For having read so little last week, I read a lot this week. The second half of the book moves a lot faster than the first does. L'Amour takes time to get the characters very well established before moving on. It made it hard to get through, because there were slow spots, but once I pushed through those it was a very easy read.
First of all, I really enjoyed this novel. It taught about decency, being aware of your surroundings, and a lot about loyalty. The main character (Johannes Verne) becomes sort of a 'Jason Bourne' of the old west. He is seriously awesome, no matter who he's up against, you can just feel that he's going to prevail.
In my first post on this book, I talked about when Don Isidro (the grandfather of Johannes) left him in the desert to die, and his physical reaction when Johannes called him Grandpa. This was left unresolved until (literally) ten pages from the end. This is probably about ten years later (we're not given an exact year past the time when Johannes is ten years old, so I'm guessing the boy is around 18 or 19). Don Isidro finally accepts the fact that he has lost, and thinks to himself,
"All so useless! So foolish! Back there in the desert, when the boy said so bravely, 'Goodbye, Grandpa!' I should have gathered him in my arms and taken him home."
We learn that the young man who was with Don Isidro was the catalyst for killing Zachary Verne, and nearly killing Johannes. That young man hoped to inherit with them out of the way. I am grateful at least that Don Isidro realized that what he did was stupid (for lack of a better word).
The only other thing I want to say here, is that I didn't really like the ending. I mean, the last line is perfect, I wouldn't want to change that, but I sort of with he'd written an epilogue to give me a little more closure on some things. Sure I can imagine them, but I like having the author's vision.
Other than that, I very much enjoyed this read, and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in action fiction. There were a lot of things that were unpredictable to me, which I liked. It kept me guessing, and made me want to keep reading. Thank goodness the good guy wins.
I will be starting to read through the Declaration of Independence this coming week, and once I read through it a couple of times, I'll start trying to delve deeper into it. My plan is to annotate and ask as many questions as I can. I hope those of you who read this (like, four) will give your own input as I go along.
Thanks for reading!
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