Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A lyrical novel of the old West


Usually I race through a book I like, but The Color Of Lightening by Paulette Jiles

http://www.amazon.com/Color-Lightning-Novel-P-S/dp/0061690457/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280244081&sr=8-1#_ (author also of Enemy Women, which I liked, too), has to be savored slowly for its poetic but realistic images and gripping but unsentimental story set in Texas after the Civil War. It's the story of a freed black slave who goes on a mission to free his wife and children who were taken captive in a Comanche raid on his homestead. And, oh, how I love the Internet, which allowed me to google the guy's name and learn a little more about the real guy this novel is written around. I can get easily bored with a lot of tedious physical description, but this novel has just enough -- with its descriptions of sights and smells -- to transport me to another time and another place. Just what I love about reading and what's missing in movies and TV dramas these days which lean toward police, criminals, and disfunctional families. Because of Jiles' novel, now I want to read a nonfiction book about the Comanche now on the bestseller list. http://www.amazon.com/Last-Comanche-Chief-Quanah-Parker/dp/0785822593/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280244206&sr=1-1 From what I read, it's not just about the Indian chief, the son of a Comanche and a captive white woman, but the story of the Comanche tribe in Texas, and what a yarn that promises to be.

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