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Blood Meridian

Author Cormac McCarthy
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Published 2010-08-11

"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable." Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf. "A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers." From the Hardcover edition.

Searching for Calamity

Author Linda Jucovy
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Published 2012

“Who in the world would think that Calamity Jane would get to be such a famous person?” one of the pallbearers at her funeral asked an interviewer many years later. It seemed like a reasonable question. Who else has accomplished so little by conventional standards and yet achieved such enduring fame? But conventional standards do not apply. Calamity was poor, uneducated, and an alcoholic. For decades, she wandered through the small towns and empty spaces of the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana. But she also had a natural talent for self-invention. She created a story about herself and promoted it tirelessly for much of her life. The story emphasized her love of adventure and the heroic role she played in key events in the early history of the American west. She became that story to people around the country who read about her. And she became that story to herself. The details about her exploits were rarely accurate, but a larger truth lay beneath them. In an era when there were few options for women, Calamity had the audacity to be herself. She lived as she pleased, which is to say that she allowed herself the same freedoms her male contemporaries assumed as their birthright. She spoke her mind. She flouted the rules. She dressed as a man when it was illegal for women to wear pants; hung out in saloons although that was unheard of for any woman who was not a prostitute; did men’s work; cursed, hollered, and smoked cigars. Although Calamity’s name is imprinted in history, most people know little about her. This highly readable biography brings Calamity to life against the backdrop of the American west and of women’s determination to break free from their historical constraints.

Deadwood

Author Pete Dexter
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Published 1987

Wild Bill Hickok, his best friend Charley Utter, and legendary, hell-raising prostitute Calamity Jane ride into the brawling boomtown of Deadwood to do some gambling. Little do they know that the vicious bounty hunter Boone May is waiting in town looking to make a name for himself. Wild, raw and dirty western excitement.

Vengeance Road

Author Erin Bowman
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Published 2015-09-01

When Kate Thompson's father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate. In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

True Grit: A Novel

Author Charles Portis
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Published 2010-11-05

Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America's foremost comic writers. True Grit is his most famous novel--first published in 1968, and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne. It tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father's blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory. True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself. From a writer of true cult status, this is an American classic through and through. This new edition, with a smart new package and an afterword by acclaimed author Donna Tartt, will bring this masterpiece to an even broader audience.

The Son

Author Philipp Meyer
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Published 2013-07-18

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES starring Pierce Brosnan and co-written by Philipp Meyer The critically acclaimed, New York Times-bestselling epic, a saga of land, blood and power, follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century. Eli McCullough is just twelve years old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead, brutally murder his mother and sister and take him captive. Despite their torture and cruelty, Eli - against all odds - adapts to life with the Comanche, learning their ways and language, taking on a new name, finding a place as the adopted son of the band's chief and fighting their wars against not only other Indians but white men too, which complicates his sense of loyalty, his promised vengeance and his very understanding of self. But when disease, starvation and westward expansion finally decimate the Comanche, Eli is left alone in a world in which he belongs nowhere, neither white nor Indian, civilized nor fully wild. Deftly interweaving Eli’s story with those of his son Peter and his great-granddaughter JA, The Son maps the legacy of Eli’s ruthlessness, his drive to power and his lifelong status as an outsider, even as the McCullough family rises to become one of the richest in Texas, a ranching and oil dynasty that is as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Yet, like all empires, the McCulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices. Panoramic, deeply evocative and utterly transporting, The Son is a masterpiece American novel - part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story - that combines the narrative prowess of Larry McMurtry with the knife-edge sharpness of Cormac McCarthy. 'Stunning ... a book that for once really does deserve to be called a masterpiece' Kate Atkinson 'Magnificent ... McCarthy's Border Trilogy is a point of reference, as is There Will Be Blood, but it is not fanciful to be reminded of certain passages from Moby-Dick - it's that good'The Times 'Brilliant ... a wonderful novel' Lionel Shriver

The Whip

Author Karen Kondazian
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Published 2013-04

The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man in the old west. As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer. Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her. Charley was the first known woman to vote in America in 1868 (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California.

The Sisters Brothers

Author Patrick deWitt
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Published 2011-05-14

Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Prix des libraires du Quebec and the Stephen Leacock Medal. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Walter Scott Prize. Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die: Eli and Charlie Sisters can be counted on for that. Though Eli has never shared his brother’s penchant for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. On the road to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside San Francisco -- and from the back of his long-suffering one-eyed horse -- Eli struggles to make sense of his life without abandoning the job he's sworn to do. Patrick DeWitt, acclaimed author of Ablutions, doffs his hat to the classic Western, and then transforms it into a comic tour-de-force with an unforgettable narrative voice that captures all the absurdity, melancholy, and grit of the West -- and of these two brothers, bound to each other by blood and scars and love.

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