Customer Reviews for

Creole Belle (Dave Robicheaux Series #19)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

I read a lot of different types of novels but I love love love J

I read a lot of different types of novels but I love love love James Lee Burke.....can't wait for the next release...his books make the time spent reading them an escape to another world....the characters are real and you get so involved with their lives.....5 plus plu...
I read a lot of different types of novels but I love love love James Lee Burke.....can't wait for the next release...his books make the time spent reading them an escape to another world....the characters are real and you get so involved with their lives.....5 plus plus plus stars on all his novels...

posted by sebastianKH on July 17, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Normally I worship the words James Lee Burke writes and wish eac

Normally I worship the words James Lee Burke writes and wish each book would never end. His latest, Creole Belle, feels, and reads, very differently to me and I fought feelings of disappointment throughout. The book is preachy, and philosophically morose without the bal...
Normally I worship the words James Lee Burke writes and wish each book would never end. His latest, Creole Belle, feels, and reads, very differently to me and I fought feelings of disappointment throughout. The book is preachy, and philosophically morose without the balance of his usual dry and cutting humor. It feels like a dying man's reflections on his disappointing life. There is a noticeable lack of warmth between the main character, Dave, and his wife, Molly. And, having just read a novel by his real-life daughter, Alafair, the character of his fictional daughter does not seem well imagined. In fact, the whole story feels sadly autobiographical, though that could just be my own imagination. Also, while I know some people never change, or grow up, as an RN it seems to me that Clete's liver, if not his unhinged self-destructiveness, should have done him in a long time ago. Dave's indulgence of him has become just burdensome for Dave and wearying for the reader. Finally, somehow I missed reading "The Glass Rainbow" but I really miss the Robicheaux's life on the bayou with the bait shop and Baptiste. There was something healing there, amid the chaos of the story, that was both atmospheric and stabilizing. This "chapter" of the series just didn't thrill me like the others.

posted by Readzer on August 12, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    I am a huge James Lee Burke fan. After The Glass Rainbow, I was

    I am a huge James Lee Burke fan. After The Glass Rainbow, I was looking
    forward to his next book. After reading Creole Belle, I'm disappoined.
    I feel the novel was overcharacterized, too many subplots, and in some
    instances, self-indulgent. The last third of the novel was like a
    Hollywood buddy-movie, which in itself did not complement the preceding
    events that kept me reading. Even the Epilogue was too contrived,
    leaving the characters somewhat hollow. However, I will be one of the
    fiirst to purchase his next book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    B urke's prose immerses one in the bayous and corruption of the

    B urke's prose immerses one in the bayous and corruption of the of greater New Orleans. Both Dave Robicheaux, now attached to a local police department, and his pal Clete Purcel, PI, were drummed out of New Orleans Police Department, unjustly as it seems. Both of these men are haunted by ghosts from Viet Nam, from their unhappy childhoods, from run-ins with corrupt cops and powerful but evil men, and especially by the lure of the bottle. Clete succombs repeatedly. Robicheaux resists with the help of his wife and adopted daughter.

    Burke's prose is stunning in describing bayou country with its live oaks, and fields of sugar cane, its rainstorms and its heat, its Creoles and Blacks, and its foods. In another writer all this description would turn me off but through Burke I am transported to the scene. I must say that as the book progressed, I did get tired of his lengthy descriptions and homilies on good and evil.

    His prose is also stunning in describing character, most of whom are very quirky and mostly either evil or haunted by human failures. And here is where I part company with his description. There is just too much dark and brooding evil unrelieved by a few saintly characters or even ordinary good men. It's as if the whole of Louisiana broods under a miasma of degeneracy and corruption. While the scenery, through his pen, might draw me to the area, the portrayed malevolence would have me avoiding the state all together.

    Another characteristic of a Burke novel, that in others might put me off, is the way he threads philosophical musings through his prose. Some are interesting and true but all provoke thought. "Age is a peculiar kind of thief. It slips up on you and steps inside your skin and is so quiet and methodical in its work that you never realize it has stolen your youth until you look into the mirror. (p. 204) "For me the greatest riddle involves the nature of evil. Is there indeed a diabolic force at work...?" (p. 239) "Talent isn't earned, it's given. It's like getting hit by lightning in the middle of a wet pasture. People don't sign up for it." (p. 263) "Meditations upon mortality become cheap stuff and offer little succor when it comes to dealing with evil. The latter is not an abstraction, and ignoring it is to become its victim. The earth abides forever, but s does the canker inside the rose, and the canker never sleeps." (p. 295) "Theologians and philosophers try to understand and explain the nature of God with varying degrees of success and failure. I admire their efforts. But I've never come to an understanding of man's nature, much less God's." (p. 358)

    Throughout we also find biblical illusions, which is genuine and heartening in such a successful writer, given that our whole civilization is permeated with the Bible whatever its detractors try to do to excise it

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Loving it!

    I am only a bit over half way but it has kept my attention. Burke does get a bit carried away with over demonstrative descriptions to the point of absurd and, I guess his previous alcohol abuse and Viet Nam references. I am a viet vet and I even get tired of it. Great story so far though.

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  • Posted October 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good vs. Evil

    The latest adventures of Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell read like a massive morality play in 500-plus pages. The series tales place in southern Louisiana, the bayou country and New Orleans, with all the historic corruption derived from the Civil War and slavery, the oil industry, prostitution and other societal evils. Dave and Clete are supposed to represent the good fighting the sleaziness.

    In the previous entry in the series, the duo suffered near death in a bayou shootout, and we now find Dave in a New Orleans recovery facility in a morphine-induced haze where he receives a midnight visit from Tee Jolie Mellon, a creole barroom singer who leaves him an i-pod filled with music, including three songs she sings and which apparently only he can hear. Raising doubts that the visit was in fact real. Meanwhile, Clete is confronted by two goons claiming they hold a marker for a debt he believes was paid off many years before. To further complicate his life, Clete witnesses his illegitimate daughter murder one of the goons. Then Tee Jolie’s young sister washes up on the Gulf Coast in a block of ice. An oil well blow-off fouling the environment adds to the corruption endemic to their world.

    To say the very least, the plot is a highly complicated series of inter-related components weaved into a long and somewhat tiring saga. The author has stretched his formidable abilities to include wide-ranging comments on a variety of subjects, some poignant, others evocative. But always clear and concise. One has to question the violence performed by Dave and Clete in their quest for justice. Is it excessive and, perhaps, unwarranted? But certainly it is in character, and the novel is recommended.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Highly recommend!

    CREOLE BELLE is the most complex, engaging Dave Robicheaux novel yet. Dave and Clete Purcel encounter the greatest evil ever in a story wrapped in today's headlines. As always, Burke not only tells the reader what his characters are thinking but makes you feel what they feel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Great Read

    If you enjoy the south or New Orleans. This is a great book. Really enjoyed reading it and recommend it to any fiction reader!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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