Sunday, April 18, 2010

Number four and last of "The Berrybender Narratives," by L. McMurtry

Well, now, Jim Snow, The Sinkiller, has managed to ditch The Wandering Hill and pass By Sorrow's River and continue to the end of the Folly and Glory, an unimaginable feat in this novel of the early West where no one knows who would be killed on any given day. This last episode, Folly and Glory, finds most of the Berrybenders still alive and in Santa Fe under arrest by the Mexicans, but treated well until they are summarily banished therefrom. However, they are provided an escort of Mexican soldiers to see that they leave the country. They set out for Vera Cruz but don't make it very far before trouble catches up with them.

This final leg of the journey is rampant with death and destruction before the party arrives at the settlements on the Brazos River in Texas, a diversion from their destination. The Sin Killer is a changed man, his wife is a changed woman, the soldiers, what's left of them, are changed soldiers, the servants and the remainder of the family are changed, too, by this aruduous trek through the dry deserts with Indian slavers, Kiowas and Commanches to deal with. What a story, what writing, and what an ending, in which I was somewhat disappointed.

You must read these books, if for no other reason than the enjoyment provided in all four volumes of Mr. McMurtry's terrific writing. It moves on at a fast pace and I was finished before I knew it. Ah ha, I said, that was a good book, a good story, very exciting, very enjoyable, very, very, very (put in your own adjective).

And, now that that's finished, I think I'll move on to a Johnny Boggs novel. Will it be more tame, more exciting, more adventurous, more wordy, or a better story? We'll hold our breath to find out. 

(NOTE: No gift or money was received for the mention of these books or my review, if it can be called that, in this post.)          

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