From New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke—an atmospheric, coming-of-age story set in 1952 Texas, as the Korea War rages.
On its surface, life in Houston is as you would expect: drive-in restaurants, souped-up cars, jukeboxes, teenagers discovering their sexuality. But beneath the glitz and superficial normalcy, a class war has begun, and it is nothing like the conventional portrayal of the decade. Against this backdrop Aaron Holland Broussard discovers the poignancy of first love and a world of violence he did not know existed.
When Aaron spots the beautiful and gifted Valerie Epstein fighting with her boyfriend, Grady Harrelson, at a Galveston drive-in, he inadvertently challenges the power of the Mob and one of the richest families in Texas. He also discovers he must find the courage his father had found as an American soldier in the Great War.
Written in evocative prose, The Jealous Kind may prove to be James Lee Burke’s most encompassing work yet. As Aaron undergoes his harrowing evolution from boy to man, we can’t help but recall the inspirational and curative power of first love and how far we would go to protect it.
James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Jealous Kind continues the Holland family saga, but in a different way. This is not a sweeping historical novel with multiple real-life figures’ lives interlaced with the experiences of the Holland family. The only such figure here is Bugsy Siegel, who does not figure in the plot in any significant way. Rather than a multi-generational panoramic novel, this is a straightforward coming-of-age story set in the period of the Korean War.
The Korean War is also the period of hot rods with dual exhausts, pegged pants, poodle skirts and greasy hairstyles that suggest the configuration of a duck’s posterior. The protagonist is Aaron Holland Broussard who falls in love with a Jewish girl named Valerie Epstein. They live in Houston and visit Galveston—the two principal settings for the novel. They do not, however, live in the River Oaks section of Houston, an important facet of the novel, since the narrative is concerned with class and the manner in which...
This author tells a great tale but the behavior of his characters don't always ring true.To begin with, there is No WAY that a father .would have allowed his underage daughter ( Valerie Epstein ) the freedom to run wild with a boy ( especially a non Jewish boy ) go on trips to the beach unchaperonred,entertain a boy in her home ,when her Father wasn't home, if Val had done this-she would have been the talk of the neighborhood and NOT in a good way ! Morals were VERY strict in those days and women were expected to be virgins on their wedding night.. I would also argue that if Val and Aaron had acted and spoken to the gangsters in the book the wway they did, they would have been chopped up and fed to the sharks. The friendships in the book that crossed racial ,class and ethnic lines would have been non existent in those days.In 1960's Florida for example( when I was a teen) Surfers hung with Surfers and would NEVER had ANYTHING to do with a "Greaser".The world of the...
Another great piece of American literature from James Lee Burke, The Jealous Kind explores more than coming of age - it offers an examination of a young man realization that he is no longer a boy. It offers a heart felt reflection of his change in perspective from a person coming of age as the offspring of the Greatest Generation - but it exposes the harm of war, the changes in the way men think who have seen unspeakable horror, but retain a culture of honor. It contrasts the strength of these men and those who they have influenced vs. those who lack guidance and moral character.
Great read. One of his bests... it seems in the last two published novels that Burke has moved on from Dave Robicheaux and Clete and is baring his soul and perhaps some life experiences to contribute serious literature to the world.
I appreciate all your works, Mr. Burke - but this is clearly one of your best. Thank you.
Highly recommended for anyone who has parents that were...
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