Savage Country

Savage Country

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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--Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter In September 1873, Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband's folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterious brother-in-law, Michael. With no money, no family, no job or security, she hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and their families who depend on her. The buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, she now realizes, was his last hope for saving their land. Elizabeth and Michael plunge south across the aptly named Deadline demarcating Indian Territory from their home state, Kansas. Nothing could have prepared them for the dangers: rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods, threats to life in so many ways. They're on borrowed time: the Comanche are in winter quarters, and the cruel work of slaughtering the buffalo is unraveling their souls. They must get back alive. This is a gripping narrative of that infamous hunt, which drove the buffalo population to near extinction--the story of a moment in our history in which mass destruction of an animal population was seen as the only route to economic solvency. But it's also the intimate story of how that hunt changed Michael and Elizabeth forever.
Publisher: New York : Algonquin Books, 2017
ISBN: 9781616207656
Characteristics: 1 online resource (305 pages)

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Jul 27, 2018

Savage Country is the best western I have read since Thomas Berger's Little Big Man. Olmstead has clearly done his research into Indian country of the late 19th century: weather, guns and ammo, wagons and oxen, swollen rivers and prairie fires, racial attitudes, Indian predations, religion, horsemanship, feeding and doctoring in remote places--all of which he uses as a rich context for the fictional story of predation and revenge with many exciting twists and turns animated by a reluctant but extremely skillful hero. Olmstead writes beautifully; he is a consummate stylist.
Don Kunz 7/27/2018

Apr 08, 2018

Not a bad book. I can't say I found it spellbinding but it's not terrible. The story moves along at a steady pace, but the dialogue is oddly stilted. I think the writer is trying to recreate how people possibly spoke 150 years ago? I'm not sure. It was a little off putting to me.

I did not finish the book.

inthestacks Jan 06, 2018

In 1870s Kansas, a widow hires her brother-in-law to lead an expedition to the Plains for an industrial-size campaign of buffalo hunting. The descriptive details of the killing and processing of the buffalo is absorbing if not a little grisly. Plenty of tension and danger in this well-written realistic Western novel.

Oct 03, 2017

Can't tell if I have book reserved or not ?


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