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Extended Audio Sample Feast Day of Fools: A Novel, 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 (1,518 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Will Patton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Hackberry Holland Series Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9781442344273
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Celebrated crime master and two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke returns with a gorgeously crafted, brutally resonant chronicle of violence along the Texas-Mexico border.

Sheriff Hackberry Holland patrols a small Southwest Texas border town, meting out punishment and delivering justice in his small square of this magnificent but lawless land. When an alcoholic ex-boxer named Danny Boy Lorca begs to be locked up after witnessing a man tortured to death by a group of bandits, Hack and his deputy, Pam Tibbs, slowly extract the Indian man’s gruesome tale. It becomes clear that the desert contains a multitude of criminals, including serial murderer Preacher Jack Collins (whom the New York Times called “one of Burke’s most inspired villains”).

Holland’s investigation leads him to Anton Ling, a mysterious Chinese woman whose steely demeanor and aristocratic beauty compel Hackberry to return to her home again and again as the investigation unfolds.

James Lee Burke is at his engrossing and atmospheric best in this, his thirtieth novel, as Hackberry plumbs the depths of man’s inhumanity to man—from killers-for-hire, to the US government, to the misguided souls in search of a better life across the border.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “James Lee Burke presses onward with his singular mission to rewrite the American western in Feast Day of Fools…Burke is constructing a whole mew mythology in this series, with characters haunted by history and driven by ghosts…Hackberry Holland’s assertion that ‘a martial and savage spirit had ruled these hills’ since the time of the conquistadors is a good man’s way of saying that the violence we do sinks into the ground we walk on and becomes part of our collective heritage.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Burke’s evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “James Lee Burke—muscular and elegiac, brutal and compassionate—is a Stetson-wearing, spur-jangling giant among novelists.” 

    Esquire

  • “When the literary lights of the 21st century go marching in, James Lee Burke will be leading the parade. For five decades, Burke has created memorable novels that weave exquisite language, unforgettable characters, and social commentary into written tapestries that mirror the contemporary scene. His work transcends genre classification…Feast Day of Fools is a richly complex novel with several themes and subplots…extraordinary characterizations, dialogue, sense of place, and an almost mystical, allegorical summation.” 

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Riveting…Burke is creating an allegorical, almost Biblical setting here: The lost wander hopelessly in the desert, seeking revenge or redemption or some terrible mix of both. The moral center in all of this is Hackberry Holland, who feels old ‘in the way people feel old when they have more knowledge of the world than they need.’ He’s Burke’s most fascinating character, a man whose sense of justice has been shaken but not destroyed. Equally compelling is Pam Tibbs, the most no-nonsense woman in fictional law enforcement (‘Men often thought she was trying to be cute. They were mistaken’). The push-and-pull between the two is just one more of Burke’s thrilling examples of the mysteries of the human heart.” 

    Miami Herald

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2011 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2011
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book in 2011
  • A 2012 Audie Award Finalist for Mystery
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, September 2011
  • A 2011 Hammett Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/3/2014

    " Burke writes interesting characters. I was initially sucked in, but then it got long. This would have been a much better book if you shaved off 150 pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue Radley | 2/3/2014

    " Great read. A book that you do not want to put down "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malia | 2/1/2014

    " Lots of Badies, and even a bady turned goody. More intense than before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/22/2014

    " Quite a cast of characters in this one, but what pushes this audiobook over the top is the stellar narration by Will Patton. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon Koenig | 1/19/2014

    " There is much to like in the last, thus far, installment of the Hackberry Holland series. Suffice to say if you have not read this series by James Lee Burke - Start. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terrie | 1/18/2014

    " One of the most literary crime writers I have ever encountered. I would definitely read another of his books. He has a gift for language. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 1/11/2014

    " WOW... I am new to Mr. Burke's writing, but I can honestly say I will be singing his praise! This is an amazing book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy | 1/10/2014

    " Will Patton did his usual excellent job of narrating this book on CD. I don't think I will ever get tired for James Lee Burke novels. Here again he did a superb job (IMHO) of bringing to life the landscape and the people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeffrey Hammerhead | 12/27/2013

    " I wish I could write as well as James Lee Burke. I like the cast of characters that come into Hackberry Holland's life. I see the landscape as Burke describes them. What can I say, it's a James Lee Burke book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aunt | 12/6/2013

    " James Lee Burke writes sentences to savor...what an amazing author! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cal | 12/4/2013

    " I enjoy Burke's writing as he is able to convey complexity of characters well. There are lots of rabbit trails that all converge; at times the narrative line falls away as he digresses into the individuals for extended periods. Felt like No Country for Anyone after listening for a couple hours. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan Shen | 11/28/2013

    " hard. as. fuck american crime novel. awesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Milo | 11/8/2013

    " Another great Hackberry Holland story read incredibly by Will Patton. Burke and Patton are the best writer/reader team out there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janice | 7/8/2013

    " Incredibly violent--the land is harsh, the people are psychopaths or worse. Lots of action. I listened to the audio version. Reader was great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 7/2/2013

    " I have yet to read anything by James Lee Burke that I didn't absolutely love. This is one of my favorites. Burke's style is similar to Faulkner's, only more rich. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy | 11/19/2012

    " Enjoyed this third in the Sheriff Hackberry Holland series - not as absorbing as the 'Nawlins series but Burke's use of language is always a treat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William Keats | 8/5/2012

    " A GREAT read... word power and scene setting.. gritty at times.. unusual characters but believable.. I DO like this author "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Gorman | 7/15/2012

    " James Lee Burke is an American treasure. Nobody writes like him. This story has more plot lines coming together than you can believe with a fascinating cast of characters. Hackberry Holland is one of the most unique protagonists we will ever encounter. Crack it open and you are in for a wild ride. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Donna Kass | 7/5/2012

    " I couldn't wait for this book to end. It just went on and on and onn and on. I found it depressing and with no redeeming qualities. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken Beck | 6/19/2012

    " Always love the descriptive prose by Burke. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Agnes | 5/31/2012

    " Intense story, really holds interest. Scary if true, too many deaths. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Clifford | 3/28/2012

    " One of the worst novels I've ever read. The plot is absurd and the writing is awful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pickleman | 1/22/2012

    " I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't like this book and the prequel to it (Rain Gods). Burke is the master of storytelling! His characters are always really interesting and their interaction with each other is incredible. Highly highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 11/6/2011

    " I am a sucker for Mr. Burke. I love the language and the epic sense and even the super realism which sometimes can challenge one. But thoroughly loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynette | 11/4/2011

    " What is not to like? This is another great book by one of my favorite authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie | 11/2/2011

    " Has there ever been a James Lee Burke book I didn't like? This one is full of very evil people. But, even with all of that evil, he manages to convey the plot action and scenes with such poetry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wilma | 11/2/2011

    " Loved this book~~actually read it through twice in a row because there is so much to it. What can one say about the beautiful, uncomprable prose of James Lee Burke except the advice: don't miss it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edward | 10/29/2011

    " I love reading James Lee Burke. This one a few too many violent crims for my liking but I love reading JLB's writing. I simply find joy with his descriptions of life and landscapes. I listened to this book read by Will Patton and that makes it special as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 10/27/2011

    " James Lee Burke reintroduces Preacher Jack Collins, a monster of a hitman-serial killer. Hack Holland wants to hunt down Collins, but ends up using him to kills another killer. If you can't get a Lt. Dave Robicheaux book from Burke, then a Hack Holland mystery is an acceptable substitute. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 10/26/2011

    " Loved this book--violent, but filled with great writing and philosophy. It reminded me of the movie--No Country For Old Men--I would highly recommend this one "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JoAnn | 10/25/2011

    " This novel contains many great characters both good and evil. Everything is not set in the personalities evoked, but mixed and many faceted. The story is well told and draws one forward from beginning to end.

    I enjoyed this book very much and give it a high recommendation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Burt | 10/22/2011

    " James Lee Burke just keeps the books coming and this one is as good as usual. "

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