Texas City, 1947 by James Lee Burke from Best American Noir of the Century – review

best american noir of the centuryReviewed by PokerBen

“Texas City, 1947” was my first introduction to James Lee Burke’s writing. I must say I was very impressed.

“Texas City, 1947” tells the coming of age story of Billy Bob Sonnier. Stricken with a bad case of Rheumatic fever during his fifth grade year of Parochial school, he and his three siblings Weldon, Drew, and Lyle are forced into the care of their father’s “lady friend” Mattie, after the death of their mother.

Faced with a neglectful father who is hardly around, and an abusive caregiver, Billy Bob comes to find comfort in his teacher at school, Sister Roberta who takes Billy Bob under her wing.

With just a few words Burke paints a vivid portrait of loss, love, betrayal and revenge, in a story that will stay with you long after you’re finished reading it.

Highly recommended.


Poker Ben is a reader and reviewer.

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