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Cadillac Jukebox Paperback – 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hyperion (1996)
  • ISBN-10: 0786889187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786889181
  • ASIN: B002ALSHZM
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I spent my early adolescent years in southeastern Louisiana and have a lot of fond memories of this uniquely charming piece of America. Burke's Dave Robicheaux never fails to transport me back to the gumbo restaurant in a trailer, the trek through a Morgan City swamp that brought me awfully close to an alligator, and Pete Fountain's jazz club at the Hilton. Simply put, Burke knows Louisiana and how to evoke it.
Cadillac Jukebox is overall a good read. It's basically a tale of the dark motives that drive people across the line from good to bad. Unfortunately, Burke let the story get too complicated. I wish I had made a chart of the characters as I read the book, because keeping track of who's who got confusing. The storyline also spreads out to the point that staying on top of it becomes a chore.
I thought the story got formulaic at points. The mythological symbolism in the fate of the husband-and-wife antagonists was over the top, like a classical bass drum roll at the end of a Warren Storm tune. But Burke didn't miss a beat with his characters. I was scared by Aaron Crown and Mookie Zerrang, I felt sympathy for Buford LaRose and enmity toward his wife, and I felt like I'd known Batist for a long time. Dave Robicheaux was as polite, resolute, and conflicted as ever.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is my 5th (?) James Lee Burke's book and it is quite good... but not perfect !

He is indeed an outstanding writer, a nature's lover, a mobsters' connoisseur and a human nature psychologist but... 1) It is a series with good and weak redundancies and 2) As any realtor would say of a house for sale : "The important factor is : location, location and location !". For a book (or movie), it is : "Story, story and again story !".

The descriptions are breathtaking but a bit repetitious from each book... it is his trademark ! In "Cadillac Jukebox", the plot is very similar to his other novels : rich people ganging up with shady ones against some poor soul. No problem with that ! In this book, they were just too many characters for my old brain ! And for goodness' sake's, there were 6-7 dangerous visitors coming up the river directly to Dave's bait shop ! Please Mr Burke... put up some artillery or barbwires around Dave's property or train his famous tamed racoon "Tripod" to attack the bad guys on the spot !

So it is still a great book, but from time to time, you tell yourself : "OK let's move along !" or "Why these trips to Mexico ?" or "Who's that guy again ?" or "Not another drive around !", etc. I hate comparing writers (or anybody for that matter) but you do not have these thoughts often with Connelly or Nesbo !

But... we are forever hooked to Dave and his partner Clete !

Cette histoire se passe, bien sûr, dans la Jolie Louisiane de Dave et Clete et nos salutations vont à tous les Acadiens (known over there as Cajuns). 10 000 of them got a free but unhappy one-way-all-expenses-paid-trip-down-South from Acadia (actual New-Brunswick and Nova Scotia) in 1782... courtesy of the British troops ! Will that historical observation pass the Amazon's censorship bureau ?
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 31 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dave Robicheaux is one of those rare characters in today's American detective fiction -- the honest cop with a heart of gold and the toughness to rout the bad guys. In a sense, he is a throwback to the sheriff in the old Westerns. The difference is that Robicheaux's setting is Louisiana, and its peculiar combination rural charm and especially corrupt politics.
You can read this series because you like the Robicheaux character. That would be enough.
Or you can read this series for its wonderful treatment of Louisiana and its people. That would be enough.
As someone who has visited this beautiful state and its interesting people many times, I love reading Burke's descriptions so I am especially drawn to the latter reason.
Luckily, you can read it for both reasons, and that is way more than enough to keep you happily entertained.
One caution: The violence can be pretty stomach churning. If that upsets you, this book is not going to please you.
This story is one of those interesting and rewarding ironies that makes reading fun. The story revolves around Dave's efforts to clear Lester Crown of the murder of a prominent black civil rights attorney 28 years earlier. Crown is hardly someone you'd invite home for Sunday dinner, and this helps to establish Dave's character. Who else would put his family and himself in danger for such a creepy guy?
Lots of people start putting roadblocks and inducements in Dave's way, but that only makes him more determined.
The ending will stay with you for a long time.
The characters ring true throughout, and make you glad you're rooting for Dave! He's our last, best hope. In fact, he's irresistible as a heroic figure. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio Cassette
HAVING BEEN TO AND THROUGH LOUISIANA NUMEROUS TIMES IN THE PAST 20 YEARS AND HAVING FALLEN IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING YTHE STATE HAS TO OFFICER, I WAS ENTHRALLED WITH EVERY WORD IN THIS BOOK, WHICH WAS THE FIRST OF THE ROBICHEAUX SERIES THAT I READ. I COULD ACTUALLY FEEL AND HEAR THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF THE SWAMPS, AND JAMES BURKE'S ABILITY TO DESCRIBE IS PHENOMONAL. HIS ABILITY ALSO TO WEAVE EXTREMELY DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHARACTERS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE INTO A PLOT WHICH EVENTUALLY DETAILS THEIR INTERRACTION IS INCREDIBLE TO ME. HAVING BEEN A DEPUTY SHERIFF FOR NEARLY 13 YEARS, I WAS ABLE TO IDENTIFY WITH MANY OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY DAVE, ALTHOUGH I MUST ADMIT THEY "DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY" IN LOUISIANA!! AFTER READING THIS BOOK, WHICH I THOUGHT WAS OUT- STANDING, I'VE GONE ON TO READ ALL OF THE DAVE ROBICHEAUX NOVELS, INCLUDING BLACK CHERRY BLUES, WHICH I ALSO FOUND TO BE INCREDIBLE. THE DEADPAN HUMOR OF DAVE'S, ALONG WITH THE TWO WORLD IN WHICH HE LIVES (ONE BEING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND THE OTHER BEING THE OWNER OF A BAIT SHOP) MAKE HIM SO MUCH MORE REAL TO LIFE THAN ANY "DETECTIVE" IN ANY NOVEL I'VE READ SO FAR. EACH OF HIS NOVELS GIVES THE READER AN INSIGHT INTO HIS PAST LIFE (WITH REFERENCES TO HIS ALCOHOLISM, HIS WIFE'S MURDER, HOW HIS DAUGHTER CAME INTO HIS LIFE, ETC.) WITHOUT DWELLING ON THEM OR REHASHING FORMER PLOTS. AND HIS ABILITY TO WALK INTO ANY "DIVE" IN NEW ORLEANS AND DEAL WITH MOB CHARACTERS ON THEIR LEVEL IS FASCINATING, AFTER WHAT ALL OF AMERICA HAS HEARD ABOUT THE MOB. THIS WAS ONE OF JAMES BURKE'S BEST BOOKS, AND I EAGERLY ANTICIPATE DISCOVERING THE EXISTENCE OF A NEW ROBICHEAUX NOVEL.
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