to audiobooks while I was remodeling my house.I learned very early that the work goes smoother and quicker if I had background music or story telling.No one can read a story better than Will Patton, and this audio book is no exception.I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the further adventures of Forest Gump through his reading.What an enjoyable time!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant read.
I was thrilled with how quickly (and cheaply)my book was shipped. Cute story, but alot if it was in the movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Gump Is Pretty Good
If you liked the first book, "Forrest Gump," you'll probably like the sequel, "Gump & Co."Following the formula of the first novel, which I would say was pretty interesting, there all kinds of new adventures and problems for Forrest Gump, the lovable idiot.Because of the movie, Winston Groom, who wrote the books, kills Gump's mother and Jenny Curran off at the beginning of the novel, and then uses Jenny as a ghost to advise and warn Forrest.Meanwhile, there is also little Forrest, who eventually accepts Gump as his daddy.In between, all kinds of things happen to Gump, including an exploding pig farm, the insider trading scandal with Ivan Boesky, Iran-Contra with Oliver North and Desert Storm, featuring Saddamn Hussein.Lots of laughs and enjoyment.I hear they might make a sequel movie out of the material, and that would be fine.So what's my final opinion of Forrest Gump?I would tell you, but "I got to pee."

4-0 out of 5 stars Gump & Co. is a ok book
Gump & Co. is a good book. You'd have to read the first book (Forrest Gump) to get whet happens in this book. Winston Groom has a way of making every thing that he writes funny. Because Forrest Gump is "special in the head", he gets into trouble.
A very good book that most people should read.
four Star book

1-0 out of 5 stars Killed
It seems like after the entire fiasco with Winston Groom and not getting any money from what the Forest Gump movie made.....he decided to go on a rampage and just rip the entire Forest Gump image apart.

Most of the time people say that the book is better than the movie, it's the other way around in ths case. Groom was saved if he was putting out BS like this. ... Read more

39. Cosmopolis: ANovel
by Don DeLillo
Audio CD: Pages (2003-04-01)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$1.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743528492
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

It is an April day in the year 2000 and an era is about to end -- those booming times of market optimism when the culture boiled with money and corporations seemed more vital and influential than governments.

Eric Packer, a billionaire asset manager at age 28, emerges from his penthouse triplex and settles into his lavishly customized white stretch limousine. On this day he is a man with two missions: to pursue a cataclysmic bet against the yen and to get a haircut across town.

His journey to the barbershop is a contemporary odyssey, funny and fast-moving. Stalled in traffic by a presidential motorcade, a music idol's funeral and a violent political demonstration, Eric receives a string of visitors -- his experts on security, technology, currency, finance and theory. Sometimes he leaves the car for sexual encounters and sometimes he doesn't have to.

Cosmopolis, Don DeLillo's thirteenth novel, is both intimate and global, a vivid and moving account of a spectacular downfall. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (79)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Don's Best
Cosmopolis reads like classic DeLillo, but feels more like a sketch than a novel or even a novella. Structurally it resembles some of Delillo's fuller novels like Mao II and Falling Man, with many enjoyable scenes or sections, and it's plot has lots of potential; it just doesn't follow through with any of it. It's almost like he outlined where he wanted the novel to go, gave it a quick literary once-over, and then got bored and just stopped writing. I guess the publishers dug it enough, or just dug DeLillo's name enough, to put this thing out there as is, seemingly unfinished (ie. not unresolved; the plot follows through, it just lacks heft). There probably wasn't too much editing involved unless the editor was a major sadist 'cause this book reads like is was skinned alive.

3-0 out of 5 stars A day in the Lilliputian life of a Master of the Universe
"Cosmopolis" depicts, from dawn to dawn, a single day in the life of one of Wall Street's self-anointed Masters of the Universe. Currency trader Eric Packer, forewarned with vague ("status urgent") rumors of assassins and threatened more ominously by his own crisis of faith, steps into his white limousine and decides that he wants to get a haircut on the other side of town. Within the miles of street life between the East and Hudson rivers, Eric is waylaid by several women (including his new wife, whom he barely knows), by pastry-throwing and rat-hurling attention seekers, by the lures of a quiet bookstore and a deafening techno-rave, by a choreographed riot bordering on street theater (or vice versa), by a funeral procession and a presidential visit, and by traffic--lots and lots of traffic.

On the one hand, I found myself completely sucked into the idea of Eric's journey: the mocking absurdity of his 24-hour trek from one side of midtown Manhattan to the other, simply to get a haircut and to find the meaning of life; the comic ludicrousness of his adventures; the unexpected and random brutality of the final chapters. There are scenes that stop just short of dazzling in their acidic humor, like Eric's proctology exam conducted inside the limousine while he faces his financial adviser, sweaty from her morning jog. And things become weirdly poignant (almost) when Eric whimsically joins his wife amidst dozens of nude extras lying on the street for the filming of a movie.

On the other hand, the novel seems to beg the reader for relevance; it's as if DeLillo went into a coma during the Sixties and, lately emerged, can't begin to comprehend the excess and the nonsense of modern America. Like the novel's billionaire protagonist waging his fortune against the rise of the yen, DeLillo bets that his readers will know virtually nothing about financial markets or how they work or who works them. As a result, the post-nihilistic, New Age dialogue is peppered with meaningless word clouds salvaged from a day's viewing of CNBC. "Don't trust standard models. Think outside the limits. The yen is making a statement. Read it. Then leap," says the Master to an analyst with "advanced degrees in mathematics and economics"--who for some reason doesn't slap Eric for insulting his intelligence (and ours). Stuff like this has neither the plausibility of market-talk nor the incisiveness of parody.

Eric Packer's self-constructed existence as a Master of the Universe is largely beside the point, anyway; the satire is so broad (capitalists and their hubris, youth and their short attention spans, technology and its impersonal ubiquity, the urban jungle and its hazards) that DeLillo might just as well have made his antihero an overpaid baseball player, a corrupt politician, or a music mogul--any of whom are far more likely to be caught dead in a white limousine in the first place. At the end of "Cosmopolis," we are, I suppose, expected to fathom the emptiness of Eric's life ("The things that made him who he was could hardly be identified much less converted to data"), but DeLillo has created not a man but a cipher that not even he, its creator, seems to understand.

1-0 out of 5 stars Painfully self-consciously aesthetic novella
This read like some sort of bizarre cross between DeLillo's usual affectless style and some awestruck lifestyle piece from GQ, or the more vapid passages of later Tom Wolfe (Man in Full and so forth). The structure and style reflect DeLillo's sparse elegance, but - and one wonders whether this was an attempt at something with broader audience appeal or potential for film adaptation - they and the author struggle to engage with a contrived and clearly unfamiliar world.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Death of Capitalism
I take Packer as a stand-in for capitalism gone wild and savage. There was a line in there somewhere about how the logical conclusion of capitalism is killing. Packer's rapacious and deliberate murder of the world's currencies in one day's time leads him logically to seek the assassin who's been stalking him (a former employee). The two wax philosophically about each other's personality deficits, a bumbling last rites.

3-0 out of 5 stars not DeLillo's best
I loved White Noise and Great Jones Street, so I expected to enjoy Cosmopolis.Although it had some moments of brilliance, the protagonist of this work lacked authenticity, thus the work as a whole failed to capture my interest.If you must read every work by DeLillo, pick it up, but otherwise, you can skip this one. ... Read more

40. The Thomas Berryman Number
by James Patterson
Audio CD: Pages (2006-05-01)
list price: US$19.98 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594834830
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Three terrifying murders in the South culminate in a relentless manhunt in the North that centers on a ruthless assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice. Reprint. NYT. LJ. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Thomas Beryman Number
I was suppose to get a new paperback.I got a paperback with water damage and very smelly.I threw it away.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Thomas Berryman Number by James patterson
I enjoyed this book by my most favorite Author and I was very happy with the shipping.
The book arrived in a litytyle over a week.

4-0 out of 5 stars A unique story-telling method
I found the method with which Patterson chose to tell this story to be quite fascinating.While it didn't always work (at times it became quite confusing), I had to applaud his effort and sheer guts for trying it.

What James Patterson did in this book was to tell the story from the point of view of a reporter who is following the story of an assassin - Thomas Berryman.We are basically reading over the reporter's shoulder as he writes his journal, conducts his interviews and puts together his story ideas.Where it falls off the tracks are the occasional places where we are suddenly put into Berryman's mind when Ochs Jones (the intrepid reporter telling the story) doesn't ever manage to talk to him.Ochs talks to Berryman's girlfriend Oona Quinn (neat name, huh?), his friend Ben Toy (who is in an asylum), and various other people surrounding the case, but never Berryman, so putting us into Berryman's mind feels a bit like cheating.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting story and Patterson does a good job of putting us into the mindset of the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially in the south, where racial tensions were still high and segregation was still the norm.Busing was still an issue and the election of a black man (Jimmie Horn) to be the mayor of Nashville was a big deal.When Horn decides to run for Governor, that's when things start to get really ugly and the death threats start to kick in.

It would be very difficult to provide much information about the plot without throwing out spoilers, so I will leave it at that.Please note that this book is written in the vernacular of the time - late 1960s and early 1970s - not the modern "PC" jargon - so if you are going to be the type to get offended by that, please bear that in mind.However, overall I think this is a book that is worth reading - the style is unusual and I'm always about enticing people to read material that pushes the boundaries of normalcy.Give this one a try, won't you?

1-0 out of 5 stars Very off-putting to a new Patterson reader
I've been collecting all the James Patterson books and intended to read them in order over this winter, starting with this one.If I hadn't already bought the ones after this, I probably wouldn't now, but according to the customer reviews the rest aren't this bad.It's encouraging to me that this one appears to be an exception, validating my low opinion of it.It was impossible to keep track of what was happening when, and to or by whom.Now I wonder if I'll be able to enjoy the rest of his books?

1-0 out of 5 stars WHAT ?!?!?!
I've read almost everything Patterson has written, and loved almost all of it (this book and "The Final Warning" are the exceptions).
I purchased this as an audiobook on CD to listen to when I drive out of town.The first time I put the CD in, I only made it a few chapters before I had to take it out.The second time, I vowed to make it further into the book and "give it a chance".Though I did make it further into the book, I still took it out... disgusted.
I found myself wondering what the heck was going on and not caring about the characters at all.
I just couldn't force myself to listen any longer.
This would be something great to play out loud in a horror movie where you wanted to drive someone crazy... or maybe in a POW camp where you wanted to make someone "talk".
... Read more

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