Archive for the ‘Wild West’ Category

TRAIN DREAMS by Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson won an O. Henry prize for this novella of the old American West in 2003. It originally appeared in the Paris Review but is now reissued and bound in hardback with an apt cover art—a painting by Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton called “The Race.” If you contemplate the painting for a while, you may feel the ghost of the book’s protagonist, Robert Grainier, as he, too, felt the ghosts and spirits of the dead.

August 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Reading Guide, US Northwest, Wild West, y Award Winning Author

BACK OF BEYOND by C. J. Box

BACK OF BEYOND by C. J. Box is just what a mystery thriller should be – a wild ride through twists and turns with rogue characters that have depth of spirit and lots of baggage. This book is a hardcore page-turner with characters the reader gets to know well. It’s well-plotted and everything comes together just when it’s supposed to; no red herrings and no deus ex machina. Box knows exactly how to plot his book so that each page brings the reader closer to crisis and then conclusion. There is the dark side that is required in order for good to prevail and there are lots of cold, dark pathways that wind their way to a fine conclusion.

August 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, US Northwest, Wild West, y Award Winning Author

ONCE UPON A RIVER by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Odysseus was a legendary and cunning hero on a journey to find home, and lived by his guile. Annie Oakley was a sharpshooter with an epic aim, living by her wits. Siddhartha traveled on a spiritual quest to find himself, and defined the river by its timelessness—always changing, always the same. Now, in Bonnie Jo Campbell’s adventure story, we are introduced to sixteen-year-old Margo Crane, gutsy, feisty survivor who manifests a flawed blend of all three heroes, who lives once and inexorably upon a river.

July 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, US Midwest, Wild West, y Award Winning Author

HELL IS EMPTY by Craig Johnson

William Walk Sacred describes the Native American vision quest experience as a time when, “You are presenting yourself before the Great Spirit and saying, ‘Here I am. I am pitiful. I am naked.” “You’re down to the nitty gritty of who you are.” He adds, “You cannot go off the path at that point because you are now owned by the spirits. They watch you continuously. There is no hiding.” This quest to gain spiritual insights and to, in effect, travel to God, can be compared to the allegorical journey taken in Dante’s The Divine Comedy in which a soul moves through hell, purgatory, and heaven. Of course, hell (Inferno) is the most gripping. The ninth circle of Dante’s hell holds those guilty of treachery in an icy prison, with Satan encased waist-high in the center. How fitting then that Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming should find himself in a mountain snow storm with a beat-up copy of Dante’s Inferno, battling the elements, violent men, his own limits of endurance, and mysteries of the mind and spirit — in effect, undergoing his own involuntary vision quest.

June 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Reading Guide, Sleuths Series, US Frontier West, Wild West

DOC by MARY DORIA RUSSELL

DOC relates how it might have been during 1878-79 when Dr. John Henry Holliday lived in Dodge City, Kansas. “The Deadly Dentist” who later gained fame or infamy, depending on perspective, for “pistoleering” along with the surviving Earp brothers at the O.K. Corral, saved Wyatt Earp’s life in Dodge first. Earp is said to have credited Holliday with saving him, but apparently didn’t share details, so history isn’t sure of the facts. But this novel presents its own story of how it might have happened.

May 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, US Frontier West, Wild West

COLD WIND by C.J. Box

C. J. Box’s COLD WIND is set in a part of Wyoming that is beautifully scenic and, in some ways, untamed. When an enemy threatens one of Box’s characters, the prospective victim does not automatically dial 911. He is more likely to take matters into his own hands. The hero, Joe Pickett, is a game warden and devoted family man who values harmony over conflict. Much to Joe’s displeasure, he is caught up in a web of deceit and violence when his wife’s latest stepfather, “multi-millionaire developer and media mogul, Earl Alden,” is shot dead and found hanging from one of his own windmill turbines. Joe’s mother-in-law, Missy Alden is charged with the crime, and although he has no jurisdiction, Joe undertakes his own unofficial investigation out of obligation to his wife and daughters.

May 8, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, Theme driven, US Northwest, Wild West, y Award Winning Author