Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review

Fair Land, Fair Land

by A. B. Guthrie Jr.


I've read all of A. B. Guthrie Jr.'s western series and enjoyed them all. Fair Land, Fair Land is not quite up to the quality of "The Big Sky" and "The Way West" but it is a must read for anyone that has read these earlier novels. Dick Summers is one of the most engaging characters I have come across. Verbally succinct, decisive in action, Summers adheres to a moral code that makes him an exceptional human being in a harsh, frequently cruel environment.

This book had to be written for two reasons. One, readers of Guthrie's first two books (and I) wanted to learn of the fates of Boone Caudill, Summers's dark-hearted protege in "The Big Sky," and Teal Eye, Caudill's abandoned squaw. Two, the novel fills a gap in the timeline of Guthrie's series of Western novels, demonstrating skillfully the end of the mountain man era and the ascendency of frontier army control over the Rocky Mountain Indian population.