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Monte Walsh Paperback – 30 August 2017
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Many consider [Monte Walsh] one of the best Westerns ever written.--True West
About the Author
- Publisher : University of New Mexico Press; Reprint edition (30 August 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 552 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0826358578
- ISBN-13 : 978-0826358578
- Dimensions : 13.72 x 3.81 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 575,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I am a fan of the western genre and would put Schaefer's "Shane" and "The Canyon" in my top twenty, but "Monte Walsh" just didn't do it for me.
I just have issues with the story. The book itself is really a collection of short stories rather than a typical novel. There's some cohesion from chapter to chapter. And story elements occur roughly in chronological order. But I found the book has a disjointed feel to it. You could almost read the chapters in any order and it would make little difference.
You will also get your fill of horses: horse riding, horse breaking, horse wrangling, horse describing. Yes, Monte Walsh is, himself, a horseman. And, yes, "Monte Walsh" is a western. But Schaefer takes the horse discussion to extremes. There's way more discussion of and about horses in "Monte Walsh" than is usually encountered in a western. For me, this got a little tiresome especially as the author gives short shrift in describing the beauty of the American southwest.
Then there's Monte Walsh. Throughout the story, people comment on how Monte is how Monte is. That he never changes. This is true. Unlike most people in the novel, Monte Walsh shows no growth at all. He's strong and fearless but he's also a giant ass. I had hoped for something more in my main character than an overgrown teenager who's able to endure significant hardships. Chet, Hat, Dobe and others all grow as humans. Not Monte. That he seemed unwilling to grow irked me.
So if you're a fan of westerns as I am, "Monte Walsh" is a must read. As a novel, the writing is superb. Just don't expect to come away in awe of Monte Walsh the character. Recommended.