Read Neonregen by James Lee Burke Free Online
Book Title: Neonregen|
The author of the book: James Lee Burke
ISBN 13: 9783548106700
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.50 MB
Edition: Ullstein Verlag
Date of issue: January 1991
Read full description of the books Neonregen:This is a revised review as of 4/14/2013 with some images to add flavor.
It's like a lot of detective novels set in the 1980s except the real standouts are the fact that it's New Orleans and the author gets that particular sub culture. Burke has an elegant prose and his main character, David Robicheaux, is engaging.
Robicheaux is a 50-something hard boiled detective who survived the Vietnam War yet is still haunted by it and thus turns to drinking (though it becomes evident later he was drinking before he went to war). He has since joined the police force as a detective and has a corrupt partner named Cletus who seems to have the best, crude lines. In this first novel Robicheaux gets caught up in the death of a black prostitute who everybody else seems to want to write off yet Robicheaux feels strangely compelled to poke his nose into things which leads to resistance not only from the mob but his own allies the police.
The tale was certainly very good to great in overall quality and most of the characters are believable to compelling. Word on the street is that the series gets better in time and that's a real good sign as this was a solid and enjoyable book. Veterans of this genre will be more critical, I suspect. This is one of those rare instances in which I checked out the series after seeing the movie.
I would present that the real strengths of this tale (other than it being a solid mystery) are its usual focuses upon the bayou, New Orleans (NOLA) and DR's alcoholism for a dark tragedy comes down upon him and he finds himself drinking that "golden fire" once more (he alludes to drinking before the series started and having an alcoholic father). Rarely have I read something that has made me understand the addictions of alcohol and how hard it is to shake off. But even all those reading pleasures are a still a notch down from the character of New Orleans/The Bayou with its balmy heat waves, summer rains, Poorboy sandwiches, evening skies that are the color of torn plums, cicadas in the purple haze, fireflies lighting up the trees, and, of course, the charm of not just New Orleans but its French Quarter. That makes it a pleasure to read and bumps up the overall quality of the novel. I look forward to reading the next one.
Here are few excerpts from the novel:
The evening sky was streaked with purple, the color of torn plums, and a light rain had started to fall when I came to the end of the blacktop road that cut through twenty miles of thick, almost impenetrable scrub oak and pine and stopped at the front gate of Angola penitentiary.
“Oh, my, you shouldn't have done that,” the man in the raincoat said.
Erik grabbed my hair and slammed my head against the side of the tub. I kicked at all of them blindly, but my feet struck at empty air. Then Bobby Joe locked his powerful arms around my neck and took me over the rim again, his body trembling rigidly with a cruel and murderous energy, and I knew that all my past fears of being shotgunned by a psychotic , of being shanked by an addict, of stepping on a Claymore mine in Vietnam, were just the foolish preoccupation of youth; that my real nemesis had always been a redneck lover who would hold me upside down against his chest while my soul slipped through a green, watery porcelain hole in the earth, down through the depths of the Mekong River, where floated the bodies of other fatigue-clad men and whole families of civilians, their faces still filled with disbelief and the shock of an artillery burst, and farther still to the mossy base of an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, where my father waited for me in his hardhat, coveralls, and steel-tipped drilling boots after having drowned there twenty years ago.
“Why are you so obnoxious, Motley?” Clete said. “Is it because you're fat and ugly, or is it because you're fat and dumb? It's a mystery to us all.”
I slept through the rest of the afternoon and woke in the cooling dusk when the cicadas were loud in the purple haze and the fireflies were lighting in the trees. I showered and felt some of the misery begin to go out of my mind and body, then I took a taxi to the Hertz agency and rented a small Ford.
Because most of the Quarter was closed to automobile traffic at night, I parked the car near the French Market, by the river, and walked back to Bourbon. The street was loud with music from the bars and strip houses, and the sidewalks were filled with tourists, drunks, and street people who were trying to hold on to their last little piece of American geography. My favorite bunch of hustlers and scam artists, the black sidewalk tap dancers, were out in force. They wore enormous iron taps that clipped onto their shoes, and when they danced to the music from the bars, their feet rang on the concrete like horseshoes. A tap dancer would stop a tourist, rivet him in the eyes, and say, “I bet you a half-dollar I can tell you where you got yo' shoes.” If the tourist accepted the wager, the dancer would then say, “You got yo' shoes on yo' feet, and yo' feet is on Bourbon Street. You ain't the kind, now, to back out on yo' bet, is you?”
STORY/PACING: B plus to A minus; DIALOGUE/CHARACTERS: B plus; SETTING: A minus; WHEN READ: December to January 2010 (revised review 4/14/2013); MY GRADE: B plus to A minus.
Read information about the authorJames Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.
Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving a BA and MA from the latter. He has worked at a wide variety of jobs over the years, including working in the oil industry, as a reporter, and as a social worker. He was Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, succeeding his good friend and posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, and preceding Ernest Gaines in the position. Shortly before his move to Montana, he taught for several years in the Creative Writing program at Wichita State University in the 1980s.
Burke and his wife, Pearl, split their time between Lolo, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana. Their daughter, Alafair Burke, is also a mystery novelist.
The book that has influenced his life the most is the 1929 family tragedy "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner.
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