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Journey of the Dead
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Journey of the Dead

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  66 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This is a novel of American history and its journey from wild frontier into the twentieth century. Two witnesses to this turbulent evolution tell their stories. One is an ancient Spanish alchemist searching for the philosopher's stone from his hut in the New Mexico desert. He devotes his long life to hunting for the secrets of the old gods. But will they give him the answe ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Forge
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May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
#10 in the American West series. Based on the life of Pat Garrett after he shot and killed William 'Billy the Kid' Bonney. Billy was killed in 1881 while being hunted for the murder of two sheriff's deputies during a jailbreak. Pat was murdered in 1908 in disputed circumstances and during the 27 years between their deaths (6-9 years longer than the life of Billy) his defining characteristic was that he killed 'Billy the Kid'.

#10 - The American West series - Journey of the Dead is narrated by an
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: westerns
Sam Peckinpah's film, PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID told the story of the two friends turned enemies quite truthfully. It also depicted Garrett's murder, but left a gap between the two deaths. Estleman's short novel fills in the gaps nicely. Garrett's post-Billy years are told by an ancient alchemist to whom Garrett visits for guidance. The journey of the title is two-fold: Garrett searches for peace from the haunting of Billy's ghost; the alchemist searches for the philosopher's stone.
I listen
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Estleman toggles between the story of Pat Garrett, who killed William Bonney (aka Billy the Kid), and that of a 100-year-old plus Native American medicine man and mystic who offered Garrett a potion to help stop Garrett's nightmares after he shoots Bonney.

I hate to admit it, but I really like a good western and this is a great one. I also really enjoyed Ron Hansen's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." I'm not going to read Zane Grey, but hope to find
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not as good as I thought it was going to be. The haunting by Billy the Kid's ghost was interesting idea. It's a shame that the rest of the book didn't hold up. The plot line of Pat Garrett is really sporadic and doesn't really have a narrow theme to it. The Spanish alchemist is barely involved in the whole book, which makes me question why they bothered to mention him at all in the summary on the back cover.

What surprises me is that it won two awards.
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Billy the Kid and his killing by Pat Garrett is one of the great legends of the West. I've read and seen many versions of it, but Estleman turns it into a fascinating piece of art in which the killing itself is almost anticlimactic. It is Garrett's story, how he deals with the demons that torture him for his deed, that this book tells. A book that should be read by anyone who believes westerns are outdated and cliched.
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Found this on my done shelves and couldn't for the life of me remember it.
Started reading it again.
Very pleasantly surprised and can't think of why it was such a blank.
If there is such an animal as a literary western, this is it.
Incredibly lyrical, vivid prose.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book left nothing to the readers imagination in terms of the descriptions. The writing was not my favorite either and was a tough book for me to follow.
Sarah Sammis
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I remember reading it and enjoying it but the details are fuzzy.
John Hanscom
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book, but I am going to have to think ahile before I can come up with a theme. It may be "Vanity, vanity, all things are vanity."
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
A numinous hybrid of Carlos Castaneda and Sam Peckinpah. Don't think I've read anything quite like it before. Highly recommended, even to them what don't care for westerns.
Gavin Boone
Captivating prose sucked me right in!
Arnold Putans
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Oct 12, 2012
Jeff Herman
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Shelves: western
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Loren D. Estleman is an American writer of detective and Western fiction. He writes with a manual typewriter.

Estleman is most famous for his novels about P.I. Amos Walker. Other series characters include Old West marshal Page Murdock and hitman Peter Macklin. He has also written a series of novels about the history of crime in Detroit (also the setting of his Walker books.) His non-series works in
More about Loren D. Estleman...