Thursday, April 30, 2020

Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke and narrated by Will Patton. Wayfaring Stranger is the first novel in the 'A Holland Family' series.

Listening time for Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke is 13 hours, 6 minutes.

Prior to listening to Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke, I'd listened to and reviewed two previous novels by James Lee Burke - Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke and Rain Gods by James Lee Burke. Both novels were narrated by Will Patton and both novels were excellent.

So with that in mind, I was excited to listen to Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke. However, when all was said and done, I wasn't that excited about this novel. I loved the characters for Wayfaring Stranger as James Lee Burke is great at creating interesting characters. The storyline wasn't all that compelling to me. The plot had too much emphasis on the good verses bad motif for my liking. Additionally, the writing for Wayfaring Stranger felt formulaic.

As always, Will Patton is an excellent narrator. I could listen to just about anything he narrates.

The following is a summary for Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke from Audible:
From "America’s best novelist" (The Denver Post): a sprawling thriller drenched with atmosphere and intrigue that takes a young boy from a chance encounter with Bonnie and Clyde to the trenches of World War II and the oil fields along the Texas-Louisiana coast.

It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp. Eventually, Weldon and Rosita fall in love and marry and, with Hershel, return to Texas to seek their fortunes. There, they enter the domain of jackals known as the oil business. They meet Roy Wiseheart - a former Marine aviator haunted with guilt for deserting his squadron leader over the South Pacific and Roy’s wife, Clara, a vicious anti-Semite who is determined to make Weldon and Rosita’s life a nightmare. It will be the frontier justice upheld by Weldon’s grandfather, Texas lawman Hackberry Holland, and the legendary antics of Bonnie and Clyde that shape Weldon’s plans for saving his family from the evil forces that lurk in peacetime America and threaten to destroy them all.
I'm giving Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke a rating of 2.5 stars out of 5 stars. I will not continue reading the rest of the 'A Holland Family' series.

Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. I haven't read any Burke in a very long time, but it can't be denied that he can tell a compelling tale. However, it sounds like this one just didn't do it for you. Too bad.

  2. Well, ok. At least you know you have reached your personal end with this author.

    1. I may return to a different series by this author... We'll see.