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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 (1,511 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 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.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “If you believe, as Burke does, that beauty and horror go hand in hand in this life, then he can touch you in ways few writers can.” 

    Washington Post

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

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “America’s best novelist.” 

    Denver Post

  • “Holy shit does this novel crush into its pages a whole war chest of bloody drama and brutal questions about what it means to be an American and a Christian and a Christian American in the new century. James Lee Burke—muscular and elegiac, brutal and compassionate—is a Stetson-wearing, spur-jangling giant among novelists.


  • “Packed with lush imagery and allegorical heft, Feast Day of Fools is a tightly wound thriller that reconfirms James Lee Burke’s status as a master storyteller.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2011 Indie Next List
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2011
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 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 Abeille | 2/20/2014

    " I hate to say this, but this book disappointed me. A lot of the ingredients that make Burke's other books work for me are here, but the end result still falls flat. For one, it felt like this book went on too long. I'm rarely eager for a book to end, but I found myself asking "Are we there yet?" often in the last third of the book. It also felt like the main character, Hackberry Holland, didn't make any progression from the beginning of Rain Gods to the end of Feast Day of Fools. He's still the same man, fighting the same demons over and over again but not achieving any kind of closure or growth. I'm sure that's realistic, but it doesn't make for a satisfying read. One other dissonant note that I found in this book is that one really has to have read the preceding book (Rain Gods) to understand the character of Jack Collins. It really felt like the author assumed readers would already have knowledge of all that happened in the earlier book. Having said that, there are some wonderful moments and characters in Feast Day of Fools. Burke is still a great writer and draws scenes like a master. I just hope he has a more ruthless editor for his next book. Book #38 in the Book a Week Challenge from the #WTM boards. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Grace | 2/18/2014

    " I recieved this from First Reads and I am so glad I did! Sheriff Hackberry Holland is once again trying to keep the peace in his small Texas town while dealing with arms dealers, serial killers , and of course, Preacher Jack Collins. Dark, violent, and disturbing, this is James Lee Burke at his best!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom | 2/15/2014

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sandra | 2/8/2014

    " Good story. Good family of characters. "

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