I do understand why the book was rejected so many times. SPOILER ALERT: The ending makes you hate the whole damn enterprise...even though Mr. Burke can clearly write. You've got a guy here who shouldn't have died; you've got a protagonist who is a f------ heel and gets away with a fairly despicable thing; and you've got an ending that is unresolved and bad guys who are never caught and dealt with. Did I say I hated the ending? I hate the damn ending; I also hate seeing a man, any man, take up with his best friend's former wife. Why go on? Would I pick up another of Mr. Burke's books? Don't know. Does Mr. Burke deserve accolades finally for all the years of toiling away at various jobs and, at last, making it as a writer? Sure. Why not? And I still don't know if I would pick up anything else by him. Wish him the best, though.
This book was written before I 'found' James Lee Burke, and I have managed to miss it until now - Please read this book. It is a remarkable look into a world we all know someone involved with. Finding your way back into society after serving time, turning your life around after prison has to be the most difficult thing I can imagine. James Lee Burke vision of this transition is astonishing and much better than my imagination could have come up with.
This book was rejected 111 times, and after a publisher finally printed it, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Imagine that.
I love this author. I have read his entire catalog and then, again. The Jack Reacher etc. novels can't compare with James Lee. And the problrm is when I read anything else in his genre, I get through a chapter and discard. I am spoiled. Thanks Jim for your work. The descriptive prose and characters and locations I can relate to since my son is a policeman in New Orleans and I have friends that I visit each year in western Montana. And even if i did not have those connections your novels would make me a resident. And Could a person have two more interesting places in America to set locations? Big Sky and The Big Easy. Great.
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