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Jolie Blon's Bounce: A Novel par [Burke, James Lee]
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Descriptions du produit

Dave Robicheaux, the Louisiana cop who's easily one of the most complex and compelling protagonists in mystery fiction, confronts his own demons as well as a brutal adversary who might be the devil himself in this dark thriller. This is classic James Lee Burke, the master stylist, writing at the top of his game:
"I wanted to drive deep into the Atchafalaya Swamp, past the confines of reason, into the past... on the tree-flooded alluvial rim of the world, where the tides and the course of the sun were the only measures of time (and) all you had to do was release yourself from the prison of restraint, just snip loose the stitches that sewed your skin to the hairshirt of normalcy."
The plot hinges on a pair of murders that don't seem to be connected--a mobbed-up prostitute and a pretty young teenage girl--and the Cajun blues singer accused of both crimes. Robicheaux believes that Tee Bobby Hulin, the gifted musician whose original composition provides the title for this brilliantly realized Gothic crime novel, is innocent. Proving it puts him in the sights of a vicious old overseer named Legion, whose almost supernatural powers nearly drown Robicheaux in the swamp of his own addictions. The narrative proceeds slowly, but Burke's dedicated fans won't begrudge him one beautifully turned phrase, gloriously limned description, or insightful characterization: they just don't get any better than this one. --Jane Adams


Chapter 1

Growing up during the 1940s in New Iberia, down on the Gulf Coast, I never doubted how the world worked. At dawn the antebellum homes along East Main loomed out of the mists, their columned porches and garden walkways and second-story verandas soaked with dew, the chimneys and slate roofs softly molded by the canopy of live oaks that arched over the entire street.

The stacks of sunken U.S. Navy ships lay sideways in Pearl Harbor and service stars hung inside front windows all over New Iberia. But on East Main, in the false dawn, the air was heavy with the smell of night-blooming flowers and lichen on damp stone and the fecund odor of Bayou Teche, and even though a gold service star may have hung in a window of a grand mansion, indicating the death of a serviceman in the family, the year could have been mistaken for 1861 rather than 1942.

Even when the sun broke above the horizon and the ice wagons and the milk delivery came down the street on iron-rimmed wheels and the Negro help began reporting for work at their employers' back doors, the light was never harsh, never superheated or smelling of tar roads and dust as it was in other neighborhoods. Instead it filtered through Spanish moss and bamboo and philodendron that dripped with beads of moisture as big as marbles, so that even in the midst of summer the morning came to those who lived here with a blue softness that daily told them the earth was a grand place, its design vouchsafed in heaven and not to be questioned.

Down the street was the old Frederic Hotel, a lovely pink building with marble columns and potted palms inside, a ballroom, an elevator that looked like a brass birdcage, and a saloon with wood-bladed fans and an elevated, scrolled-iron shoeshine chair and a long, hand-carved mahogany bar. Amid the palm fronds and the blue and gray swirls of color in the marble columns were the slot and racehorse machines, ringing with light, their dull pewterlike coin trays offering silent promise to the glad at heart.

Farther down Main were Hopkins and Railroad Avenues, like ancillary conduits into part of the town's history and geography that people did not talk about publicly. When I went to the icehouse on Saturday afternoons with my father, I would look furtively down Railroad at the rows of paintless cribs on each side of the train tracks and at the blowsy women who sat on the stoops, hung over, their knees apart under their loose cotton dresses, perhaps dipping beer out of a bucket two Negro boys carried on a broom handle from Hattie Fontenot's bar.

I came to learn early on that no venal or meretricious enterprise existed without a community's consent. I thought I understood the nature of evil. I learned at age twelve I did not.

My half brother, who was fifteen months younger than I, was named Jimmie Robicheaux. His mother was a prostitute in Abbeville, but he and I were raised together, largely by our father, known as Big Aldous, who was a trapper and commercial fisherman and offshore derrick man. As children Jimmie and I were inseparable. On summer evenings we used to go to the lighted ball games at City Park and slip into the serving lines at barbecues and crab boils at the open-air pavilions. Our larceny was of an innocent kind, I suppose, and we were quite proud of ourselves when we thought we had outsmarted the adult world.

On a hot August night, with lightning rippling through the thunderheads over the Gulf of Mexico, Jimmie and I were walking through a cluster of oak trees on the edge of the park when we saw an old Ford automobile with two couples inside, one in the front seat, one in the back. We heard a woman moan, then her voice mount in volume and intensity. We stared openmouthed as we saw the woman's top half arch backward, her naked breasts lit by the glow from a picnic pavilion, her mouth wide with orgasm.

We started to change direction, but the woman was laughing now, her face sweaty and bright at the open window.

"Hey, boy, you know what we been doin'? It make my pussy feel so good. Hey, come here, you. We been fuckin', boy," she said.

It should have been over, a bad encounter with white trash, probably drunk, caught in barnyard copulation. But the real moment was just beginning. The man behind the steering wheel lit a cigarette, his face flaring like paste in the flame, then stepped out on the gravel. There were tattoos, like dark blue smears, inside his forearms. He used two fingers to lift the blade out of a pocketknife.

"You like to look t'rew people's windows?" he asked.

"No, sir," I said.

"They're just kids, Legion," the woman in back said, putting on her shirt.

"Maybe that's what they gonna always be," the man said.

I had thought his words were intended simply to frighten us. But I could see his face clearly now, the hair combed back like black pitch, the narrow white face with vertical lines in it, the eyes that could look upon a child as the source of his rage against the universe.

Then Jimmie and I were running in the darkness, our hearts pounding, forever changed by the knowledge that the world contains pockets of evil that are as dark as the inside of a leather bag.

Because my father was out of town, we ran all the way to the icehouse on Railroad Avenue, behind which was the lit and neatly tended house of Ciro Shanahan, the only man my father ever spoke of with total admiration and trust.

Later in life I would learn why my father had such great respect for his friend. Ciro Shanahan was one of those rare individuals who would suffer in silence and let the world do him severe injury in order to protect those whom he loved.

On a spring night in 1931, Ciro and my father cut their boat engines south of Point Au Fer and stared at the black-green outline of the Louisiana coast in the moonlight. The waves were capping, the wind blowing hard, puffing and snapping the tarp that was stretched over the cases of Mexican whiskey and Cuban rum that my father and Ciro had off-loaded from a trawler ten miles out. My father looked through his field glasses and watched two searchlights sweeping the tops of the waves to the south. Then he rested the glasses on top of the small pilothouse that was built out of raw pine on the stern of the boat and wiped the salt spray off his face with his sleeve and studied the coastline. The running lights of three vessels pitched in the swells between himself and the safety of the shore.

"Moon's up. I done tole you, bad night to do it," he said.

"We done it before. We still here, ain't we?" Ciro said.

"Them boats off the bow? That's state men, Ciro," my father said.

"We don't know that," Ciro said.

"We can go east. Hide the load at Grand Chenier and come back for it later. You listen, you. Don't nobody make a living in jail," my father said.

Ciro was short, built like a dockworker, with red hair and green eyes and a small, down-hooked Irish mouth. He wore a canvas coat and a fedora that was tied onto his head with a scarf. It was unseasonably cold and his face was windburned and knotted with thought inside his scarf.

"The man got his trucks up there, Aldous. I promised we was coming in tonight. Ain't right to leave them people waiting," he said.

"Sitting in an empty truck ain't gonna put nobody in Angola," my father said.

Ciro's eyes drifted off from my father's and looked out at the southern horizon.

"It don't matter now. Here come the Coast Guard. Hang on," he said.

The boat Ciro and my father owned together was long and narrow, like a World War I torpedo vessel, and had been built to service offshore drilling rigs, with no wasted space on board. The pilothouse sat like a matchbox on the stern, and even when the deck was stacked with drill pipe the big Chrysler engines could power through twelve-foot seas. When Ciro pushed the throttle forward, the screws scoured a trough across the swell and the bow arched out of the water and burst a wave into a horsetail spray across the moon.

But the searchlights on the Coast Guard cutter were unrelenting. They dissected my father's boat, burned red circles into his eyes, turned the waves a sandy green and robbed them of all their mystery, illuminating the bait fish and stingrays that toppled out of the crests. The boat's hull pounded across the water, the liquor bottles shaking violently under the tarp, the searchlights spearing through the pilothouse windows far out into the darkness. All the while the moored boats that lay between my father and the safety of the coastline waited, their cabin windows glowing now, their engines silent.

My father leaned close to Ciro's ear. "You going right into them agents," he said.

"Mr. Julian taken care of them people," Ciro said.

"Mr. Julian taken care of Mr. Julian," my father said.

"I don't want to hear it, Aldous."

Suddenly the boats of the state liquor agents came to life, lurching out over the waves, their own searchlights now vectoring Ciro and my father. Ciro swung the wheel hard to starboard, veering around a sandbar, moving over shallow water, the bow hammering against the outgoing tide.

Up ahead was the mouth of the Atchafalaya River. My father watched the coastline draw nearer, the moss straightening on the dead cypress trunks, the flooded willows and gum trees and sawgrass denting and swaying in the wind. The tarp on the cases of whiskey and rum tore loose and flapped back against the pilothouse, blocking any view out the front window. My father cut the other ropes on the tarp and peeled it off the stacked cases of liquor and heaved it over the gunnel. When he looked at the shore again, he saw a series of sandbars ridging out of the bay like the backs of misplaced whales.

"Oh, Ciro, what you gone and did?" he said.

The boat rocketed between two sandbars, just as someone began firing an automatic weapon in short bursts from one of the state boats. Whiskey and rum and broken glass fountained in the air, then a tracer round landed on the deck like a phosphorus match and a huge handkerchief of flame enveloped the pilothouse.

But Ciro never cut the throttle, never considered giving up. The glass in the windows blackened and snapped in half; blue and yellow and red fire streamed off the deck into the water.

"Head into them leafs!" my father yelled, and pointed at a cove whose surface was layered with dead leaves.

The boat's bow crashed into the trees, setting the canopy aflame. Then my father and Ciro were overboard, splashing through the swamp, their bodies marbled with firelight.

They ran and trudged and stumbled for two miles through chest-deep water, sloughs, air vines, and sand bogs that were black with insects feeding off cows or wild animals that had suffocated or starved in them.

Three hours later the two of them sat on a dry levee and watched the light go out of the sky and the moon fade into a thin white wafer. Ciro's left ankle was the size of a cantaloupe.

"I'm gonna get my car. Then we ain't touching the liquor bidness again," my father said.

"We ain't got a boat to touch it wit'," Ciro said.

"T'ank you for telling me that. The next time I work for Mr. Julian LaSalle, go buy a gun and shoot me."

"He paid my daughter's hospital bills. You too hard on people, Aldous," Ciro said.

"He gonna pay for our boat?"

My father walked five miles to the grove of swamp maples where he had parked his automobile. When he returned to pick Ciro up, the sky was blue, the wildflowers blooming along the levee, the air bright with the smell of salt. He came around a stand of willows and stared through the windshield at the scene he had blundered into.

Three men in fedora hats and ill-fitting suits, two of them carrying Browning automatic rifles, were escorting Ciro in wrist manacles to the back of a caged wagon, one with iron plates in the floor. The wagon was hooked to the back of a state truck and two Negroes who worked for Julian LaSalle were already sitting inside it.

My father shoved his transmission in reverse and backed all the way down the levee until he hit a board road that led through the swamp. As he splashed through the flooded dips in the road and mud splattered over his windshield, he tried not to think of Ciro limping in manacles toward the jail wagon. He hit a deer, a doe, and saw her carom off the fender into a tree, her body broken. But my father did not slow down until he was in Morgan City, where he entered the back of a Negro café and bought a glass of whiskey that he drank with both hands.

Then he put his big head down on his arms and fell asleep and dreamed of birds trapped inside the foliage of burning trees.

Copyright © 2002 by James Lee Burke

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1865 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 480 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 150110974X
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster; Édition : Reprint (4 juin 2002)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FC0QHK
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°125.520 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Ce roman se passe dans le sud des Etats Unis, avec les problèmes de communautés noire et blanche et les restes encore présents de l'esclavage. Très bon policier, avec un côté Cormak Mc Carthy mais tout se passe en seul lieu .. très bon on a absolument pas envie de lâcher ce livre.
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
A typical Dave Robichieaux novel, plenty of violence but beautiful prose and a gripping story in true James lee Burke fashion.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x98845e64) étoiles sur 5 187 commentaires
47 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x96ea69fc) étoiles sur 5 Inner Demons and Haagen-Daz 11 juillet 2002
Par Eric Wilson - Publié sur
Format: Relié
To categorize this book as a mystery is like clumping Haagen-Daz in the same category as cheap sherbet. Sorry. Not the same thing. These characters are alive and fresh and memorable. The settings resonate with sights and sounds and smells. The beauty of Louisiana juxtapositioned with the evil of the criminal world is a heady mix. As always, I'm impressed by Burke's ability. I feel like I'm repeating myself: James Lee Burke is a master of imagery, be it violent and dark, or moving and poetic. I can't help myself. To read his work is to fall in love with the language. With this in mind, it's true that I tend to overlook his meandering plots and psychological side-trips. For me, they make his books much more real and down to earth than the general formulaic mysteries.
In this particular story, we see Dave Robicheaux dealing with his inner demons, as always--this time in the form of pills. But it's the same white worm eating at him and driving anger to the surface. As usual, his emotions boil over into his job and cause trouble. The difference this time is that Robicheaux is dealing with other demons than his own. He's dealing with Legion, an old man, hard as nails and full of darkness. The supernatural aspects that come into play, particularly at the conclusion were, for me, very satisfying and remarkably well handled. Other reviewers have derided these elements; I found them to be the original touch this series needed. Others complained of sexual situations that were unnecessary; I was moved to tears by Bootsie's tenderness to her man in need of assurance. Robicheaux, behind his tough exterior, is a man of flesh and blood and emotion. Thankfully, James Lee Burke is too. It's the reason I keep reading his stuff. After "Purple Cane Road," I'd rate this near the top of the series.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x96ea6a50) étoiles sur 5 Still Number One 8 juin 2002
Par Mick McAllister - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Burke's mix of local color and great plotting, served up with a style that is crisp and vivid, have made him a favorite of readers and fellow mystery novelists. And he keeps getting better, a dozen novels into a series. The new book presents us with two violent crimes against women. Serial killer? The prime suspect is a brilliant young musician, the man you want to be the killer is a rich white kid. Hovering in the background is Burke's sleaziest, nastiest villain in years.
Burke never deals in cliches, though his characters might. The second victim is the daughter of a Mafia hit man, and one of the most startling and engaging elements of the story is the humanization of the grieving father. When the crimes resolve into solutions, we lose some people we care about. And one villian gets justice in a form we can only shake our heads over.
Robicheaux suffers a disgusting humiliation in this book, and his family is rocked by the result. I listened to another mystery writer recently ascribe the appeal of his books to the fact that his hero is a nice normal guy with a nice normal family. Well, maybe so, but Burke has gotten tremendous mileage out of something a bit more challenging. Watching Alafair grow, seeing the strength of Bootsie's love for her scarred man, feeling their pain as they cope with the literal scars of her incurable illness, have made this series the best around for a decade. Let's hope for a few more.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x96ea6e88) étoiles sur 5 Brooding, Brutal, and Surreal 1 juillet 2002
Par Gary Griffiths - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
"Jolie Blon's Bounce" is an intelligent and ambitious novel of intricate sub plots and complex characters. James Lee Burke's widely recognized talent for creating rich setting is in top form: the Louisiana gulf coast back woods and bars are easily visualized, the smells of the oil rigs and shrimp boats waft from the pages. The English language is Burke's toolbox - as a blunt object hammering the reader with raw brutality, or as a scalpel in unlayering the subtleties of race and social strata. Few villains have been created as foreboding and ominous as the mysterious "Legion", casting an aura of nearly biblical good vs. evil and an unexpected, almost "King-like" surrealism.
This latest in the Dave Robicheaux series is built around the rape and murder of a local teenage girl, followed by a string of apparently related homicides. But the story is virtually void of the usual crime scene forensics and criminal investigation. Instead, Burke introduces a full cast of deeply developed characters and settings, slowly building tension and mystery as not only the murders, but also a dark history, gradually unfold. Burke is clearly not in a hurry in getting to the punch line, winding through passages of time and place, connecting the past with the present and reality with a vague sense of the supernatural. But while Burke's prose meanders, it is not without purpose, as the reader is sucked deeper and deeper into the intrigue. The reward is not in reaching the climax, but the journey in getting there.
In summary, Burke is about as good as writer as there is today in American fiction, and "Jolie Blon's Bounce" displays his craft at its peak. This is a dark and brooding tale with a surreal twist that will linger long after the book is finished, leaving the reader anxious for Burke's next installment.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x96ea6e70) étoiles sur 5 Burke and Robicheaux are back!! 18 juin 2002
Par Darrell Heath - Publié sur
Format: Relié
The good news is that James Lee Burke is still writing some of the most lyrically beautiful prose in fiction today. The bad news is that, at least with this Robicheaux outing, he seems to have lost a little of his focus as a storyteller. The middle section of the book has Robicheaux so self absorbed in his own problems I couldn't quite remember what crime he was supposed to be investigating. Far too many characters with hidden secrets and agendas of their own weave in and out of the tale with such regularity that it becomes a little difficult to keep them all straight. While each of these characters are equally compelling they tend to keep the narrative from running on an even keel.
As to Legion Guidry.... I'm still not quite sure what to make of him just yet. On the one hand he is indeed one of the most interesting and evil villains I've seen in a work of fiction for quite some time. On the other hand I kept thinking that maybe Dave should have rung up Buffy Summers and asked her and the rest of the gang to come to New Iberia and help him out with this one. The mixture of metaphysics and gritty crime story worked well for Burke with "In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead" but I'm still not decided on this one just yet.
In the end I have to say that if you are already a Burke fan, then by all means read this one. If you are new to Dave Robicheaux and his world I strongly suggest one of the earlier novels. I decided to give four stars to this one due to Burke's wonderful prose and his creation of such facsinating characters but I still think that the rambling mid section does not represent the author at his best.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x97a1b354) étoiles sur 5 Darkly and mysteriously wonderful 9 juin 2002
Par Sherrie Martin - Publié sur
Format: Relié
When teenager Amanda Boudreau is murdered in New Iberia, Louisiana, the evidence points to Tee Bobby Hulin, a gifted musician but a crackhead and general ne'er-do-well. Detective Dave Robicheaux is not convinced, though. Then there is another murder, this time of the drug-addicted daughter of a local Mafia figure, and Tee Bobby is again implicated. Robicheaux still doubts the evidence and continues to investigate when he crosses paths with the mysterious and malevolent Legion Guidry, an elderly former plantation overseer. Robicheaux questions his own sanity when his instincts tell him that Legion is pure evil in human form.
Meanwhile, Robicheaux's sidekick, Clete Purcell, is having woman troubles, and competition in the person of cracker ex-con Bible salesman Marvin Oates. Even Robicheaux's own attorney, Perry LaSalle, is behaving strangely in the wake of the two murders. They all have secrets and present different faces to different people, and it's up to Robicheaux to navigate the labyrinthe, pick out the necessary pieces, and put it all together.
And who better than James Lee Burke to throw it all out there, knead it and meld it with his dark and menacing poetry, and then pull it all together with brilliant finesse. This may be Dave Robicheaux's darkest voyage yet but, boy, what a ride. The atmosphere, rife with human suffering and the nature of evil, is very intense and roiling with preternatural undercurrents, with an ending that is both shocking and just.
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