Thursday, December 30, 2010

Texas, Chapter XI, The Frontier

This chapter was so rich, where do I start?  The thing about reading this book is you learn so much!  I loved learning about the Longhorn cattle, how barbed wire tamed the range, and the Range Wars.  I've seen some  Longhorn while exploring the Manzano foothills, and they are formidable.  It is never a breed I've wanted to own, due to the fact that they look like they would be hard to fence, the horns look deadly, and I'm happy with our fat beef breeds, but now I'm thinking it would be cool just to have one to show to my friends.

I love the way Michener weaves these interesting characters and stories in with the history.  For example, Emma and Earnshaw Rusk's misguided gunslinger wannabee son Floyd's misadventures really take you away into the period.  Michener doesn't hesitate to throw in murder, mutilations or tragedies into characters that you get to care about due to his excellent character development, so you never can predict where the story was going to lead.  I found Floyd's outcome surprising.

So, Readers, I give these last two chapters, The Fort and The Frontier, many many thumbs up!  Happy reading.