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The Lost Get-Back Boogie [Hardcover]

James Lee Burke , Chris Wiltz
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 27.90 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2004
The Lost Get-Back Boogie appeared to wide acclaim in 1986, James Lee Burke had been out of print in cloth for thirteen years and his fifth novel had received a record 111 rejection letters. "LSU Press put me back in the game and turned my career around," Burke says. The novels and stories Burke had written during those years of rejection eventually became the stuff of the Dave Robicheaux series, which has earned him two Edgar Awards.

The novel’s title is also the name of the song that Iry Paret—a honky-tonk musician, Korean vet, and ex-con—wants to write to hold his memories of a "more uncomplicated time," before the war, before prison. The book opens the day thirty-year-old Iry leaves Louisiana’s Angola state penitentiary, after serving two years for manslaughter, and follows him to Montana, where he hopes to stay cool and out of trouble by working hard on a ranch owned by the father of his prison pal, Buddy Riordan. Iry finds the fresh start he seeks, joins a weekend band, and even falls in love. But the Riordan family’s problems deal Iry a new sort of trouble with some ultimately tragic consequences.

The Lost Get-Back Boogie is a novel about loyalty and friendship, betrayal and loss. It is about essentially good people and their attempts to define the value of their lives and to find their place in a changing, complicated world. And it is the work of James Lee Burke at the top of his form.

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From Publishers Weekly

This wonderful novel about a Korean War veteran released in the '60s from a Louisiana prison farm where he served a term for manslaughter is neither roman tic nor cynical in its realism. Loner Iry Paret, a country-and-western musician, has survived two years of hacks, trustees and dangerous inmates, not with hope but with a dull, gloomy attentiveness that has written hardship's effects all over him. Once he is paroled, he drinks liquor as if it were a tonic, but even drinking brings no joy. He travels to a fellow prisoner's ranch, and as he heads west, the air clears. His involvement with his acid-dropping pal Buddy Rior dan, Buddy's stoical ex-cowboy father (who feuds with a foul-odored pulpmill) and Buddy's estranged wife, Beth, tugs him between adjustment to straight life and the battles that may send him back to jail. Although the ending strays, this latest novel by the author of The Convict is pensive and cautiously paced. It also contrasts two very different parts of the essence of Americathe hazy bayou and a resolute valley in the beautiful West.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


"America's best novelist." -- The Denver Post

"Burke is a master." -- The Kansas City Star

"Powerfully written." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A bravura novel." -- Orlando Sentinel --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best! Feb. 28 2003
By Jan
I have read nearly every thing that James Lee Burke has written. I like and admire his use of descriptive words. This book, however, was not nearly as good as his Dave Robicheaux books. His discriptions were just as poetic, his intensity just as good, but I guess I just didn't like the story as much and couldn't relate to the characters as well as with his other books. But it was an interesting read and if you are a Burke fan, I would recommend this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Birth Of Robicheaux July 7 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, let's get the bad out of the way so we can focus on the good. The Lost Get-Back Boogie is not a very good novel. It tells the story of self-destructive, ex-con deadbeats rambling around Montana, trying to screw up their lives as best they can. Yup, that's it, that's all.

There is only one thing that saves this novel and makes it worth reading: James Lee Burke is one of the finest writers of all time.

You've heard the old cliche that a writer could publish his grocery list, and it would be worth reading. Well, that applies here. Burke takes this meandering, pointless tale and injects so much beauty, tragedy, evocative detail and insight into every page to make the book worth reading.

In fact, reading the main character's observations of his surroundings, the people he's associated with or even life in general one sees the birth of Dave Robicheaux's voice. There are beautiful passages where I caught myself thinking for a moment that I WAS reading one of Burke's Robicheaux adventures. Considering that Burke's next book after this one was The Neon Rain, it's clear that he knew he'd hit on the right voice and tone with Boogie and just needed a more appropriate stage and gave to Robicheaux all of Boogie's narrator's way with words.

Would I recommend The Lost Get-Back Boogie? If you're a Burke fan, definitely. For someone looking for a quick read while traveling, etc? No, any of his other books would better fit the bill. If you are a lover of the written word and want to read some beautiful prose just to wallow in Burke's ability to bump one work up against another, then, yes, Boogie is for you. In the hands of any other author, this book would have been buried by the sands of time. Burke makes the mundane shine here. It's Burke's writing ability alone that netted him the 3rd star in my rating above. For story, this is a 2-star novel at best.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fan of this author Jan. 17 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It won awards, but not my favourite by this author, as so relentlessly dark. All his novels face the dark side of us, but it can be depressing.
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