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Feast Day of Fools Hardcover – 10 Nov 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (10 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140914030X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409140306
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Burke gives us some wonderful dialogue between flawed characters reaching for higher truths, and some wickedly pungent descriptive passages ... superb writing. (Siobhan Murphy METRO)

Menacingly dark but with chinks of glittering perception, Lee Burke is the king of Southern noir. This complicated but utterly compelling tale finds Sheriff Hackberry Holland in a three-way manhunt - and it's the religious maniac who's most disturbing. (Henry Sutton DAILY MIRROR)

His set pieces are sharp and effective and his prose swoops and soars with a lyricism that would make a poet's heart ache with envy. The plot continues to drive you forward but you force yourself to slow down: to savour the quality of the words arranged on the page. (CRIMESQUAD.COM)

Book Description

A powerful and unforgettable thriller from the acclaimed genre master.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Feast Day Of Fools" is vintage James Lee Burke. At 460 pages, it is a jumbo of a book and takes time to get to its cruising altitude, but once it does.....WOW.

"Feast Day" is set in the drug, arms and people smuggling borderlands of Southwest Texas, a physical and metaphorical landscape ideally suited to Burke's eschatological battles between good and evil. Sheriff Hackberry Holland (in his second appearance after being recalled from a 40 year hiatus in Rain Gods, published in 2009) and his team of deputies investigate the brutal murder of a DEA informant and the related disappearance of an escaped hostage who carries with him vital military secrets. They are not the only ones in the chase: the Feds, shadowy vigilantes with unspecified links to the government, a Mexican gang and a Russian led criminal group also show up. "Preacher Jack" Collins, the demonic killer who escaped justice in "Rain Gods," also inserts himself though it is debatable as to which side he is on.

Burke's characters are colorful and complex. In addition to the various well-sketched thugs, there is La Magdalena, a Chinese missionary with a CIA past, the Reverend Cody Daniels, a cowboy preacher out to expunge his own sins, and Danny Boy Lorca, a loser who witnessed the murder and decides to make amends. The good guys all have their demons and the villains (mostly) have flashes of honour.

Hack himself is a peculiar hero. He is almost 80 years old but manages physical feats and intimidates his foes as if he were in his prime. He is haunted by (among many things) his memories of the Korean War. One forms the impression that Burke would have preferred to make it the War Between the States but concluded that it would stretch credulity even further if his hero was aged 160.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Flaws duly noted - it's indeed a surprisingly commercial turn of writing for JLB in many ways. However, this results in a high degree of sustained narrative drive. By contrast, the lack of same has sometime been, in the past, the weakest aspect of his otherwise amazing books. Strangely, the florid descriptive style made Texas live for me more than the renowned Dave Robicheaux novels ever did for Louisiana. So despite any of those flaws, it's simply the James Lee Burke book I've enjoyed most, and finished quickest, in ages. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it, would happily return to Sheriff Hackberry's Texas mythi-verse any time Burke wishes to lead the way, and did not miss the loophole through which the delectably sordid villain escaped to live another plot ... Would ideally have awarded 4.5 stars. If Burke could combine ALL the best of his previous works with Hackberry's character family ... five stars easy.
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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a while since I have read any of Mr Burke's books, mostly because I have not had the concentration necessary to savour his writing. Mr Burke writes very detailed novels - surroundings, motivations and characters and you cannot skim read them if they are to make sense. Feast Day Of Fools is no different. The plot is actually quite ridiculous. Noie Barnum has been kidnapped by a coyote (people smuggler) and is to be sold to Al Qaeda for his expertise in drone technology (yes, really) but escapes whilst the coyote is killing the corrupt Mexican policeman kidnapped with him. Various people are after Noie - the coyote, the FBI, his employer and a Russian gangster - but he is rescued and looked after by a serial killer called Preacher Jack Collins. This all takes place in Hackberry Holland's jurisdiction. This a brief synopsis of the plot as the action is fast and furious with new twists on almost every page.
The plot, however, is, in some ways, just a device to allow Mr Burke to do what he does best - lyrical description of the surroundings and examination of good and evil. I loved the descriptions of the landscapes as I could almost feel I was there but the characters are, I think, a re-hash of Mr Burke's preoccupations. Hack is not so different from Dave Robicheaux, a recovering alcoholic with recurrent war dreams and a self righteous, unyielding personality who follows his own moral code.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing in some ways for a James Lee Burke book. Yes, the writing is brilliant, with really evocative descriptions but the plot is all over the place and the sheer number of apparently psychopathic killers out there is unbelievable (that is, more so than usual). That said, the main protagonist (the Sheriff) has an interestingly flawed personality and oodles of determination - these kept me involved, plus the striking picture of the out of the way "badlands" setting. Maybe it's nearer three and a half stars.Lights! Camera! Gallop! The story of the horse in film
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a typical Burke novel; vigorous, violent and filled with grotesque and memorable characters. It provides the usual quotq of liberal social commentary, thistime about illegal immigration from Mexico. The exchanges between the sheriff and his female assistants spice up yet another slightly formulaic but eminently readable novel.
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