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Thursday, 23 February 2012

FFB – The Outsider, Frank Roderus

Ex-buffalo soldier Leon Brown has saved money for fifteen years and now has a spread of his own. He’s about to see it for the first time, land and ranch just 15 miles outside Kazumal, Arizona. But he’s in for a shock. Some of the promises made in the realtor’s sales pitch are full of air, it seems. Still, Leon’s just pleased to have a place he can call his own. Without a horse, without his bride-to-be, he’s all alone. But he’ll make good. If only he can combat the prejudice, the beatings, and the rustlers, and the thieves, and the Apaches…

Published in 1988, this is my reprint copy of 1995. It’s a moral and simple well told tale about a man’s self-belief. Leon won’t give up, he won’t rile easily, and he will do the right thing, no matter what the cost. The characters are believable, both good and bad, and sing of the human condition.

I came away from this book feeling that I knew Leon – and to a lesser yet as important degree, the half-Apache, half-Mexican Manuela, the popish priest Felipe and the neighbourly Jud Ramsey. I can believe that the west was built by people like these, one day at a time. It’s moving and amusing and just plain satisfying.

4 comments:

Ron Scheer said...

Nicely felt and told. Thanks.

Nancy Curteman said...

The "out west" flavor reminds me of the Australian Outback, the setting for my soon to be published novel Murder Down Under. I think the characters of those early American and Australian settlers were quite similar.

Nik said...

Thanks, Ron.

Nancy, look no further than that excellent Tom Selleck 'western in Australia' Quigley Down Under! Nice plug for your upcoming book, too. It's murder trying to get folk to notice a new book... and I speak from experience.

Nancy curteman said...

Hi Nik, Sorry, this doesn't relate directly to this post. I wanted to share with you that I have a friend who owns an apartment in Alicante. His name is Ludek Kitajewski. Wouldn't it be funny if you knew of him?