A Feast Day of Prose

15 Dec

Will power is not one of my strong suits. Else when certain books cross my threshold I would place in their appropriate ranking in th ego-be-read cue. Certain books by the likesof Elmore Leonard.George Pelecanos, Thomas Perry, Micheal Connelly and Michael Gruber. In the case at hand I found James Lee Burke’s new opus Feast Day of Fools (Simon & Schuster) in my hands and soon thereafter found myself joyfully turning the pages of Burke’s 30th book. I do have reservations —as I do about Connelly —as both have succumbed to the seduction of writing series around a specific character. Like Connelly, James Lee’s stories are not hampered what is an obvious crutch for lesser writers;

It did not take me long to find passages to marvel at and reread for their piquancy; As in:

The sheriff had arrived at an age when he no longer speculated on validity of a mad man’s visions , or in general, the foibles of human behavior. Instead, his greatest fear was his fellow man’s propensity to act collectively, in militaristic lock step, under the banner of God and country. Mobs did not rush across town to do good deeds, and in Hackelberry’s view, there was no more odious taint on any social or political endeavor then universal approval.

Or this gem:

Often he wondered, as an anthropologist might, what the historical environment of the human race actually was. It wasn’t a subdivision of sprinkled lawns and three bed room houses inside of which the television set had become the cool fire of modern man, Could it the the vast sun baked plain broken by mesas and parched riverbeds where the simian and the mud slathered and unredeemed hunted one another with sharpened sticks, where the only mercy meted out was the kind that came as a result of satiation and exhaustion…the compulsion to kill was in the gene pool…those who denied it were the same ones who killed through proxy. Every professional executioner , every soldier, knew that one of his chief duties was to protect those he served from knowledge about themselves…

And this rumination:

Hackberry Holland had come to believe that age was a separate country you did not ry to explain to younger people, primarily because they had already made up their minds about it and any lessons you had learned from your life were the kind that many people were interested in hearing about.If age brought gifts he didn’t know what they were…

And I’m only about 40 pages into it.

Currently reading Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke (SAinon and Schuster

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