- Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (May 1 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743411439
- ISBN-13: 978-0743411431
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #461,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Bitterroot Mass Market Paperback – May 1 2002
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The New York Times James Lee Burke writes exceptionally clean, unforced prose that has a pronounced streak of poetry in it.
About the Author
James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He’s authored thirty-six novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.See all Product description
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2. "Sure" isn't an interesting word. It makes the speaker sound dull. I think one reviewer here used the word "tedious" to describe Billy Bob Holland (whose name in-sures tedium, I might add).
3. Alert your editors to the fact that you will possbily be over-using expressions like "baby fat on her upper arms" "a mouth like a flower," "purple garters on his upper arms" and "lantern-jawed." Ask them to edit you more rigorously so the reader does not have to suffer this, er, tedious - repetition.
4. If you are going to go in a new direction with your writing, how about something really new? As Moseley did with his Socrates series. Right now, the Texas Ranger thing is just Bad Robicheaux.
5. Robicheaux is rippin'. But we know that artists need to change...again...change to something that is better, not duller.
6. Someone mentioned that the poetry makes up for the dull prose. No, it doesn't. In fact, the dull prose makes the poetry sound cornball. Icky. Billy Bob gives no indication from his personality that he is in any way a poetic man. He's like James Garner on a "cute" day. You love to watch him perform, but if he should start spouting deep wisdom and poetry you'd groan and shout "Shaddup, stupid!"
7. Leave Texas rangers to Mr. Lonesome Dove. Now THERE'S a buncha rangers!
8. Avoid speechifying, preaching and endless purple prose at all costs! Some parts of this novel are like a musical in which the characters burst into sentimental song and you want to cover your ears and say, "Not now!" It's not that poetic prose doesn't have its place. The Robicheaux novels are wonderful because of this feature. However, that was "loose" writing. This is not. It's aw shucks gee golly writing, interspersed with purple prose.
I know I'm repeating myself, but please - give us something truly unique, Mr. Burke. You can do it!...
Burke develops more than a dozen characters well enough for his audience to feel what each is about. While the characters themselves seem real, their collective baggage and violent tendencies do take the story down a peg. Think about how the following characters might interact in a story, then discover how Burke weaves their lives together when they converge in the Bitterroot Valley:
Billy Bob Holland, lawyer from Deaf Smith, Texas now in Montana to help his friend Doc Voss. Billy Bob frequently talks with the ghost of L.Q. Navarro, the partner he accidentally killed when they were both Texas Rangers, L.Q.'s voice often warning him of peril ahead. Son Lucas and investigator Temple Carroll from prior novels show up about halfway through this one.
Doc Voss, a quiet, brainy boy from Deaf Smith who was a Navy Seal in Nam and is now a single father in Montana with strong environmentalist beliefs.
Lamar Ellison, an ex-con scum of the earth biker who's working undercover for the ATF.
Wyatt Dixon, a psycho rodeo clown just out of prison who's not afraid of anything.
Terry Witherspoon, a kid from NC who's great with a knife, was Wyatt's punk in prison and is still under his spell.
Carl Hinkle, a white supremacist who supports and manipulates Ellison, Dixon and the like.
Some ATF and FBI types looking for a group behind Oklahoma City whom they will nail at any cost.
Sue Lynn Big Medicine, the Indian girl with a dark past who is being squeezed by the ATF on an overblown robbery charge.
Cleo Lonnigan, cold hearted sharpshooting widow of an investment guy who was working with the mob and got their son killed.
Nicki Molinari, the Arizona mob guy with a branch in Montana who loves baseball and peppers his victims with balls from his pitching machine rather than break their legs with a bat.
Xavier Girard the big time author writing a book about Nicki and his actress wife Holly who grew up with Nicki and is still openly intimate with him.
Finally Sheriff J.T. Cain, who is often hostile to Billy Bob and Doc but may be the only other fair-minded man in the Valley.
Net, net - I love the way Burke writes and the characters he creates, but there's just a little too much evil and depravity in the plot to give it 5 stars.
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