Wayfaring Stranger: A Novel

Unabridged / Go to Abridged Audiobook

Written By: James Lee Burke

Narrated By: Will Patton

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: July 2014

Duration: 13 hours 9 minutes


WAYFARING STRANGER begins in West Texas in 1934 and is narrated by Weldon Avery Holland, cousin of Burke's series charcter, Texas lawman Hackberry Holland (Feast Day of Fools). At age sixteen, Weldon encounters Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker traveling with their accomplices after having just pulled off one of their notorious armed robberies. Weldon is smitten by Bonnie (who contrary to her cigar-smoking photos was very attractive), but because of Clyde and Bonnie's duplicity and the disrespect they show his grandfather, Weldon ends up putting a bullet through the rear window of Clyde's stolen automobile.

The story then jumps to 1944 and the Ardennes Forest and the Battle of the Bulge, where Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland saves his sergeant, Hershel Pine, from death by suffocation when he is buried alive in his foxhole under the treads of a Waffen SS Tiger tank. Weldon and Hershel survive the executions of the wounded by the SS and escape on a freight train deep into Nazi Germany. There, they stumble into an extermination camp deserted by the SS, and discover among the stacked bodies a young woman named Rosita Lowenstein, who is not only a remarkable woman but a relative of Rosa Luxemburg (known as "Red Rosa," whose mother's name was Lowenstein). Eventually, Weldon will make her his bride, and the three friends will return to Texas to seek their fortunes.

But when Weldon, Hershel, and Rosita form a pipeline corporation, they enter the domain of jackals known as the oil business. They meet Roy Wiseheart--one of the wealthiest men in Texas and a former Marine aviator haunted with guilt for deserting his squadron leader over the South Pacific--and Rpy's wife Clara, a vicious anti-semite who is determined to make Weldon and Rosita's life a nightmare.

After much bloodshed and tragedy, it is the frontier justice upheld by Weldon's grandfather, and the legendary antics of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, that will bolster Weldon's resolve and shape his plans for saving his family from the evil forces that lurk in peacetime America and threaten to destroy them all.


  • werner

    A lengthy book with Patten his usual self. Good entertaining story that holds one's interest about the South Ool drilling business Certainly not a mind blower as it drones on too long

  • nab6215

    Wow. I was lulled in by the voice of narrator Will Patton telling the story of Weldon's youth and time in World War II. Then, as things often do in a James Lee Burke novel, they take off zoooooom. Read the book.

  • Sandra Mauws

    Didn't want to stop listening. The narrator Will Patton was perfect

  • Anonymous

    Texas, oil, Louisiana refineries, Bonnie and Clyde, not an easy connection. As always Burke spins a long detailed story about what it was like in another time along the Gulf Coast. It seemed too many coincidences for me, but I enjoyed the journey.