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The Which Way Tree Library Binding – Large Print, 27 June 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 204 ratings

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Library Binding, Large Print, 27 June 2018
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Review

While hunting near his Texas home at the end of the Civil War, Benjamin Shreve witnesses a Confederate soldier, Clarence Hanlin, picking the pockets of eight hanged men. The 17-year-old orphan is called to court to testify about what he saw. In letters to the judge, Benjamin tells the epic tale of the panther that killed his stepmother and disfigured his stepsister, Samantha. Clarence plays a bizarre role in the tale, helping and hindering Samantha's Ahab-like quest forvengeance against the panther. Benjamin, frank and quick-witted, tells a story that is absorbing and satisfying. Hedoesn't dwell on his hardships but focuses on Samantha's single-minded pursuit of the panther and the cold-bloodedsoldier who ended up in the middle of it all. VERDICT: Spur-Award-winning Crook's (The Night Journal; Monday, Monday) fifth novel will be a must-read for fans of Joe Lansdale's Western adventures and Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers. Readers new to the Western genre will be hooked if they start with this compelling novel.--Emily Hamstra, Library Journal

"A ripping adventure...Benjamin is a boyishly charming chronicler of the crazed hunt...Samantha's unfinished business leads the makeshift hunters through a gauntlet of disasters to the novel's show-stopping finale. 'Vengeance belongs to the Lord, ' the preacher chides her, to which she answers, 'Only if he can beat me to it.'"--Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

"Samantha is frustrating and, like her brother Benjamin, sometimes I too wanted to strangle her, but I couldn't help but root for her . . . Crook's novel keeps the plot moving fast and the dramatic tension high . . . It's a story that hooked me from the get-go, and when Benjamin finishes his last letter to the judge, I wanted the story to continue . . . Fans of Paulette Jiles's News of the World will be gratified to find another well-told, old-time Texas tale of big adventure and big characters."--Emily Spicer, San Antonio Express News

"The story is intriguing . . . A page-turner."--Mike Yawn, Houston Chronicle

"Crook's slim, intimate novel illustrates how, at their best, historical westerns provide insight into human nature tested by the sort of extreme conditions that rarely crop up in contemporary American settings."--Texas Monthly

"The Which Way Tree is adventurous, suspenseful, and charming...you're going to want to read this one."--Elizabeth Entenman, HelloGiggles

"Exuberant . . . Benjamin's voice has echoes of Huckleberry Finn, while his sister's pursuit of the deadly cat recalls True Grit."--Tom Beer, Newsday

"In the tradition of Charles Portis's classic True Grit, Elizabeth Crook's heart-pounding adventure, The Which Way Tree, features a tough-as-nails orphan in pursuit of frontier justice...you'll follow Sam to the ends of the earth."--Natalie Beach, O Magazine

"This riveting Western has a bit of True Grit feel."--CJ Lotz, Garden & Gun

"Crook manages in The Which Way Tree the striking feat of not only capturing the voice of a 19th century youth as honestly and compellingly as Mark Twain but also having her Texas Huck recount a Moby Dick-like pursuit across Texas in which the White Whale is a malevolent mountain lion and its Ahab is a girl it mauled while killing her mother."--Austin Chronicle

"The Which Way Tree is unlike anything I've read before...an enthralling adventure, a Texas fairy tale in the truest sense of that term."--Michelle Newby, Lone Star Literary Life

"An absorbing coming-of-age novel...Benjamin is a keen observer and reliable narrator...These adventure tales, if told well, are plenty riveting and enduring. The Which Way Tree is told well."--Rod Davis, Texas Observer

"Poignant and plainspoken...Crook crafts Benjamin's narratoin beautifully, finding a winning balance between naivete and wisdom, thoughtfulness and grit."--Publishers Weekly

"This is a story of unremitting deprivation allayed by unexpected kindness, with a dangerous chase motivated by love and suffused with humanity."--Michele Leber, Booklist

"Not since True Grit have I read a novel this charming, exciting, suspenseful, and pitch-perfect. The Which Way Tree is winning from first page to last."--Ron Hansen, author of The Kid and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

"Recalls Cormac McCarthy's horseback meandering and keen eye for terrain and flora in The Crossing. There are also obvious echoes of True Grit, though Sam is even more fiercely single-minded than Mattie . . . An entertaining picture of harsh, stark life in the Old West."--Kirkus Reviews

"In The Which Way Tree, Elizabeth Crook has conjured a powerful, sly, and often charming tale delivered in the winning voice of Benjamin. This novel is a fast-paced story resonating with rich characters and mythic elements that come to us as folklore that mustn't be doubted."--Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Maid's Version

"Elizabeth Crook has created a book of marvels. Its comedy is steeped in the hardscrabble tragedies of a wilder old America. You will even catch an echo of Twain's wit in the picaresque narration."--Luis Alberto Urrea, author of the national bestseller The Hummingbird's Daughter

"Not since True Grit have I read a novel as charming, exciting, suspenseful, and pitch-perfect as The Which Way Tree. Elizabeth Crook's debut is winning from first page to last."--Ron Hansen, author of The Kid and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

" 'Preacher Dob said, Vengeance belongs to the Lord, Samantha. She said, Only if he can beat me to it.' This told me everything I needed to know about Samantha Shreve, a character who knocked my socks off from her first appearance on the page. This book is the stuff of legends, tales told for a hundred years around Texas campfires. Written in a form that is historically accurate and yet feels painstakingly intimate, The Which Way Tree is unlike anything I've read before."--Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird

"The Which Way Tree is one part Track of the Cat, one part True Grit, and one part Tom Sawyer, a ruthless pedigree for a novel that displays human nature in its most beautiful form--a marvel."--Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The Western Star, a Walt Longmire mystery

"Gisleson gives us a layered portrait of not just one woman's rich and complicated life, but so much more: a family suffering unspeakable tragedy, a city struggling, a group of friends brought together to make common cause in making sense of life . . . In her hands, the search is beautiful indeed, sparkling with fierce intelligence and sharp wit and unsparing honesty . . . Lovers of New Orleans stories will find much to admire here, with Gisleson's vast knowledge and experience of the city . . . Her observations are spot-on . . . An exquisite memoir."--Susan Larson, New Orleans Advocate

"Elizabeth Crook has invented a brilliant way of seeing the old Texas frontier: at very close range, through the eyes of a wise-beyond-his-years seventeen-year-old boy and the sister whose defiant quest he joins. The result is a small-scale masterwork, richly detailed and beautifully rendered."--S. C. Gwynne, New York Times bestselling author of Empire of the Summer Moon

"When I began to read this book its unique voice appealed to me immediately. Elizabeth Crook has written a beautiful novel with wonderful characters."--Robert Duvall

About the Author

Elizabeth Crook has published four previous novels, including The Night Journal, which received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America, and Monday, Monday, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014 and winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. She lives in Austin with her family.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wheeler Publishing Large Print; Large type / Large print edition (27 June 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Library Binding ‏ : ‎ 410 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1432852795
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1432852795
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.73 x 3.05 x 22.1 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 204 ratings

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Jose A. Royo
5.0 out of 5 stars A great western, an excellent bpok
Reviewed in Spain on 20 April 2020
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SS in DC
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprising, fun, unique, engaging, and, ultimately, gratifying...
Reviewed in the United States on 12 February 2018
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18 people found this helpful
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Jonathan Eaton
5.0 out of 5 stars A New, Fresh, and Truer Wild West
Reviewed in the United States on 14 February 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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DJDodson
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mapping" 19th Century Texas in an atlas of folklore and suspense. (Every map needs a "Legenda . . ." )
Reviewed in the United States on 8 February 2018
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15 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing journey into an incredible story
Reviewed in the United States on 1 March 2018
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5 people found this helpful
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