The Publisher's summary reads like a romance novel when this is is classic James Lee Burke: Intellent story telling based on deep introspection and hu..Show More »man nature. Dark poetry in hot, steamy Texas in the time when "Negro" was considered polite language and Hispanics were ignored. A preclude to Rain Gods, it explains many character mysteries and painful memories. Will Patton, the narrator, layers language with meaning and tonality like silk over callouses.
Only a master writer can leave you rocking on a see-saw between grinding your teeth over the moral imbeciles and cheering for the women of courage and..Show More » backbone in this book. You think you'd hate these guys, but Burke finds and shows you just enough of their humanity that you understand the main characters.
Take your time and enjoy the pictures painted because you're going to be right there, smelling and tasting the Texas days and nights. This author gets under your skin with the characters; he doesn't tell you through trite phrases and meaningless gestures.
No highbrow literature here. Just a fine story, skillfully told. If you haven't read James Lee Burke before jump right in. If you have, you'll feel right at home. The narrator is like a fine barbecue, slow and low so the story is so tender it falls off the bone.
"Lay Down My Sword & Shield," the book that introduced me to Hackberry Holland, was disappointing to this fan of the Dave Robicheaux series. "Feast Da..Show More »y of Fools" redeems both the author and the character.
In "Feast Day," Holland is some 40 years older, and much the wiser. He's a man of principle, which he wasn't in the last book. As repellant as he was, he becomes a sympathetic and admirable character.
The book moves at a good clip, and engages the listener immediately. I found myself rewinding to make sure I hadn't missed, or misunderstood, anything. The book tells a story that involves a vicious and demented serial killer, agents of a Mexican drug cartel, agents of the U.S. government, and a charismatic ex-CIA operative turned faith healer. The ending is surprising, and very satisfying.
Will Patton does a good job of narrating, although at times his accents got a bit jumbled. It didn't really detract from the book, but it's why I didn't give him 5 stars.
Do yourself a favor and spend a credit on this one. You won't regret it.
Hackberry Holland = Dave Robicheaux. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed this story to some extent, however, my favorite author (James Lee Burke) used his ..Show More »most popular character's personality, foibles, quips and failures to morph Hackberry Holland into a more interesting anti-hero; one that happens to mirror in many easily recognizable ways his most endearing character, Dave Robicheaux. Thus, I say: Hackberry Holland is Dave Robicheaux, merely set in a new geographic and historical setting.
This book uses so many of the same literary references and imagery (e.g. The Garden of Gethsemane) from the Robicheaux novels that I began to feel like Burke was plagiarizing himself (is that possible?). When I heard Hackberry say he was "going to take it to them under a black flag," my observations were confirmed. That's when I felt very sad.
I asked myself, "Self, is Burke running out of material?" He may be, but he is still a fine writer and poet. The opening sequence is so compelling I started the novel over three times to enjoy the first several paragraphs. As for the rest…I think Dave is more believable. Hackberry is forced, as if he is trying too hard to be a broken man and self-destructive recidivist.
You'll enjoy most of this novel, but it may send you on a journey to seek a new master of the Western/Southern Motif genre.