West of the Pecos

West of the Pecos

Book - 1965
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Publisher: Roslyn, N.Y. : W. J. Black, c1965.
Branch Call Number: LPLC870427111949
Characteristics: 314 p. ;,20 cm.


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Jun 23, 2017

I came across a reference to this book in Bill Bryson's travelogue, The Lost Continent. Bryson had visited the last home of President/General Eisenhower which is a memorial and tourist attraction for the late President of the United States. On the nightstand was Zane Grey's, West of the Pecos. According to Wikipedia, Zane Grey was Eisenhower's favorite author. Grey, of course, was a best selling author of "westerns" and I believe originated the story of The Lone Ranger that was made into a TV series in the 1950s and more recently a movie. I therefore had high expectations of this novel but I should have recalled that it was written in the 1930s (the CPL's copy is a quite recent reprint). Given its vintage, I should have expected that it would have reflected its times and moreover it was set in the period immediately following the American Civil War. The book is misogynist and racist and uses racial epithets that are totally unacceptable today. Since it is a period piece we might understand this, we might even understand the CPL using taxpayers money to buy a reprint of a best selling western author but perhaps we cannot forgive them for buying a book that uses tortuous prose and laughable stereotypes. I confess I couldn't finish a book with such excruciating writing. My thanks to the Crowfoot Librarian who explained to me how to write this comment. :)
Nigel Waters

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