Fabian's Reviews > A Tour on the Prairies

A Tour on the Prairies by Washington Irving
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Oct 24, 11

Read from October 17 to 21, 2011

Yet another travel narrative of the frontier. While I really do prefer Ruxton's "Life in the Far West" (Hey! There's, like, tons of cannibals!) this is a more literary read. He, of Ichabod and Rip Van Winkle fame, actually took a trip to the prairies of present-day Oklahoma, following a crew composed of a Commissioner, a Captain, a ruffian Creole, and a bunch of other crazy, insatiable rascals. They eat so much meat out in the wild they start turning mad, aimless. Irving is wonderful at painting the picturesque, landscapes, bee-trees, and sometimes delves into the supernatural (he speaks of ghosts and the superstitions of the Pawnees, the bleached skulls of deer marking uncertain roads...) and quickly transports the reader from his fat ass on the couch to his fat ass on a horse and saddle.

That being said, I should also mention that although the paranoia of Indian attack is prevalent amongst the men, not a single (and the Introductory Essay forewarns us of this) Indian is seen throughout the entire tour. Prairie dogs, buffalo, deer, bear... they are all here. Absent is the important mythical figure that has so decidedly marked other interesting narratives of the American prairie.

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message 1: by Liana (new)

Liana Yee haw!!!

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