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Publisher's Summary

In this novel, Burke brings his brilliant feel for time and place to a stunning story of Appalachia in the early 1960s. Here Perry Woodson Hatfield James, a young man torn between family honor and the lure of seedy watering holes, must somehow survive the tempestuous journey from boyhood to manhood and escape the dark and atavistic heritage of the Cumberland Mountains.

©2013 James Lee Burke (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about To the Bright and Shining Sun

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  • Overall
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Classic!

In the rich tradition of Steinback's Grapes of Wrath comes this novel by one of my favorite writers. However, this is not a detective story. No Dave and Clete. no Billy Bob. It is a coming of age novel of a young man,Perry James, in a Kentucky mining town in the mid-twentieth century. To the Bright and Shining Sun (interesting title), in true Burke manner, vividly portrays the life of poverty and despair amid the fighting and violence between the coal industry owners and unions. The story is not black and white - the unions are as ineffectual as the owners are corrupt and amoral. It is about one young man's attempt to dig himself out of the cycle of deprivation and to revenge his father's death.
One other point: although Will Patton is my favorite Burke narrator, Tom Stechschulte does an admirable job bringing this gritty story to life.

18 people found this helpful

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great history lesson

A great insight into the life and struggles of the coal mine workers in Appalachia.

3 people found this helpful

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The punt

A great listen, the performance sounded just like Henry Fonda. The story does Kentucky justice,as I was there 35 years ago training as a nurse midwife.
It doesn't paint a pretty picture, but a true one
I loved it.

3 people found this helpful

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insipid dribble

this book is composed mainly of " than john said, than Mary said..." utterly annoying! I made4 chapters and could no longer stand it.

1 person found this helpful

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Good listen

The ending was a relief yet disappointing. This book needs a sequel. Hope Burke can deliver.

1 person found this helpful

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Great ending

Tough read as the protagonist is a difficult person to like. One of James Lee Burkes' better endings. A well performed and tightly written novel.

1 person found this helpful

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WOW!!!!!

I read this book in 11/2 days, 5 stars to the Narrator he made it come alive. The part that surprised me the most was the part about the Coal Miner's and the fight they had just to survive. Thank you Mr. Burke for another winner.

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Burke Book

It was not the typical Burke story. It is well written. T the narrator is not as good as Patton.

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James Lee Burke is a master storyteller!

This is a story in that has the feel of Steinbeck. It has true and gritty characters, honest dialogue and is told with literary images that you can almost taste. This is simple but compelling tale told by a great writer.

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Deeply moving story of the coal miners

shows the plight of the worker during the depression with vivid detail and a moving hero.