MandyM's Reviews > The Legend of the Apache Kid

The Legend of the Apache Kid by Sarah Black
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Sep 06, 12

Read in September, 2012

Raine is a 30 something English teacher who lives on a ranch in New Mexico with his elderly father. He is a strange mix of smart and confident teacher and laid back traditional cowboy. He meets young Apache and budding film-maker Johnny Bravo at an indie film festival and there is an instant connection. But they don't see each other for a year until Johnny comes to town looking to make a film about the legendary Apache Kid. Gradually Johnny weaves himself into Raine's life and bed, sharing Raine's ranch duties, listening to stories from Raine's father who knew the Kid, and bringing his young nephew to stay. All the while creating, documenting, and filming his latest movie. They are both deeply in love but Raine is wary of chaining the idealistic and artistic Johnny to the farm and preventing him from achieving his dreams. When he pushes Johnny to take a lucrative offer in another town things start to go wrong.

The story is rich with imagery and full of tender emotion. All the men in this story are slow-talking and economical with words but the author makes each conversation really count. Underlying the relatively chaste (only one or two small sex scenes) love affair is the theme of fathers and sons. Raine's father is a wonderful old man. I genuinely loved listening to all his tales and his relationship with Raine is one of the highlights of the book.

I wondered what path had led him to the Peaceful Bean. "Last year at the film festival, you went back home with your old man?"
He nodded, but didn't speak until he'd swallowed the mouthful of pasta. "I listened to him coughing all night, thought I'd better go with him. He died good though, lasted until spring. I fed him a ripe persimmon from a spoon, and he said, 'That's the damndest thing I've ever tasted.' Then he closed his eyes and died."


I find Sarah Black to be a really clever and diverse writer. One of those writers where you stop mid-book and check out the bio to find out how she actually got to be so clever. At the end of the novel I was so interested in the town they lived in, Taos, that I googled it. Then I remembered I did exactly the same thing after reading Marathon Cowboys which is set in the same area. So obviously this style of writing and the settings she creates really appeal to me.

It felt a little unfinished and a little rushed towards the end which is why I took off a star. I also wasn't sure the 2 or 3 short scenes from Johnny's film really added anything to the tale. The relationship between Johnny and Raine is beautiful but doesn't have a high 'heat' rating. If you liked Marathon Cowboys and you like beautiful prose you'll probably really like The Legend of the Apache Kid.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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MandyM Thanks Baba! :)


oceankitty I love Sarah because I can always trust her to teach me something. She makes me Google too, mostly things she writes about and that I find interesting.


MandyM Yes that's exactly how I feel.:)


Heller I just finished this and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it as much as I loved Marathon Cowboys. Maybe because, Johnny didn't seem as strong as Jesse. I agree about the film scenes. Also, after I read it I Googled Earthships, fascinating!!


MandyM Yeah Marathon Cowboys is still her top book for me too. This one was great but the love affair was definitely less intense and sensual.


oceankitty Heller wrote: "I just finished this and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it as much as I loved Marathon Cowboys. Maybe because, Johnny didn't seem as strong as Jesse. I agree about the film scenes. Also, after I..."

I love earthships! I want one, but I'm not sure they will "grow" so well in the cold and snow of Norway.....


oceankitty MandyM wrote: "Yeah Marathon Cowboys is still her top book for me too. This one was great but the love affair was definitely less intense and sensual."

No sex. But: It was intense on a whole other level, which made me want to go there and hit Raine over the head with something hard. And I loved the softness and pure mellowness of Johnny; He seems like the complete opposite of The Apache Kid, but after a while I started wondering: If The Apache Kid was anything like Johnny there's no wonder he ended up in all that trouble. Did this make sense? I'm off to bed now!


message 9: by MandyM (last edited Sep 13, 2012 01:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MandyM Makes perfect sense. I should probably have said 'sexual intensity' because you're right it is intense in many other ways!!:D


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