Tag Archives: James Lee Burke

Trombone Shorty appears on “All Things Considered”

11 Oct

In case you missed the story on Trombone Shorty on Thursday’s “All Things Considered” on NPR, here’s a link to the audio story:


And below is the promo for the next episode of PBS’ “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly,” which will feature Louisiana author James Lee Burke. I have Dish Network, so the program airs on Channel 22, WQEC, at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Airings will vary by markets.


NOLA artists on public broadcasting

10 Oct

For those wanting a taste of NOLA: Trombone Shorty will be featured in a story on NPR’s “All Things Considered” tonight, while author James Lee Burke will be featured on PBS’ “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” over the weekend (air times will vary by markets).

On Wednesday, Trombone Shorty tweeted a link to his new song and video. The song and video can be found on Youtube at:

James Lee Burke Light of the Worldsplits his time between New Iberia, La., and Missoula, Mont., but many of his books feature the Crescent City.

One of Burke’s most-beloved protagonists is Dave Robicheaux, who is a NOPD detective in the first installment of the now 20-book series. That first book is “Neon Rain,” while the most recent in the series is “Light of the World.” My recap of that novel can be found here.

Books I’d Recommend: Light of the World

11 Sep

Light of the WorldTrouble, it seems, follows Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux and pal Clete Purcel no matter where they hang their hats.

In James Lee Burke’s newest novel, “Light of the World,” the trouble has followed the pair from their Southern home  to their northern vacation grounds in Montana.

If you’ve read the Robicheaux series — this is the 20th entry — the plot will seem familiar: Dave and Clete run into a truly evil man, another evil man who is exceedingly wealthy complicates things, Clete gets suckered in by a pretty woman, Alafair is put in danger, Dave and Clete bust some heads, good triumphs in the end.

Don’t take my glib recitation of the formula as a criticism. Burke can turn a phrase. I’ve quoted from his books extensively elsewhere in this blog, such as here, here and here. He’s my favorite author, both for his thought-provoking topics and for his settings.

While he is definitely relying on a formula for the latest entries into the Robicheaux series, I still highly recommend this book. Burke tells engrossing tales of good and evil, temptation and redemption, love and evil. And he does so in dramatic and entertaining fashion.

This particular series (Burke has written two other series and a number of other stand-alone novels) is generally set in one of my favorite spots — Louisiana — and occasionally veers to another of my favorite spots — Montana. (Burke actually owns homes in New Iberia, Louisiana, and Missoula, Montana.)

If you are reading the Robicheaux series, rush out and get the latest entry, “Light of the World.” If you’ve never picked up a Burke novel, start with the first in this series, “Neon Rain,” and enjoy the ride to entry No. 20.

♦ ♦ ♦

For some other reviews on the book, visit these links:

Wall Street Journal review

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review

Blog critics review, Pat Padua


Bon temps rouler!

1 Feb

"Creole Belle" cover

“New Orleans would always be New Orleans, (Clete) told himself, no matter if it had gone under the waves, no matter if cynical and self-serving politicians had left the people of the Lower Ninth Ward to drown. New Orleans was a song and a state of mind and a party that never ended, and those who did not understand that simple fact should have to get passports to enter the city.”

— James Lee Burke, “Creole Belle”

Who is that old man in the mirror?

18 Aug

Self portrait

“…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 one morning and see a man you don’t recognize.”
— Rev. Amidee Broussard in “Creole Belle,” by James Lee Burke

I’m sure we’ve all had that moment when we’ve looked at a friend and thought, I hardly know that person. Have you had that moment when you’ve looked at yourself and had that same type of realization?

My moment came a couple months ago. I’d come in from a run on a Saturday morning. I had just showered and was getting ready for the day. I paused to look in the mirror and did a double-take. There was a sag in my neck. There were wrinkles. I looked at my hands — I mean really looked. They were wrinkled and checked.

Holy crap. When did this happen?

Just the other day, when I was 20 or 25, I remember thinking that my parents were middle-aged, which by my youth-skewed vision, was well on the way to old. I, on the other hand, was a fully mature adult, but I was just reaching the prime of my life.

Well, if I was 20, my parents were 50. Now I can see the light shining just ahead from my own 50th birthday candles. So 50 can’t be old, right?

Do you ever really think you are old? There are days when we feel old, but do we really think we are old? As long as we have the memories of our youth, of the days when we could run without aches and stay out late, drink all night, listen to bar bands and do it all over again the next day, we know we are not old. As long as we can draw on those memories, see them in our mind’s eye, we will remain young. At least in some way.

When I was just getting started in journalism, I heard this statistic that the average life span for an editor was something like 76. That would make middle age 38. Now more than a dozen years past that demarcation of middle age, I know that calculation is wrong. I am certain that journalists now live to be 100.

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