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Last Car to Elysian Fields: A Novel Hardcover – Sep 23 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (Sept. 23 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743245423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743245425
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,344,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
The first week after Labor Day, after a summer of hot wind and drought that left the cane fields dust blown and spiderwebbed with cracks, rain showers once more danced across the wetlands, the temperature dropped twenty degrees, and the sky turned the hard flawless blue of an inverted ceramic bowl. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brad Cooper on June 22 2004
Format: Hardcover
James Lee Burke's lead series character of Dave Robicheaux has become one of my favorites of recent years, and the latest in the Robicheaux series, LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS, certainly does not disappoint. While not necessarily long at around 340 pages, Burke still manages to easily maintain three different storylines that, while seemingly independent of each other, all come together nicely in the end. This installment also illustrates the latest changes in Dave's life as he grows older and wiser. With his daughter Alafair at college and his wife Bootsie deceased, Dave continues on in his life alone. As always, colorful character and Dave's former partner Clete Purcel is a big part of the story and it's always interesting watching the two go back and forth.
The finest recurring quality of all of Burke's books is the beautifully descriptive prose. With the setting in the Louisiana bayou, Burke's colorful descriptions lets you close your eyes and imagine the setting with relative ease.
The only drawback from the book came late in the book. On several instances in the last hundred pages, it really seemed as if the autor was trying to push his political agenda on the reader. The remarks had nothing to do with the characters, hadd nothing to do with the storyline, and really distracted me from the reading experience for a few pages as I tried to figure out why those remarks were there.
Outside of that, this is a classic Burke and evidence that neither he nor Dave Robicheaux are showing any signs of slowing down!
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this item because I was suffering an eye injury and thought to have a talking book to amuse me. Alas, the suth'n ac'cent was pretty difficult to understand. Perhaps this is a "Guy Novel" something in opposition to chick flicks, which I'm not a fan of either. I found the plot difficult to follow; the descriptive powers of the author were marvellous but then the characters started talking and I was lost.
I wasn't able to finish it. I just couldn't find any sympathy for the characters. Would someone like to buy this from me?
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By A Customer on June 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
With a precision writing style reminiscent of McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and a plot worthy of Leonard's TISHOMINGO BLUES, this latest James Lee Burke does not disappoint. The writing style alone is worth the price of admission, and the plot is a character-driven tour-de-force that builds toward the end--something not every novel does, but should. Set in and around sultry New Orleans, this highly charged tale will take you into the darkest corners of the human mind and heart. I highly recommend this compelling and well written novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Another truly great novel from James Lee Burke, on par with all of his others. What truly distinguishes Burke's novels is his gorgeous writing style--he truly evokes a sense of place and you can almost smell the bayou as he writes about it. His descriptions of people are equally good--I got a very clear picture of each character he described. If you have never read James Lee Burke, TRY HIM! You won't be disappointed. (Oh, and the story is great!)
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By M Slott on April 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
Last Car to Elysian Fields is another in the Robicheaux series and like Jolie Blon's Bounce before it, is original, relatively complex and ultimately an excellent story that I had a hard time putting down.
Burke can be wordy, not nearly as so as king and others who don't seem to know when to shut up, but not in this book. His usually elegant descriptive prose is there, but not in the annoying extent that it can be found in other of his novels. Still, for me to complain about Burke's prose is pretty hypocritical since I consider the source of that prose one of the literary communities greatest assets...and he's just a mystery writer...yeah right!
Without giving away the plot, Burke has brought us Clete Purcell at his best, an ira hitman looking for absolution and a typical cast of unsavory southern characters, the higher eschelon's of southern society, forwhom Robicheaux has a natural distaste...as do I. Perhaps that's why I like Dave so much, he's a lot like all of us...a bit in the extreme but a lot like us.
Last Car to Elysian Fields is an excellent read, well worth the price. I highly recommend this book to any one who likes a good mystery, with lots of action.
MS
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 9 2004
Format: Hardcover
Last Car to Elysian Fields marks a major turning point in the Dave Robicheaux novels. Dave seems cut loose from his few normal inhibitions, and lives to regret his loose cannon ways. He's clearly a man headed for a crack-up, and his increased vulnerability makes him a more interesting character. The plot itself is as unpredictable and complex as you can imagine without becoming overloaded.
One of the beauties of this book is that any one of several mysteries would have been more than adequate to have made this an above-average book. For example, an ex-IRA hit man, Max Coll, has a gambling debt he cannot pay off. He's given the choice of killing a Catholic priest, Father Jimmie Dolan . . . but something always intervenes to foil his efforts. Pretty soon there's a hit out on Coll as well. In a second plot line, a talented songwriter and singer, Junior Crudup, found his way into the bottom of Louisiana's prison system from which he disappeared with no trace. The prisoner turns out to have been used as a laborer by a prominent war hero who denies remembering the prisoner. In a third plot line, a 17 year-old girl kills herself and two others driving drunk. She got the booze at a drive-through "daiquiri window" . . . and someone wants to stop the investigation into the daiquiri window. Dave also finds the man who miswired his house . . . and caused Bootsie's death. Someone is bound to pay for that! In the background, there are also porn stars, ex-lovers, sleazeballs, and other assorted criminals. Against this backdrop, Clete Purcel is his most outrageous righter of wrongs.
After the book was over, I found myself thinking that this book must surely deserve to be a five-star book. Then, I realized that the novel leaves so little room for hope and redemption that I found myself more despairing about people than encouraged about them. I hope that in future books, Mr. Burke will also show redemptive qualities as well as the darker side of human nature.
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