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Mountain Man

(Book #2 in the Colección Frontera Series)

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Book Overview

Tailored after the actual Crow Killer John Johnson, Sam Minard is a mountain man who seeks the freedom that the Rocky Mountains offers trappers. After his beloved Indian wife is murdered, Sam Minard... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


MOUNTAIN MAN continues to be a classic in American Western literature. The major foundation for the movie, Jeremiah Johnson, MOUNTAIN MAN tells the story of Samuel John Minard, a mountain man known for his physical prowess and for his quick and educated intellect. A renaissance man who has chosen the life of the great American West. In his adventures Sam meets up with Indians of various tribes, other mountain men and a crazy pilgrim woman. HIs marriage to an Indian maiden leads him into a one-man war with sweeping consequences for himself and for his enemies. MOUNTAIN MAN, as is the case with most books upon which movies are based, considerably outshines JEREMIAH JOHNSON in its story and characterizations. But, hey, I love the movie as well. I guess that says a lot about what I think of the book. THE HORSEMAN


Mountain ManInterestingly Larry McMurtry has written three books of late that invite the reader back to the time of the Mountain Men. I've read all of them and while I love McMurtry's writing and the stories presented in Boone's Lick and in volumes 1 and 2 of the new Berry bender series, there is nothing like going back to the source for the real experience.I first read Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher as a teenager. I read it in conjunction with the release of Jeremiah Johnson upon which the book is loosely based. At that time I was captured by this genre and have made a regular reading of Mountain Man a part of my program.While I can enthusiastically recommend the newer editions to the Mountain Man genre, I would encourage interested parties in taking a look at Mountain Man first. While you're at it, rent or buy Jeremiah Johnson starring Robert Redford. The experience will be one that you don't regret.

Great Adventure Story....

A WELL WRITTEN, brutally graphic tale based on the brief era of the mountain men. Though published several decades ago, the writing is fresh and excitingly paced. A keen and unbiased insight into the harsh realities of mountain men and Indian life during the early to mid 1800's. I've also enjoyed the Jeremiah Johnson movie, but similarities to this novel are remote. This is one of those books I found myself reading well past normal bedtime. The material quality of this paperback edition is superb. I highly recommend!

A Phenonemal Adventure

The story of Sam Minard, based on the life of the 'Crow Killer,' the real Jeremiah Johnson, is a beautiful tale that combines the reality of the life of the mountain men in its most brutal form and the myth of the mountain man as we would like him to be. Sam Minard is the most accomplished of the mountain men, the best trapper, the best fighting man and absolutely ruthless as he applies his craft, but not far beneath the rugged exterior is a man of enormous sensitivity able to describe the beauty of the wilderness in detail that allows the reader to be there. In Chapter 18, Minard, still mourning the death of his wife, spends the winter in what is today Yellowstone Park. Minard's (Fisher's) description of the winter in the magical land of Yellowstone is one that has remained with me all my life and inspired me to perform my own explorations of wild country. If you have any interest in the mountain men, the west before it became the 'Old West,' or just like a damn well told story, this book will not disappoint.

A Brilliantly Written & Beautifully Expressed Tale

This novel is a lifelong passion for me. I read Mountain Man as a project with my father when I was 11, some 22 years ago. I associate this work with wide-eyed boyhood and love of nature. It rings of a time when America was still a wild frontier of hard men, bent on survival and self government. I refuse to apply 90s political correctness to this novel. Such intellectual revisionism had no place in Sam Minard's world, and therefore it has no place in the assessment of the work itself after the fact. I have read this novel at least 25 times, and find new and more rapturous moments in it each successive time. The love that Sam had for Lotus and the regard he had for Kate are two of the most shining examples of literary love I have ever encountered. This book is a glorious orchestration of a seldom taught period of American history and an Old West adventure tale of the first order. It recounts a time of great courage and brutality, portrayed fairly and with much class and distinction. It would have been easy to make it sappy and formulaic, but Fisher deftly avoids such tactics. Instead, he is as detached from this novel as "The Almighty" was from the characters of Sam, Lotus, Kate and the Big Sky wilderness: He created, then set free his creation to fend for itself. Waugh! This is as solid a novel as there is on this subject, if not the finest ever.
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