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All Things Left Wild

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  485 ratings  ·  106 reviews
After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb's moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill.

Wealthy and b
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 16th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing
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Walk_the_Earth Genie was the woman Randall encounters on the road earlier in the book, whose husband tries to pimp her to Randall (likewise her daughters). Randall t…moreGenie was the woman Randall encounters on the road earlier in the book, whose husband tries to pimp her to Randall (likewise her daughters). Randall tried to kill the husband then, but Genie stopped him.
The boy Thomas I am still not sure about...I am flipping back through to see what I missed, but the story of Lightening is the story Caleb hears from the stranger on the hill when he abandoned Sophia to Shelby (when she bit his ear off)...later descriptions suggest that stranger was Grimes? So the limping man is Grimes, coming to “collect” or seek revenge on Caleb and Sophia’s son years later? That’s my latest guess, since Grimes does suddenly drop off from the storyline with no mention of him after he disappears in the gun battle with Randall and Charlie.. Unsure why the other men in the bar believe his father was killed by horse kick and mother ran off with a card dealer?(less)

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James Wade
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: wrote
Told myself if I got to 99 reviews, I’d be the hundredth. Thank y’all for reading and for taking the time to share your thoughts. So many folks have offered real insight into the novel, and I appreciate each one.
All Things Left Wild won the 2021 Spur Award from the Western Writers of America, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the support shown by readers on this platform.
My new novel— River, Sing Out— is available for preorder wherever you do your shopping. I sure hope you’ll give it
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All Things Left Wild by James Wade is an excellent historical fiction set in the “wild west” in the early 1900s.
This book ties together the stories and fates of several characters: the Bentley brothers on the run after a botched robbery, Randall Dawson being the man sent to locate and apprehend the heathens, and Charlotte being a woman native to the experiences of the gritty/rough atmosphere who has had her fair share of challenging hands dealt herself.
The interweaving of the lives, choices, fa
Jenn Z at That's What She's Reading

Alternating between the perspectives of a teenage boy and older man, this sweeping saga spans the historic southwest into Texas, documenting the deeply-rooted pain that follows these two tragically linked individuals. From the first lines, the match is lit on this slow-burning story that draws you to what can only be the ultimate flaming conclusion. Yet, from out of the smoldering ash, redemption may be considered though there is a hint that the cycle of vengeance may not be completely broken.

Max Knight
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All Things Left Wild is a remarkable debut novel by a very gifted author. Written in a style reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, it deals with issues of life and death in a world where people endure rather than prevail, where morality doesn’t exist, and where violent acts are so horrific that innocence is forever lost and salvation beyond reach.

The story is set in Arizona, New Mexico, and on both sides of the Rio Grande in Mexico and Texas. It is a vast, rugged, treacherous, yet sublimely beautiful
Bonnie Brody
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
James Wade writes with the literary flair of a cowboy poet-philosopher. The book's narrative is fairly straight forward but what makes this novel so remarkable is its language and intellectual depth. I could visualize Socrates and Plato sitting under a tree in the American southwest during the end of the 19th century, when this book takes place, having a dialogue about the book's essence and what it really means.

The story begins with two brothers, Shelby and Caleb Bentley, attempting to rob Rand
Vannetta Chapman
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is James Wade's debut novel, and I have been looking forward to reading it. The writing is very good, IMO ... in places it waxes a bit poetic for my tastes, but in other places it zips along and is stellar. The characters are well drawn, and I very much enjoyed the setting (Texas back in the day).

I would probably describe this as literary fiction vs popular fiction (that's a blurry line and there are places where this book is one or the other or both). I would also describe it as a guy's b
Katie P.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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All Things Left Wild is a stunning debut novel from James Wade, bringing together classical western elements and unique storytelling that will enchant readers! Told in alternating point of views, the story follows Caleb, a boy caught in turmoil and struggling with his own demons, and Randall, the man charged with hunting down Caleb for terrible crimes. This juxtaposition reminds me of classic Western novels and writers, like Lonesome Dove and Louis L'
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in four days! I couldn't put it down. It's a page turner, but it's also a thoughtful investigation of good and evil, raising the question of whether violence is ever a necessary force. The characters are complex, the setting looms large, and the book checks the boxes of the classic western genre without being cliche. In fact, it feels extremely relevant to today's questions and predicaments. I love a book where at times I'm not sure who's the villain and who's the hero, and that ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A different kind of western with parallel stories being told. I enjoyed it very much. The characters are deep and well thought out.
Kristine Hall
AUDIO BOOK / PRINT COMBO REVIEW. The problem with Mary Poppins-like books (practically perfect in every way), is that nothing I write about it will do it justice. ALL THINGS LEFT WILD is one of those books. Sure, reading it (with my ears and with my eyes) was enhanced by the majestic scenery that surrounded me while I digested the story; it's really something to read amazing, lyrical descriptions of place and look up and say, "Yep. He got that right." But whether readers burrow into this book fr ...more
Lynn Poppe
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Blogging on review tours is a great way to expose oneself to novels that are outside of the comfort zone. I may never have read or even heard about All Things Left Wild on a normal day. But thankfully for me, this tour led me to take a chance that paid off. Reading this novel expanded my exposure to historical westerns beyond romance.

All Things Left Wild is two separate story lines on a collision course to a showdown. Even the chapters follow the separate story lines. The point of view switches
Ruthie Jones
“Revenge isn’t real. You can’t buy coffee with it. It won’t warm your bed at night. And killing only leads to more killing.”

All Things Left Wild is James Wade’s fantastic debut novel that is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s style in The Border Trilogy, especially All the Pretty Horses. Wade’s novel is beautiful and bloody and full of love and loss and greed and vengeance.

This story is ultimately about two men whose life-changing confrontation leaves murder and revenge in its wake. Fate brings Ra
Lone Star Literary Life
Featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours. Lone Star Blogger Team average rating: 4.875 stars.

Reviewed by Chris Manno for Lone Star Literary Life.
Tomi Rues
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it
First, let me start by saying I do judge a book by its cover, and I thought the cover of this book was compelling! I also liked the title: All Things Left Wild. This book falls under historical/literary fiction. It’s a coming-of-age story for one character and a midlife adventure for the other. The novel weaves a tale between two main characters and is told in first person by the younger man and in third person with the older man. I thought this was an effective way to unfold the story.

This nove
Lucy Griffith
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Give yourself some much-needed respite from these troubling times by diving in to James Wade’s new novel “All Things Left Wild.” As a poet I appreciate the lyricism in his writing and the raw and wild sense of place that was evoked. The characters come alive and the story gallops along with intensity. The philosophy that weaves itself through the novel deepens the characters and the challenges they confront. In particular, the character of Charlotte caught my heart and never let go, so rare in a ...more
Brady Hanson
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful debut by an author I look forward to reading again! The setting, characters, and plot were all captivating and well portrayed. The philosophical elements were perfectly intertwined and poignant. This is one of those rare books these days I truly enjoyed from the beginning to end.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
After accidentally killing a boy during a horse theft gone wrong, two brothers flee for Texas with the boy's grieving father hot on their trail. Check it out if you like novels with a good chase and a strong sense of place. ...more
This Feral Housewife
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LOVE IT!! So open and honest and raw. It will make you feel and make you think. So well written it draws you into the scene and the story and doesn’t let you go.
Keana Labra
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book broke my heart in the best way. I had a favorite book long before reading this book, and this easily took its place as my new favorite book.

I love the language that Wade uses, and the use of first and third person depending on the point of view further characterizes Caleb Bentley and Randall Dawson. This book is a conversation about life and choice, and Wade converses with the reader through the characters, providing different viewpoints through different characters.

However, life is
Chanel Johnson
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
All Things Left Wild: James Wade

Release Date: Jun. 16, 2020

Moving, immersive and tragic; a raw, historical fiction of life in the American West post-civil war.
Set in the early 1900s, two brothers, filled with vengeance and greed, pursue to rob horses from a well-off rancher. When the heist spoils and takes a turn for the worst, the brothers start riding south, toward the border in hopes of escaping their pasts. The rancher, Randall Dawson, is exactly the opposite of what you would expect. Acade
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first reaction to James Wade’s novel All Things Left Wild was that the writing was both vivid and incredibly lyrical. I could have easily read three hundred pages of James Wade just describing the scenery and been completely satisfied. But this is not a nature guide, it’s a novel, and the story was as powerful as the opening scene-setting was beautiful.

What I liked was the way Wade depicted the pain that Caleb clearly felt. Whether riding a stolen horse through the dry Texas landscape or shar
Julie Landrum
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read! Well thought out and great character development. James Wade writes so you can see both sides of the coin as you follow the conundrums that are put into place due to poor decision making. Aspects of each characters are in all of us.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. I definitely enjoyed this book. The language and descriptions were beautiful and at times poetic, without being over the top. It's a non-traditional tale of the Wild West. The story is told in alternating points of view between Caleb Bently (a 16-year-old orphan running from the law with his no-good older brother) and Randall Dawson (a middle-aged land-owner who trac ...more
Oscar Rodriguez
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From Faulkner to McCarthy to Wade, America's frontiers, geographic, cultural and otherwise are laid bare for those willing to venture to such crossroads. I hope his follow ups continue to measure up. ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
An impressive debut literary western, reminiscent of Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers, with a little Steinbeck thrown in. All Things Left Wild tells two parallel stories: it follows a father on the hunt for the pair of brothers who killed his son, and outlines the journey of the brothers as they escape the crime. We hear the first-person perspective of Caleb Bentley, responsible for the death of the boy, as he reckons not only with what he has done but who he and his brother have become... ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Randall Dawson is chasing the Bentley brothers through Texas to avenge the death of his son, who Caleb Bentley killed while they were trying to steal Dawson's horses. This is very much a morality pay set in a Western, raising questions about right, wrong, and vengeance. It's told in the first person by Caleb and in the third person for Randall. And then there's Charlotte, who helps Randall. There are wonderful descriptions of the landscape - so much so that you can almost taste the grit. None of ...more
Liza Taylor
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, and the late, great Charles Portis should love this story. Full of lush detail and description, compelling characters, and a story that keeps the reader turning pages. Looking forward to reading James’ next one.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book of choice, and the effect those choices can carry. Throughout this whole story you have characters fighting for what they believe is right. Characters that care about the morality of the world and others who don't, because what does it matter to them if something happens to another when they do what they have to to survive? Who are we to determine what is right and wrong in a world where all things are wild?

The authors ability to illustrate his characters emotions and views, as well as th
Shauna Roth
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are glimpses and glimmers of one of the best novels ever written, Lonesome Dove. At times I said to myself, ‘Slow down, savour this story. It’s a good one’. I’m hoping this novel becomes successful. I’m hoping someone buys the movie rights. I’m hoping someone makes a movie with fine actors that know how to ride a horse. Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for the ARC.
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James Wade is an award-winning fiction author with twenty short stories published in various literary journals and magazines. His debut novel, All Things Left Wild, was released June 16, 2020 from Blackstone Publishing. Wade's second novel, River, Sing Out will be released June 8, 2021 from Blackstone Publishing.

James spent five years as a journalist, before serving as a legislative director at th

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“Revenge isn’t real. You can’t buy coffee with it. It won’t warm your bed at night. And killing only leads to more killing.” 0 likes
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