Death or the Country of Old Men

20 Dec

James Lee Burke excels at seeding his crime story novels with great, blossoming riffs which elevate the narratives onto a Chandleresque moral plateau. In Feast Day of Fools, (Simon & Schuster) Hackberry Holland sheriff of a southwest Texas county on the US Mexican border, re-engages Preacher Jack Collins a stone cold mass (but not serial) murderer as well as a Mezo- American operative who has been engaged in numerous homicidal black operations for the US and its surrogates. There are more killers but they are very much ambient to Hack’s musings and performance of his duties as a law officer. Packed in to his full life is his college baseball career, his Purple Heart and POW service in Korea,his political aspiration as a congressman and his legal work as an ACLU lawyer. Seeing how the good sheriff Holland negotiates the country of his age is regularly rewarded with some gripping passages

To whit:

According to the makers of myth and those who trafficked in cheap lies about human wisdom, the elderly saw goodness in the world that they had not been allowed to see in their youth. But Hackelberry had found the world was the world and it did not change because one happened to age. The same players were always there, regardless of the historical era, he thought, and the ones that heeded most were those that despoiled the earth and led us into wars and provided justifications whenever we felt compelled to commit unconscionable acts against our fellow human beings…when you heard the clock ticking in your life , there was no greater disservice you could do to yourself than to entertain a lie. Death was bad only when you had to face it knowing that you had failed to live during the time allotted to you, or that you had lied to yourself about the realities of the world or willingly listened to the lies of others.


Need I add there obvious?

Currently reading Pity The Billionaire Thomas Frank (Henry Holt)

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One Response to “Death or the Country of Old Men”

  1. Kelly House December 22, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    To all my fellow book lovers, I found a great radio show, The Book Report, they mentioned Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke. Go to http://www.bookreportradio.com/index.html to have a listen. Show times and Stations available they also have all their old shows, its great way to spend your holidays hearing from great authors themselves.

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