Reading [it] is to immerse oneself in a realm of roughneck, shoot-’em-up western writing where fact and fiction blend effortlessly on the page, & the action is only outgunned by the author’s tilt for beautiful literary prose. […] His writing keeps you riveted by fleet pacing, bawdy characters, sharp-witted banter, & enough action to stampede a cavalry train, but it’s never cheap, it’s never gratuitous. Instead he fills each page with heartbreak, suspense, hope, & laughter […]. [His characters are] fallible, impassioned, the type of people you could imagine filling your own life, only these characters are ratcheted up tenfold, magnifying the ugliness of their lusts, the shock of their misfortunes, the satisfaction of recompense. — Eric J. Guignard, New York Journal of Books
A Library Journal Best Book of 2015! A rollicking novel about Nat Love, an African-American cowboy with a famous nickname: Deadwood Dick. Young Willie is on the run, having fled his small Texas farm when an infamous local landowner murdered his father. A man named Loving takes him in and trains him in the fine arts of shooting, riding, reading, and gardening. When Loving dies, Willie re-christens himself Nat Love in tribute to his mentor, and heads west. In Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, Nat becomes a Buffalo Soldier and is befriended by Wild Bill Hickok. After winning a famous shooting match, Nat's peerless marksmanship and charm earn him the nickname Deadwood Dick, as well as a beautiful woman. But the hellhounds are still on his trail, and they brutally attack Nat Love's love. Pursuing the men who have driven his wife mad, Nat heads south for a final, deadly showdown against those who would strip him of his home, his love, his freedom, and his life.
Here are the questions discussed on Wednesday, June 29, 2016:
- Is this a western? Why/Why not? How does this compare to other "westerns" you have read?
- Did you believe his portrayal of the time period?
- What did you think of the author's portrayal of people of color?
- Does the violence relate to the story or do you perceive it as gratuitous? Why/Why not?
- Is the landscape part of the story? How?/How not?
- Who are the characters you feel know best? Why?
- Is this a simple book? Why?/Why not?
- Were the female characters believable?Male?Horses?Gun play?
- Why did the author front load all the violence?
- What is this author's strength?
- What, primarily, is this book about?
- How could this book have been improved?
- Any ambiguities or confusions we need to clear up?