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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 Patto Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Hackberry Holland Series Release Date:
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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.” 


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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