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The Death and Life of Strother Purcell

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4.52  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The man, the myth, the one-eyed legend: a frontier epic for fans of Ron Rash and Cormac McCarthy.

In 1876, the fabled lawman Strother Purcell disappears into a winter storm in the mountains of British Columbia, while hunting down his outlawed half-brother. Sixteen years later, the wreck of Purcell resurfaces - derelict, homeless and one-eyed - in a San Francisco jail cell.
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Paperback, 380 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Goose Lane Editions
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4.52  · 
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 ·  27 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Carolyn
3.5 stars. There was much to admire in this book. It has a terrific, but violent plot. The author is a great story teller, but it has an unreliable narrator. I am unsure what really happened at its bloody conclusion. This is an old fashioned Wild West story for modern times. The setting is western United States into California, Oregon and into Canada. It is a tale of dysfunctional families and long simmering revenge, and the men who made the West ‘Wild’ .

I liked the author’s way with words and h
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James Fisher
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An epic story. A fine example of creative fiction from start to finish. Picture Clint Eastwood as the elderly, down and out Western lawman Strother Purcell. He should buy the movie rights to this book.
Paolo Ventura
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(...the perfect script for a cohen/tarantino movie)


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There was an instant of deadly hush, in which the great globe itself stood frozen. The moment grew more protracted with each successive telling, until by 1898 T.E. Spurlock—now a resident of Kamloops, where he maintained a position as town drunk—would recollect the world’s standing still for an entire four minutes and a half, while God gazed grimly down.
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“Come what may.” He had read this latter phrase in a book and thought it
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Elizabeth Stewart
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've enjoyed both of Ian Weir's previous novels, but this one is an utter pleasure. Each time I put it down, I couldn't wait to dive back into its Shakespearean unwinding of fate. Weir plays with words like a sculptor plays with clay, crafting every sentence with wit and purpose, treating the reader to strokes of delightful whimsy, followed by poignant meditations on death, life and everything in between. The characters are big and bold as befits legends of the Old West, but they're fully-dimens ...more
Peter Darbyshire
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If Shakespeare and Faulkner had a knife fight in a back alley, the blood they spilled would be the ink Ian Weir used to record The Death and Life of Strother Purcell. The tale of a legendary gunman and his outlaw brother is as mythic as it is down and dirty, crossing years, borders and near every moral and ethical boundary imaginable as the estranged brothers head for a reckoning that is sure to be as apocalyptic as it is inevitable. It’s fit for those who like the westerns of Cormac McCarthy an ...more
Louise
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one book that should be allowed to have 6 or more stars. I didn't want to put this book down and I didn't want it to end. Strother Purcell is all the Wild West men rolled into one, he's Rooster Cogburn only bigger and better or Clint Eastwood in the Unforgiven with more grit. He's a legend that will leave his mark on the Wild West stories. He'll be talked about around camp fires and whispered about in whiskey saloons. There are no good girls either, only tough western women trying to mak ...more
Dennis
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that deserves far more than a measly five stars? This is one such book! A weaving meandering tale set in the wild west, virtually every page with intrigue and a great belly laugh! I'll keep this book in my personal library for a very long time - can't wait to reread it every couple of years! The best!
Don
Delightful crafting and fictional old Western-themed storytelling.

Very strong developed characters from start to a surprising inevitable finish.

Enjoyable reading experience. 👍

The surprise is I don't normally if ever read Westerns—ever—yet, it was the cover artwork that first successfully yanked my attention... Kudos to the Book's Graphic Designer: Jaye Haworth
Kaitlyn
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had a hard time getting into this book but am I ever glad that I stuck with it. Although this is a work of fiction, the spattering of history throughout the story allows the reader to feel as though this tale did truly unfold.
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Ian Weir is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. His first novel, Daniel O’Thunder, was named one of the top historical novels of 2011 by Library Journal, which described it as “a debut novel both outrageously funny and bizarrely creepy.” It was a finalist for four awards: the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for First Book, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction ...more