Wayfaring Stranger

Wayfaring Stranger

A Novel

Book - 2014
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In his most ambitious work yet, New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke tells a classic American story through one man's unforgettable life-connecting a fateful encounter with Bonnie and Clyde to heroic acts at the Battle of the Bulge and finally to the high-stakes gambles and cutthroat players who ushered in the dawn of the American oil industry.

In 1934, sixteen-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 with Weldon firing a gun and being unsure whether it hit its mark.

Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland barely survives the Battle of the Bulge, in the process saving the lives of his sergeant, Hershel Pine, and a young Spanish prisoner of war, Rosita Lowenstein-a woman who holds the same romantic power over him as the strawberry blonde Bonnie Parker, and is equally mysterious. The three return to Texas where Weldon and Hershel get in on the ground floor of the nascent oil business.

In just a few years' time Weldon will spar with the jackals of the industry, rub shoulders with dangerous men, and win and lose fortunes twice over. But it is the prospect of losing his one true love that will spur his most reckless, courageous act yet-one that takes its inspiration from that encounter long ago with the outlaws of his youth.

A tender love story and pulse-pounding thriller that crosses continents and decades of American history, Wayfaring Stranger "is a sprawling historical epic full of courage and loyalty and optimism and good-heartedness that reads like an ode to the American Dream" (Benjamin Percy, Poets & Writers ).
Publisher: New York ;, Toronto :, Simon & Schuster,, 2014
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476710792
Branch Call Number: FIC Burke
Characteristics: 435 pages ; 25 cm


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May 13, 2016

I have read many, many Burke books and this is the only one I haven't enjoyed. I need to find a character that I like in a book, and that was missing for me here. I didn't finish it....

Aug 26, 2015

Thus is my first read of Burke and I'm impressed. While the story felt meandering at times, the central character and his inner thoughts are compelling and help drive the plot forward. Look forward to reading other work by him.

jonathan4300 Jul 27, 2015

This story left an effect on me, a story you will find hard to put down.

Mar 21, 2015

Burke has written a lot of readable books over the years, most of which don't have the scope or breadth of this one. I enjoyed it, read all the way through it, and respect the job he did with it. But I don't want to give it a standing ovation, just the standard, routine applause worthy of a nice read I don't regret spending the time reading.

Oct 14, 2014

I was barely able to put this novel down.
The characters were truly alive and traces of DNA from Heaven's Prisoners, The Carpetbaggers and Forrest Gump seem to course through their veins for better or worse. A life adventure with smackings of history and a mostly plausible plot make for a very absorbing read. Burke is a poet who can disguise is work as flowing prose.
One of the best I have read in a long time and possibly James Lee Burke's finest.

Oct 04, 2014

As many readers also do, I rate a book by the time I'm able to abstain from other duties to read it. Mr. Burke has always kept me reading . Despite a few minor flaws, this book has my highest admiration. He teaches us while entertaining us.

Sep 29, 2014

Too dark. Only read 50 pages

travers Aug 30, 2014

Great read. Mr Burke is always a joy to read

Aug 18, 2014

Brilliantly written book shame about the ending. Also look out for a couple of mistakes that surely should have been picked up before publication.

Aug 17, 2014

James Lee Burke just gets better.

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