Carol's Reviews > Butcher's Crossing

Butcher's Crossing by John  Williams
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Jul 24, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010-read-booklist
Read from August 20 to 22, 2010

I liked the book well enough. But not enough for 5 stars. I was angry at the men for decimating the herd of buffalo for greed and profit. The jury is still out on writing my review. I am overwhelmed ,so I will take my time .
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08/21/2010 page 35
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message 1: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken I think Williams wanted you to be angry. It's a metaphor for man's stewardship of the land, of nature, of the country, and of himself.

I love the description of Miller firing at the buffalo, how he looks like the Devil possessed by himself and no longer a part of the sane world. It's a great metaphor for mankind in general. The Bible declared us master of all other animals and of the land itself, but see what we've done with it.

The just deserts regarding the buffalo hides was also a great stroke.


Carol Yes I thought they deserved the loss of the hides, but will Miller and Will, like all mankind just mosey off into the sunset to destroy some more. The book does remind me of Blood Meridian in some respects. I think Blood Meridian was even more graphic in man's impact upon each other rather than the stewardship of the land.

The telling passage for me was Andrews questioning why he wanted to go on a hunt.
As if balancing himself on the edge of an abyss..........he could hardly recall, now, the passion that had drawn him to this room and this flesh,as if by a subtle magnatism; nor could he recall the force of that other passion which had impelled him halfway across a continent into a wilderness where he dreamed he could find , as a vision, his unaltered self. Andrews realizes it was pure vanity and culminated in nothingness. I know the experience changed Andrews, but did it make him a better person, we were only left to guess. I don't think Miller was changed by the experience he will go on raping the land, with Charley as his lapdog.


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