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on August 25, 2008
This is another great James Lee Burke novel. There is alot of Texas history in the story. And as always James Lee Burkes writing style makes the story very realistic. In this book a story is told of two guys who are running from the law in Louisiana and head for Texas. They are looking for and find Sam Houston just before the battle for Texas independence. The story is told as only James Lee Burke can tell it. Fast reading and holds your interest. If you like James Lee Burke, you like Two for Texas.
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on October 21, 1999
More of a long short story than a novel, this 1982 Burke effort does not have the depth of plot and characters that the latest Burke novels offer. Basically two escaped convicts, one old one young, exit a Louisiana hell hole of a prison and move south into Texas ending up with Sam Houston's near the Alamo. The young convict is a Holland, the great-grandfather of Billy Bob from Heartwood.
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on April 20, 2000
If you think (like me) that JL Burke is America's finest writer, then buy "In the Electric Mist" or "Laying down my Sword", both of which were superbly crafted (or any of the Robicheaux novels, for that matter). "Texas", though, is brief, thin, and unBurkean. I'd give his other books 5 stars, but this one doesn't even deserve a 1.
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on June 27, 2013
Yes, I admit it, I considered it a risk. After all, no Dave R., no Clete Purcell, no Hackberry; so who were these guys? Well, I worried for not. The story is about a young boy wrongfully sentenced to confinement in a horrible Louisiana prison run by Frenchmen. The boy meets and become friends with a character (literally and figuratively). They kill a guard, escape, and run. And run some more. During their wanderings they become part of Sam Houston's army just prior to the battle of the Alamo. The character's are very well done by Mr. Burke, and as usual his painting with words of the landscape is impeccable. There are plenty of names any westerner will recognize: Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, etc. It's brutal (what did you expect?) at times, and romantic (in a western way) at other times. In short, I loved it. One caveat; if you're a died in the wool easterner, you may be disappointed; if you're from West of the Mississippi, take the plunge.
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on January 28, 2014
This is my first novel by James Lee Burke,and I found it a terrific.I notice received high ratings from the 43 Reviews.I was very impressed.As a voracious reader of Westerns,my favorite being,"Longarm","LoneStar"."The Gunsmith","The Trailsman","Slocum",and authors such as Peter Brandvold (Frank Leslie) and Jory Sherman.The cover on this novel has great artwork,something I often mention in my Reviews;so I thought I'd give it a try.It is all located in south Texas and at the time of the Alamo and the Texas Rebellion of 1835-1836.I've not read a lot about this period,but in Westerns I read, the "heros" often venture into Mexico,and encounter Mexican Banditos and Ruales,but that is usually after the Civil War.
In this story we have 2 prisoners escape from prison and running for their lives,being hunted down,injured,even hiding with Indians and as a last resort finding that their friend Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett has been killed at the Alamo,and deciding their last hope of survival is to join General Sam Houston's Army and take on Santa Anna.Their other hope in life is the award of 640 acres of land Houston promised to soldiers who stuck it out in defeating Santa Anna. There is an Epilogue at the end that tells us what happened to Son Holland and Hugh Allison in later life.
The story is very well written with lots of excellent character development and fast,page turning action;all with real historical events tossed in.I am still amazed at the number of reviews this author and novel have received,but now I understand why.I can't wait to read more from James Lee Burke;certainly a western writer to be reckoned with in the future.

"Texas" evolved from the Caddo Indians greeting "te shas".Since there is no "sh" sound in Spanish,early explorers and missionaries writing about their travels replaced the unfamiliar syllable with an "x " to make "te x as".
So,there you have it ! from Armchair Reader "The Gigantic Reader (2009).
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on November 8, 2014
This was my second book in the Holland Family saga (the other being "Wayfaring Stranger"). I am now reading my third, "Feast Day of Fools". Burke is an excellent writer and his books are loaded with history, especially "Two for Texas" which takes place during the Texas Revolution. Much like James Michener, Burke weaves his fictional characters into the true events of the time and has them interact with actual historical figures that most people will be familiar with. In this novel Son Holland and Hugh Allison mix-in with Sam Houston, Deaf Smith, and Mirabu Lamar, just to name a few…all familiar names to Texans. I highly recommend "Two for Texas".
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on July 22, 2013
I really love James Lee Burke. His descriptive prose makes his scenes pop. The characters have style and nerve and a humanity that I can relate to without a lot of effort. And my son is a policeman in New Orleans and I spend a lot of time there so again, I have an affinty towards Burke and where he calls home. I also am in Montana often and I relate to that place and although he resides in Missoula, I am over in Boulder which is between Butte and Helena.
So many books by the author and I've read them all, some twice.
This isn't deep stuff but compelling and thoughful and he makes it seem so effortless, and that's waht makes it so readable. He doesn't struggle and you don't have to either.
Just great stories about decent folks that try and keep their head down but being who they are, get caught up life's fatal attractions. They dream bad dreams, and end up having to settle old scores that just can't be overlooked...and the truly bad folks that get thier just rewards, eventually.
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on June 19, 2013
Admittedly, I was skeptical - it wasn't Dave Robecheaux & Clete Purcell - it wasn't Hackberry Holland either. But I love the way Will Paton narrates so I bit and bought the audio version. The story was great, the characters were tough and well-defined, the plot based mostly on fact regarding the events leading up to the battle of the Alamo in the county of Bahar. Long before there was a San Antonio, Texas. James Lee Burke undoubtly did a ton of research on this one, but then he enjoys that part anyway. As with his traditional novels there were brutal parts and gorey scenes described as only Burke can paint them. In that regard the story at times reminded me of "Blood Meridian" but more interesting in a way because if you're a westerner you've heard the names; Sam Houston, Davey Crocket, Jim Bowie, etc. If indeed you ARE a westerner, you will not be disappointed by this one.
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on December 16, 2013
I am not sure whether the book is factual in the hostoric sense, but it seems like it, and it brings the US-Mexcan history of our war between these counties to life. If Sam Houston was really such a drunkard it isn't too bad as it seems like the biggest proportion of the greats suffered from the same affliction. As is usual with James Lee Burke, the writing holds ones interest to say the least. Great characters! Interesting what Burke thinks of the "Frenchies" who are part of the mix.
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on June 13, 2014
I have yet to read a James Lee Burke novel that wasn't worth a five star rating.

This was a great look into the history of the Holland family and I hope Mr. Burke will let us, in the future, let us gaze into this familys past.

Excellent story Mr. Burk, thank you.
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