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Ok, so I'm going to try this year to generate discussion about some books in this section. Since last year, I've been trying to read more new books--keep abreast, as it were, of whatever's going on out there. And that year, as with this, I started out with a Dave Robicheaux novel by James Lee Burke. Now, I know that other people on this board dig Burke--MLeary, for one, if I recall--so it seems sensible to have a thread on him. For myself, I've now read three Burke novels: Crusader's Cross (2005), Robicheaux (2018), and now The New Iberia Blues (2019). I've got handfuls of the other novels both with me here and back home in Alabama and I plan--eventually--on getting around to reading them. I'm going to go ahead and drop my reading journal entry (lightly edited) on The New Iberia Blues below: I’m not sure how I feel about this. Crusader’s Cross, which I read years ago, was really good (as I recalled); Robicheaux was a weird experience that I don’t remember much of, in part because I read it on a thirteen hour flight from China to the U.S. So this one—hmm. Ok, so there’s some stuff I really didn’t care for: 1. Old men getting it on with young women, with their [the young women's] enthusiastic cajoling, is—I guess not unheard of, but it feels a lot like an older man’s fantasy (lots about these last two novels feel that way, including the fact that these sixty-or-seventy-year-old-men apparently have arms like cantaloupes and can take beatings that would kill men even a third their age. But, ok, that’s a generic thing). 2. Characters who aren’t Dave or Clete (or Smiley, the halfpint assassin, I guess) are pretty opaque and inconsistent in the way they act. Everyone seems to be picking fights with Dave, including his adopted daughter. After all this time one would think she would know better. 3. There’s a definite tinge of old-man-yells-at-cloud to all Dave’s talk about Hollywood and the New America, etc etc etc Things I liked: 1. I don’t think I appreciated it enough before, but Burke’s crime fiction really does hit that same spot that Hannibal, for instance, does in its interposing of quasi-supernatural events onto a crime narrative. It was stronger here than I remembered in the previous novel. 2. The epilogue was really good. There’s a sense of trying to find some kind of happiness or solidarity in a world that is (in the case of the Louisiana coast, literally) falling apart, which seems very of-its-time. 3. Burke writes beautifully, of course. So--thoughts, anyone? Any Burke aficionados? Has anyone else read the new book?
Thread linkage: I Want to Believe thread one. Thread two. X-Files 3 Has it really been seven years since the 2008 movie? And before that--ten years between movie 1 and movie 2 and six years between the end of the series and the second movie (with the first one coming in the middle of the series run). And it's twenty-two years since the show debuted in 1993. It was also very much of-its-time, with the paranoia etc etc etc closely echoing some of the popular sentiment of the 1990s; it could be that the reason the 2008 film wasn't quite as momentous--in spite of the gap between series and movie--was because the zeitgeist had changed in the meantime. And now, thirteen years after the series closed, I can only imagine that the zeitgeist has changed even more. Certainly television drama has--in a move that was partly the result of the original show--so I'm wondering how this one will work (already we see it's taking the form of a mini-season, instead of a full run--much as Twin Peaks is doing). We don't have a thread on the original, from what I can see, but we should have something for the new series that was just announced.