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A Man Called Horse

(Part of the Frontera (#1) Series and Colección Frontera (#1) Series)

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Book Overview

Indian Country contains two of Dorothy M. Johnson's most famous stories. "A Man Called Horse" depicts the life of a white captive in a Crow Indian camp. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" explains in... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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Brilliant Fiction of the American West

Dorothy Johnson created what are perhaps the greatest short stories of the American West ever to be written. Her work has been compared by Time magazine to Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Her brilliant, spare style compares favorably to the best of Hemingway's short fiction. Three of her short stories were made into successful movies, one of which (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) is a Western classic. Yet instead of standing high in the pantheon of American writers she is all but forgotten, with much of her best work out of print and unavailable, as is the fate of this outstanding collection of tales, `Indian Country'. Johnson had many virtues as a writer. She researched her topic and got the details right. She had a spare style that used an economy of words to say exactly and only what needed to be said. While she avoided sentimentality, she cut straight and deep to the heart of the matter, always revealing the humanity in all of her characters and never treating them as clichés. All of these virtues are prominently on display in this volume. The eleven tales in `Indian Country' represent some of Johnson's very best work. Two of these stories (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and A Man Called Horse) were made into movie. All of them deal with the people and the reality behind the clichés and the legends of the West. Five of these stories, (Flames on the Frontier, The Unbeliever, War Shirt, Journey to the Fort, and A Man Called Horse) deal with a subject that Dorothy Johnson may have captured better than any other writer - whites living among the Indians, either from choice, or as captives, and the effect this had on them, the Natives they lived with, and the families that they left behind. In The Prairie Kid and Beyond the Frontier, Johnson shows how incidents that might be spun into legend evolved from the simple toughness that was required for survival among frontier settlers. Scars of Honor and Laugh in the Face of Danger are tales of aged people who time has passed by but who still cherish secret memories from their Wild West youth. Warrior's Exile is built around a theme that is often prominent in Johnson's stories - the importance of an Indian's visions and medicine to his life and status within the tribe. And The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is the ultimate tale of the less than noble truth that could often lie behind the heroic legends that grew out of the West. Each of the eleven tales in `Indian Country' is brilliantly crafted, and several of them are simply unforgettable. This is a collection that you will come back to and read again many times. I consider this collection to be more valuable than are many histories of the American West for the information it contains on frontier and native cultures, and give it my very highest of recommendations; not only for those with an interest in the American West, but for all who appreciate beautifully written short stories. Theo Logos
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