THE AMERICAN WEST (mostly): Fact and Fiction (mostly fiction)

"NOBODY GETS TO BE A COWBOY FOREVER." -- Chet Rollins (Jack Palance) in MONTE WALSH (NG, 1970)

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

THE LAST CROSSING by Guy Vanderhaeghe

The Last Crossing is a big, sprawling epic Western novel. Some critics have compared it to the Western novels of Cormac McCarthy. I can't agree. It is true that it does share some similarities with McCarthy's novels, but it isn't nearly as dark.

I think a better comparison would be Larry McMurtry. Both writers have a better sense of humor than McCarthy (who seems to have none at all), and their writing, though often characterized by scenes of graphic violence, also has moments of humor which helps lighten the mood.

 The Last Crossing is as good as McMurtry's best and far better than his worst.

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