For fans of JLB and his Holland family series this should be considered. It’s #1 in the order but perhaps not the one to start with for readers unfamiliar with his body of work. The book debuted in 1971 to critical mauling. As James Lee said in an interview "It got pretty worked over. It got hit pretty hard.” So did its author. Eventually it was out of print. His next novel would make the submission rounds for 9 years and be rejected 111 times before it would be published in 1986. That one was nominated for a Pulitzer. Thankfully, the man had faith in his writing and the rest is literary history. Because of that history and the sequels to this novel ♥︎♥︎♥︎ (the first of which did not appear until 2009), this book was republished in 2010. Despite opinions like: “... shows the strength of Burke's writing, but without the wonderful storytelling skills of the later books. Not recommended as a starting point, but definitely one which fans will enjoy”, many GR reviewers and fans give it high praise. I do agree with that statement.
What did I think? You cannot trust me to be unbiased because as my GR friends know, I love JLB. I am tainted by his talent and his characters. I am on a quest to read everything he wrote. Suffice it to say that if you are a true fangirl or guy of Hack Holland this is required reading. It’s where his story begins and gives insight into his complicated persona. Like Hackberry in this novel, James Lee was a young man when this story was written and just like the very best wine, got better with age. But youth has its time and place as we all know.
Only one glass of wine influenced my thought process and rating on this one. ☺︎
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Phoenix; 1 edition (1 December 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752842692
- ISBN-13: 978-0752842691
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)