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Extended Audio Sample Bitterroot Audiobook, by James Lee Burke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,351 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Will Patton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Billy Bob Holland Series Release Date: June 2001 ISBN: 9780743541985
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Set in the rugged Bitterroot valley of Montana -- home to celebrities seeking to escape the pressures of public life and xenophobes dedicated to establishing a bulkhed of patriotic paranoia -- Bitterroot features Blly Bob Holland, former Texas Ranger and now a Texas-based lawyer, who has come to Big Sky country at the request of an old friend in trouble.
And big trouble it is, not just for his friend, but for Billy Bob himself -- in the form of Wyatt Dixon, a recent prison parolee sworn to kill Billy Bob as revenge for both his imprisonment and his sister's death, both of which he blames on the former Texas lawman. As the mysteries multiply and the body count mounts, the listener is drawn deeper and deeper into the tortured mind of Billy Bob Holland, an incredibly complex hero, tormented by the mistakes of his past and driven to make things -- all things -- right. What makes him especially facinationg is that beneath the guise of justice for the weak and downtrodden lies a tendency for violence that at all times becomes more terrifying than the danger he is trying to eradicate.
Crafted with the lyrical prose and the elegiac tome that have inspired many critics to compare James lee Burke to William Faulkner, Bitterroot is a thriller that surpasses the success of his previous novels. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Those who relish Burke’s patented mix of supercharged violence and overheated passions are in for a treat.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Burke has a wonderful sense of place; his settings always seep into and flavor the story. His characters are also vivid, angry, and touched hard by the world’s cruelty, although sometimes it seems that the difference between the bad guys and the good guys is that the bad guys enjoy the mayhem and carnage they cause just a little more.” 

    Library Journal

  • “Burke’s patented lyricism has never been more beautiful—or seemed more fresh—than in his descriptions of the Montana landscape, and he does a wonderful job of contrasting that harmonious and peaceful setting with the jarring dissonance of failed human relations.” 

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 2/16/2014

    " Bobby Lee Holland goes to Montana to visit his friend, Doc Voss, and gets tangled up with a psychopath, mobsters and a white supremacist group. Great story and read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaime | 2/11/2014

    " There's so much going on in this book I'm still processing. But he's a good story-spinner, that James Lee Burke. Plus, I'm pretty sure he's a friend of my uncle's, and I found this book in a laundry room. Free books: I'm happy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank Ryerson | 2/10/2014

    " The most literary writer of the mystery genre--Faulknerian! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Madrona310 | 2/3/2014

    " didn't finish this. I waded through the stereotypical old tough military/lawman characterization getting into bar room confrontations with bikers. But there is nothing I hate more than the women getting victimized just because they know these guys. HATE that plot line! The only thing worse is when the tough guy's girlfriend is too stupid to stay out of the middle of it and gets captured and then he has to go after her, blah blah blah. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Biblophile | 1/31/2014

    " A most enjoyable listen. James Lee Burke sure can write and the reader is excellent. Good characters and story line. An evocative tale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karleene Morrow | 1/28/2014

    " I love James Lee Burke's writings and am a true fan of his Dave Robicheaux detective novels. Thought this might be a good series, too. Sad to say this one was not up to Burke's abilities in the least. But he has written so many quality books that I suppose he can be forgiven for laying an occasional egg. Still, I'm not encouraged to read any more "Billy Bob Holland" novels. The character's name alone should have rung a warning bell in my head, LOL. Can't recommend it. Feel generous giving three stars, but part of it were worthy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Riley Cooper | 1/26/2014

    " Very engaging from the start. I didn't want to put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod Zemke | 1/23/2014

    " Though never great, always entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 1/20/2014

    " Another excellent JLB read, full intricate and flawed characters. This time with a Montana setting, which is described in vivid and interesting detail. Brilliant read - 4.5 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/10/2014

    " Added a new Character almost as good as Dave R. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 W Orr | 1/3/2014

    " Ambiguous review. Very well written, and I love the way the prose takes you into Montana and evokes the setting so well. But the violence is ubiquitous and the characters are all so desperate to appear manly that it got tiresome. Or maybe that's the West. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim Grimes | 12/18/2013

    " It was just okay for me man! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fan Francis | 12/10/2013

    " I always recommended to read this book and James Lee Burke wove a great tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 11/15/2013

    " I actually like the Billy Bob Holland series better than Dave Robiceaux. Great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 10/25/2013

    " Burke's prose is still terrific. I can feel the the breeze on my face and smell the bear in the cage, but it leaves a little bit to desired as far as a mystery goes and I thought some of the minor characters were left a little undeveloped. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 10/16/2013

    " Bitterroot by James Lee Burke (2002) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis Stimson | 8/28/2013

    " Thank you Mr. Burke for such fun and so many great stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carole | 8/16/2013

    " This is another venue for Mr. Burke's talent. Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland is the newest protagonist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rex Fuller | 8/9/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyed it. A true kaleidoscope of characters, any one of whom (the survivors anyway) could generate a series of books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob Hart | 3/26/2013

    " Yet again, Burke has created a true page-turner. Holland is a solid hero. More bad guys than you can shake a stick at. I'd read his grocery list. Loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 3/24/2013

    " Different than the Robicheaux series. I am not a huge fan of Montana, but after reading Burke take a few different characters there, I definitely want to vacation near Swan Peak. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 3/13/2013

    " Kept me on the edge of my seat! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 3/3/2013

    " A brilliant read. James Lee Burke at his finest. Burke knows how to dig into the human psyche and develops his characters with wonderful metaphors. I have not read a bad James Lee Burke book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cammie | 8/28/2012

    " James Lee Burke is one of best writers of our times. He is one of the few writers whose books I will purchase in hard cover because I can't wait for the paperback version to come out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 8/21/2012

    " He pushes crime fiction away from the genre and toward literature. This is one of his that takes place in Montana. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne Keehne | 8/15/2012

    " I really liked it!! It is not the typical Western that I avoid. It centers on family and it's struggles, yet centered in the wonderful west and it's homey culture. I really enjoyed it's content and emotional message. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Klanette | 8/7/2012

    " Not a bad book. The appeal for me was more about the feel of the story rather than the story itself. The main character is sorrowful but still striving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 5/25/2012

    " He's my favorite author. Read a Burke book and your in a dark theater by yourself surrounded and engulfed by his images. I've read them all but can only do so once every 3-4 months because in the end they are their message about the human condition is not hopeful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 1/31/2012

    " I love the Billy Bob books and would love to read more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bev | 12/22/2011

    " Definately my favorite James Lee book. I am excited to read more about Billy Bob and his son. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marilyn | 11/23/2011

    " This book is trash...I'm not going to finish it...he speaks in so many synonyms (off beat/trash talk) that you can't even figure out what he's saying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 5/14/2011

    " It was just okay for me man! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 4/1/2011

    " He's my favorite author. Read a Burke book and your in a dark theater by yourself surrounded and engulfed by his images. I've read them all but can only do so once every 3-4 months because in the end they are their message about the human condition is not hopeful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 3/4/2011

    " Added a new Character almost as good as Dave R. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 2/15/2011

    " Bobby Lee Holland goes to Montana to visit his friend, Doc Voss, and gets tangled up with a psychopath, mobsters and a white supremacist group. Great story and read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 1/29/2011

    " Burke's prose is still terrific. I can feel the the breeze on my face and smell the bear in the cage, but it leaves a little bit to desired as far as a mystery goes and I thought some of the minor characters were left a little undeveloped. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/24/2010

    " I really liked it!! It is not the typical Western that I avoid. It centers on family and it's struggles, yet centered in the wonderful west and it's homey culture. I really enjoyed it's content and emotional message. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bev | 8/24/2010

    " Definately my favorite James Lee book. I am excited to read more about Billy Bob and his son. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 2/23/2010

    " Back to Burke. Billy Bob Holland Territory.Dave Robicheaux without the neuroses and the drinking problem "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marilyn | 9/21/2009

    " This book is trash...I'm not going to finish it...he speaks in so many synonyms (off beat/trash talk) that you can't even figure out what he's saying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 8/23/2009

    " He pushes crime fiction away from the genre and toward literature. This is one of his that takes place in Montana. "

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About the Author
Author James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of more than thirty novels and two collections of short stories, including the New York Times bestsellers Creole Belle, Dixie City Jam, The Glass Rainbow, Rain Gods, Pegasus Descending, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Feast Day of Fools, and more.. His novel The Lost-Get Back Boogie was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and two of his books, Heaven’s Prisoners and Two for Texas, have been made into motion pictures.

About the Narrator

Will Patton is an award–winning actor who has narrated audiobooks by such authors as Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, Don DeLillo, and Ernest Hemingway. He has won thirty-two AudioFile Earphones Award for his narrations. His numerous film credits include Remember the Titans, The Punisher, The Mothman Prophesies, Armageddon, and The Spitfire Grill. He starred in the TNT miniseries Into the West and on the CBS series The Agency and won Obie Awards in the theater for his performances in Fool for Love and What Did He See.