This is a very interesting book. I wasn't sure who to connect with until I was about 1/4 of the way in, but Nate Cannon is my guy. I thought the charaThis is a very interesting book. I wasn't sure who to connect with until I was about 1/4 of the way in, but Nate Cannon is my guy. I thought the characters were interesting; they all seemed to have some dept to them, none seemed superficial. I enjoyed the intertwining of characters, and the tangential trips they made.
The Western is not dead. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt is testimony to that. All the elements of the Western tradition are here: the bad guys, the worse guys, gold, bears, horses, violence, guns, gun fights, killing, women and drink. The Sisters brothers, Charlie and Eli, are the bad guys, hired by a worse guy to find and kill a guy (when the job is ordered, the reader does not know the character of the guy to be killed). Charlie is the one with the shorter temper and the taste for whiskey; Eli is the storyteller, telling first about the brothers and their travels, and then telling the story of the man they are supposed to kill, Hermann Kermit Warm. It all comes together on the banks of a river outside of San Francisco during the Gold Rush.
It is the writing that sets The Sisters Brothers apart from other Westerns I've read. The language is very formal. I recall few, if any, contractions in this book (and of course I skimmed through after I thought about this). For example, it is always "cannot" instead of "can't". No one uses the word "ain't". Upon skimming through again, I can't find any of the traditional coarse words used commonly then and used commonly now. Once I started noticing the language, how poetic and formal it is, I found it a fascinating way to tell a story to today's reader.
A very interesting entry in the Walt Longmire series. Walt is in the process of helping his injured daughter through rehab (injured in the previous boA very interesting entry in the Walt Longmire series. Walt is in the process of helping his injured daughter through rehab (injured in the previous book), when a call comes in that a Vietnamese girl's body has been found. This discovery brings on flashbacks to Walt's time in Vietnam. Along with flashbacks, Walt has to deal with a Vietnamese man who claims to be the girl's grandfather, a giant Indian who was found living in a culvert near where the girl's body was found, and is arrested, and a nearby ghost town where the trail of the case keeps circling back to. The flashbacks tell the reader a lot about Walt, which gives us more insight on his character. A lot of pieces of Walt's life come together in this book.
This slight quibble I have with this book is the lack of including his daughter, her recovery, and her long-distance boyfriend's visit in the book. All of this is mentioned, but Walt does not interact with his daughter throughout the last 2/3s of the book, and this would have given more current information on Walt's life. I also just wanted more of Cady.
Another Man's Moccasins is the 2009 Best Western Short Novel Spur Award Winner....more
I saw the second in this series at a library, but had to track down this one through interlibrary loan. It attracted me because it took place in ArizoI saw the second in this series at a library, but had to track down this one through interlibrary loan. It attracted me because it took place in Arizona. This book seemed to be partially about a performing gunslinger who left a traveling roadshow for a different life, but his perfect quick-on-the-draw puts him into a few challenging situations, pretty much immediately after he starts his new life. It also reminded me of an Indiana Jones movie, where he and his compatriots (who he acquires rather quickly) end up in the city beneath the sand of the title. I found the Diamondback to be too perfect, and the story just not that interesting. I won't be tracking down the second in this series....more
This book won the 2006 Spur Award given by the Western Writers of America for Juvenile Fiction. It's about a young man, Colton Wescott, who is movingThis book won the 2006 Spur Award given by the Western Writers of America for Juvenile Fiction. It's about a young man, Colton Wescott, who is moving west with his family, and due to a terrible set of circumstances, decides to help his family by becoming a Pony Express rider. I learned quite a bit about the Pony Express from this book, and painlessly too :). The author integrates the story and information very well. Colton has some adventures with his early rides, but learns quickly and enjoys his new work.
This book is also the story of a mixed race family in 1860, just as Abraham Lincoln is about to be elected president. Colton can pass for white, and does, though he feels torn about it. This is a very interesting aspect to the book, and adds a lot to the story.
I recommend Black Storm Comin' to readers of Westerns and historical fiction of all ages. I was reminded a little of Beverly Jenkins western romances, which take place in black communities established in the west after the Civil War, though Jenkins' books contain adult content. ...more
This book won the Western Spur Award for Best Short Novel in 2008. I thought it was wonderful, and the story reminded me of To Kill A Mockingbird. RenThis book won the Western Spur Award for Best Short Novel in 2008. I thought it was wonderful, and the story reminded me of To Kill A Mockingbird. Rennie Stroud is a 12 or 13 year old girl who has to grow up a little more quickly as a Japanese internment camp is built next to her family's sugar beet farm. Her family is more tolerant than many of those in their small town, and Rennie learns a lot. I'm having a hard time describing this book (at least right now), but it is wonderful and interesting, and definitely award-winning. Sandra Dallas is a wonderful writer. ...more