Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Swift Dam” as Want to Read:
Swift Dam
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

Swift Dam

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  9 reviews
It had been a long snowy winter and spring. The rivers were late rising, and the mountains held onto a pure white snow-cover. Rain fell upon the deep winter snow the day before the Flood of '64. Waters rose, the rivers raged. The dam failed to hold the Birch Creek flow, and broke, giving way to a wall of water and drowning the Indians.

​Veterinarian Alphonse Vallerone drea
Published April 2016 by Open Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Swift Dam, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Swift Dam

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-34
Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  17 ratings  ·  9 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Swift Dam
Simon Campbell
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sid Gustafson’s spiritual journey deep into the wilderness of Montana and the wilderness of the past is a lyrical meditation on man and nature, time and memory and life and death (and life after death, both the supernatural and the natural, in man and in beast). This modern-day folktale is told from the interwoven perspectives of two men whose past and future bend around each other like the rivers and mountains of the landscape they inhabit, one coming to the end of his journey (one last vision ...more
Robert Bennett
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sid Gustafson's _Swift Dam_ punches above its weight class: written by a practicing veterinarian, it reads like the work of a celebrated Iowa Writer's Workshop prodigy, and clocking in at only 150 pages, little more than a long novella, it takes its reader into a fully flushed out imagination of a very real event. Amidst its surface tale of the broken Swift Dam flood of 1964, it interweaves three distinct stories.

First, it puts forward a cautionary tale, warning us not to put too much faith in
Steven Howes
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read many good books over the years. However every once in a while I come across one that seems to rise above the rest and "Swift Dam" is one of those books. Although a relatively short book (listed as 160 pages), it is a complex, interesting, and compelling story. Perhaps I am a bit biased; but it contains many of the elements I find important in a good read. These include a strong sense of place and the connection between humans, the land, animals, and one another. It is set in and arou ...more
Irene Adam
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this ebook free from the publisher through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This is a wonderful story about life in Blackfeet country Montana and the memories and aftermath of a great flood in spring of 1964 that tragically wiped out a large Blackfeet community. The author tells of the life and work of a country veterinarian and a country sheriff, their interactions and relationships, and how their lives are still affected by the great flood of 50 years ago. Sid Gustafso ...more
Reader The Brown Bookloft
Summary: The worst flood in Montana’s history occurred in 1964, when the Swift Dam broke after being inundated with rain and snow. Thirty-one lives were lost, all but one on the Blackfeet Reservation. (1)

Using this fact as background, plus his own knowledge and experience of that area, the author gives us a story that ties the past and present together through two men. One of the men is an elderly veterinarian. He uses his hands and deep knowledge to train animals, particularly horses, and heals
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-own
What a beautiful story. It took me a while to get into the flow, but once I did I couldn't put it down. I like that the dam and Montana were both characters in their own right. I wasn't sure about the number of viewpoints, but in the end I was grateful to have glimpses into those character's lives and thinking. ...more
Sid Gustafson
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)

I am the novelist who wrote Swift Dam. Certain readers like to hear from the writer, so this review is for you. I am uncertain of the etiquette here, but to me it is appropriate to provide an afterword in this forum. I did read the novel after its publication after several months of laborious but rewarding revisions. The words now appear in their best possible, it seems to me. As a writer reading his own work, I am satisfied with the story's published version. This view could change wi
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read about a catastrophic event in Montana in 1964. The story was rather slow.
rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2018
Kelly Huddleston
rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2016
Open Books
rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2018
Edna Leigh
I enjoyed this book very much. the style of writing is unique I felt like I was a trusted friend hearing a story of the real and raw and humorous and sometimes grand stories of a remarkable human being.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2017
Briana Wipf
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2020
Deb Billings
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2016
rated it it was ok
Jul 08, 2016
marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2016
marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2016
marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2016
marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2017
Mele Ana
marked it as to-read
May 03, 2017
Karin  Susan  Fester
marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2017
marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2018
Stacy  Steele
marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2018
marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2019
David Szafraniec
marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2019
Betty England
marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2019
Tim Countryman
marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2020
KC Smelser
marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2021
marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2021
added it
Aug 25, 2021
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Swift Dam reviewed by Ed Kemmick 1 1 Jul 04, 2016 10:42AM  
Swift Dam reviewed by Debbie Drews, Outside Bozeman Magazine 1 2 Jun 21, 2016 01:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • What the Wind Knows
  • The Darkest Time of Night (William Chance & Lynn Roseworth #1)
  • The Dark Above (William Chance & Lynn Roseworth #2)
  • The Year of the Return
  • The Courage of Others
  • The Giver of Stars
  • Someone We Know
  • The Warehouse
  • Cilka's Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2)
  • Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, #1)
  • Lying Next to Me
  • Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
  • Retrograde
  • A Song for a New Day
  • Reentry
  • 29 Seconds
  • The Nobody People (The Resonant Duology, #1)
  • The House of Brides
See similar books…
Sid Gustafson, novelist, veterinarian, equine behaviorist. Sid Gustafson lives in Bozeman, Montana with his children Connor and Nina where he writes, teaches, and practices his natural approach to equine veterinary medicine up and down the Rocky Mountain Front Range.
Sid was born in Montana, as were his children and parents. He grew up in the shadow of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and frequen

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
40 likes · 11 comments