Cadillac Jukebox Paperback – 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ?
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!
Most recent customer reviews
So glad to be able to complete my Robicheau collection in Kindle.
Haven't read his other series, but this one's terrific.
I found four spelling errors in the book and even though they were all typos, I expect all the words in a book to be spelled correctly if I have to pay for it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Waterlily
Well, this was my first Burke book, and to say the least, it probably won't be my last. I was introduced to Detective Dave Robicheaux for the first time, and I enjoyed it. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Wolfe Moffat
James Lee Burke's Cadillac Jukebox is a fine piece of suspense fiction, but it trades on rough language and violent situations. Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by Gary Lehmann
We can see why the readers from the Deep South, especially Louisiana, love James Lee Burke. His prose borders on poetry as he creates mind images for the readers that are close to... Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2003 by Jerry Bull
I've heard such good things about Burke, so I was pretty enthusiastic about reading Cadillac Jukebox. But for all my enthusiasm, this book just didn't do it for me. Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2002 by Nobodymmmmm
Yes, James Lee Burke is a terrific wordsmith who can bring the Cajun backwoods and bayous alive for readers, but this particular work is quite simply, a sprawling, literary... Read morePublished on March 9 2001 by Douglas A. Greenberg
I have read just about everything James Lee Burke has written, but my favorite character by far is Dave Robicheaux. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2001 by C. Cronk
Anyone who reads Burke knows about his narrative style, and almost every fan has heard the "Chandler meets Faulkner" talk. It is all true. Read morePublished on June 28 2000 by Chad M. Supp