The hero of James Lee Burke's recent best-seller Rain Gods, cousin to lawman Billy Bob Holland and a genuine product of the South, both old and new, Hackberry Holland makes his first appearance in this early gem from "America's best novelist" (The Denver Post).
Against the backdrop of growing civil rights turmoil in a sultry border town, the hard-drinking ex-POW attorney yields to the myriad urgings of his wife, his brother, and his so-called friends to make a bid for a congressional seat - and finds himself embroiled in the seamy world of Texas powerbrokers. And when Hack attempts to overturn an old army buddy's conviction, and crosses paths with a beautiful union organizer who speaks to his heart in a way no one else has, he finds both a new love and a new purpose as he breaks free from the shackles of wealth and expectation to bring justice to the underserved.
©2010 James Lee Burke (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
I don't typically listen to a book twice, but I would consider it with this one because the story is rich and the characters are deep.
I appreciate Burke's old school ethic exhibited through the conviction of his protagonists.
Will Patton is Hack Holland. His interpretation of the character is spot on perfect.
"Coming to a theater near you . . . a Lone Star political masterpiece for the ages!"
Will Patton's delivery caresses the words.
James Lee Burke always delivers - consistent pain and suffering with a solid final delivery.
First chapter always sinks the hook.
his characters play the team ideal, everyone contributes.
You have to read every one of his books....you really do.
I love James Lee Burke and I love Will Patton, but the alcoholism and the brutality in the book is hard for me. the part about the POW camp gave me nightmares and I had to stop listening.
I realize now, that this book was written a long time ago and I could really see how aged the book was.
Will Patton's performance was the best.
This story takes me back to my childhood in Texas, growing up just after my own father returned from Vetinaum. With all the unrest and chaos that was happening at the time and what he was trying to do to put a stop to it. Very well written
Loved the characters
Very true to what was happening at the time, with so few people that would actually help those in need.
James Lee Burke should only let Will Patton read his books for him. His voice is smooth, with good ups and downs. Knows just where to put the right ? on the words. I could listen all day to Will Patton reading JLB books.
Great, keep them coming....faster.....
yes-great new character. 2nd time through, I often pick up new details
Similar in feel to other Burke characters. Conflicted, tortured, but fundamentally principled. In other words, like a lot of us.
The combination of Will Patton as a reader, with Burke's slow but methodical revelation of character and conflict is irresistible to me. Have done the Dave Robicheaux books, now have a new series to look forward to.
Burke writes description so vividly that I, who usually don't, appreciate it. He also Texas very nicely, and when he writes action, it pops.
OTOH, he dwells on downer phenomena like alcoholism, racism, exploitative fat cats, that strike me, at least in this book, as tiresome or cliche.
I preferred his Feast Day of Fools, a sequel to this book, and A Morning for Flamingoes, which IMO have more of Burke at his best, more real 3D characters and action that keeps you in the car in the garage after you're home.
Master falconer and writer
Highly recommend for anyone who likes the Hackberry Holland series. Well read. Good to know history.
James Lee Burke is an amazing writer and there is no better narrator than Will Patton for his works. This book makes you laugh out loud, makes you think, gets you lost in the descriptive power of Burke's words, and you even like the characters. What a combo.
The Burke and Patton team. Can't be beat!
They were all good, some more caricatures and really flesh and blood people. But they populate the story well and make it all come alive.
Reader and Writer from Colorado Springs carefully disguised as a financial advisor all these years. Who knows what lies below a snowy rooftop?
The poetic prose we all love from Burke is safe and sound in this early novel by my best and most favorite writer. But this is a tough read because it's difficult to separate the back story of a Korean war vet, now an alcoholic and pretty dislikable lawyer running for Congress in 1960's Texas. from the current plot line which involves farmworker union organizers in the Rio Grande Valley. I wish it had been one book or the other, because it was distracting making the leap from flash back to present tense. Not a lot of likable characters in a story that often seems unable to tell itself, or to decide which story to tell.
I recommend it to those readers who've already decided they like Hackberry Holland from his two more recent novels, which I liked a lot! You'll be interested to see where Sheriff Holland came from. But if you're not already addicted to Burke's writing, this is not where I'd advise you to start reading.
The characters are all stock personalities done better in later work.
Not my favorite by a long shot, but not without redeeming quality either. The descriptive prose is good as ever. And it's interesting to use this as a gauge for later work.
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