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Jolie Blon's Bounce (Uncorrected Book Proof) Paperback – 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Orion (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752851233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752851235
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
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First Sentence
Growing up during the 1940s in New Iberia, down on the Gulf Coast, I never doubted how the world worked. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would probably read anything written by James Lee Burke simply because I enjoy his style. The vivid details in his descriptions of the deep South, as well as his ability to capture the kind of racial dynamics that have somehow managed to make it into the 21st Century, are remarkable. The writing is often poetic and insightful, and Burke seems to recognize just what it is that separates the truly bad characters from the rest of us. That said, at some point the reader is forced to suspend reality within the pages of Jolie Blon's Bounce, which in my opinion, ultimately becomes more of an allegory about good versus evil than a murder mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
With each successive novel, James Lee Burke delves deeper into the human psyche, and more deeply into his main protaganist, Dave Robicheaux.
Jolie Blon's Bounce centers around Robicheaux trying to connect two seemingly unconnected murders, one a teenager from a farming family, the other a strung-out prostitute. Around this plot swirl a typical rogues gallery of characters that enter Robicheaux's sphere: Tee Bobby Hulin, a blues guitarist and singer who pens the song that becomes the book's title. Jimmy Dean Styles, an ex-boxer and current bar owner and music producer, Marvin Oates, a seemingly innocent bible salesman, Sal Angelo, a Viet Nam vet who may have been with Dave's unit, and one of the nastiest characters Burke has brought to life, the former plantation overseer known simply as "Legion." There is also a duo of lawyers, Perry LaSalle, whose grandfather owned a pepper plantation, and Barbara Shanahan, a beautiful but angry woman who gets involved with Dave's pal Clete Purcel. Throw in some drug dealers, crooked cops, New Orleans mafia and a woman with secrets and you have a dark tale that will have you turning page after page.
Burke's strengths continue in this book: Beautiful prose depicting the Louisiana landscape or gritty descriptions of those who inhabit this otherworldly place. The dialogue smacks you in the face. The characters show multiple dimensions and always have a surprise in store for Dave or the reader. The story works on multiple levels, with the murder mystery nearly secondary to the inner story as Dave uncovers the connection between Legion, LaSalle and Tee Bobby Hulin, and other connections.
My knocks would be that old Streak is getting very close to the edge of not being likable.
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Format: Hardcover
"That night I lay in the dark, sleepless, the trees outside swelling with the wind, the canopy in the swamp trembling with a ghostly white light from the lightening in the south. I had never felt more alone in my life. Once again, I burned, in almost a sexual fashion, to wrap my fingers around the grips and inside the steel guard of a heavy, high caliber pistol, to smell the acrid order of cordite, to tear loose from all the restraints that bound my life and squeezed the breath from my lungs.
And I knew what I had to do."
While I like James Lee Burke and admire his writing ability tremendously, his books usually bother me. His writings will never be confused with happy ever after endings and are full of characters that for the most part, are full of various stages of moral decay. He has an ability to gaze at the world and write about things that haunt us all. In his world, evil is a spectral presence and truly does lurk in the heart of most people. His latest book is even more in that vein with a strongly implied supernatural component to it.
Dave Robicheaux, a Police Detective in New Iberia, Louisiana has seen quite a lot of evil in the world. From the jungles of Vietnam, to the back alleys of New Orleans and now home in New Iberia, he has seen man and woman brutalize and kill total strangers as well as those they profess to love. One late spring day, he is called out to the scene of a brutal rape and murder. The initial suspect is Tee Bobby Hulin, a heavy drug user as well as an accomplished blues singer. While the evidence, what little there is, does point to him, Robicheaux does not believe he did it.
Robicheaux begins to investigate and begins to unravel a horrifying mess of interwoven racial ancestry by rape, murder, and greed.
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Format: Hardcover
"Jolie Blon's Bounce" is so much more than a murder mystery. In this story, Lousiana police detective Dave Robicheaux is searching for clues to solve the murders of two women. Are the two murders related? One of the prime suspects is Legion Guidry. Legion is an evil demon through and through. He is a former overseer on a plantation in southern Louisiana and has a shameful history. Burke does a wonderful job developing the character of Legion and other interesting players in the story.
The other evil demon is Robicheaux's continuing struggle to beat alcholism. Robicheaux flirts briefly with addiction to ampehtamines in his own battle with the bottle.
James Lee Burke does a great job of sharing the thoughts of the police detective with us. As always in his books, his descriptions of the Lousiana bayous are fabulous. You can really feel the humidity and hear the haunting sounds of the bayou.
I think this book would make a great movie. It has it all--great setting, great plot, and memorable characters. A real five-star read.
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