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Mass Market Paperback The Searchers Book

ISBN: 0425134814

ISBN13: 9780425134818

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

The epic American Western classic from the author of The Unforgiven. Twice Mart Pauley had watched as the bloodthirsty Commanches destroyed everything he held dear. The first time he was a helpless... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

There's a whole lot of story packed in these 270 pages!

Wow, I would never have believed how good this was. I remember being disappointed when the book arrived, because I had assumed such a big story would of course be a BIG book. I usually won't touch a book under 400 pages, the bigger the better. I was wrong in this case, what an awesome story -- five long years searching for little Debbie. The characters were wonderful, many tragic moments where you want to just cry, and other moments along the way to make you laugh and smile. As another reviewer noted A++ indeed. Highly recommended.

Period Masterpiece

Much has been said about the movie "The Searchers" by John Ford, and more recently "The Missing" staring Tommy Lee Jones, but few seem to recall that both movies are based on the novel by Alan LeMay, which paints a truly mesmerizing portrait of Texas frontier life and is full of fascinating facts along with what I would call shared history- anecdotal episodes to which innumerable descendants of these frontier families can personally relate. This nearly forgotten gem should become a cherished member of everyone's bookshelf who reveres the original movie starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood, though it already brings up to a thousand dollars and more among the lst edition collectors subculture. For those who hated the movie, LeMays' novel provides a much more even-handed account of the White/Indian conflict of that period. For instance Chief Scar, far from the stereotypical embodiment of savage evil, is in the novel an innovative general who consistently outwits his White conterparts, and his eventual demise provides a uniquely ironic insight into the Nataive American tragedy. Ford's movie, with all its power and grandeur, deals at times in buffoonery and caricature (most notably the episode with Pauly's Indian wife), and also departs significantly- no doubt due to the exigencies of John Wayne's star power- from the book's ending. Indeed, the novel's bittersweet ending in and of itself serves as a fitting metaphor of the frontier experience. LeMay's novel truly captures the vastness and loneliness of the Texas plains as well as the often bitter price paid by those with the incredible courage to settle there. Whether you like western novels or not, The Searchers is a must read and remains, in my opinion, one of the greatest novels of the American experience.

A must read if you are a fan of the movie ,The Searchers"

(review starts with Comanche war cry...) This book was out of print for years , I paid 70 bucks for aHC 1st print on e bay I wanted it so bad.. it was worth it!A week later I cam here and saw it was due to be back in print...The plot of the book differs significantly from the movie at times but it doesn't take away from the pacing and the story is solid.I agree with all the reviewers above except for the one's that didnt give it 5 stars(whats the matter with you?).I also appreciate the job , Frank S Nugent (screenwriter of the film) and the job he did adapting it ..he really polished it up to make a good MOVIE of The Searchers. I want audio books of all Le May's classics .. ahh but who will read them ...

Western Classic

This is yet another in the long line of great tales about the American west. Like the best of them, it is historically accurate, richly detailed, and intensely readable. The tale begins, as so many of them do, with a violent encounter between the savage Comanche Indians and an outnumbered plains family in West Texas. The entire family is killed, except for the youngest daughter, who is kidnapped. The plot has to do with the two men who decide they are going to get her back. One, the brother of the murdered man, is motivated by a white-hot hatred for these Comanches, and the other, the family's 17 year-old stepchild, is motivated by his love for his ten-year old captured sister. It is a journey which takes them them through the trackless wastes of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, and lasts for six years. Like so many great novels, the beauty of this one is in the small things. Mart, for example, the stepchild, continues his relentless search because of a memory he has of the child. On the day she was lost, she came to him and asked him to help her with a calendar she was trying to create. He gruffly shooed her away. This memory torments him and compels him to continue his quest. The brother-in-law, Amos, we learn, also had a long-standing and unspoken love for his brother's wife. So this quest, this almost unendurable quest, is begun on the most simple, honest, human terms. The novel is also about the women who populated this wilderness. For most it is a life of daily drudgery, but rewarded with the realization that they have truly created something out of nothing. Life for a young woman, with a young woman's desires and needs, is painted artistically as well. Le May displays a tremendous knowledge of Indian culture, specifically the Comanches, that is absolutely fascinating. We learn that they do not leave their dead on the battlefield. We learn about their burial customs, and what they think is important in the afterlife. They are magnificent horsemen, circling and interweaving nearer and nearer their enemy, giving them only the most meager and difficult of shots, and always allowing themselves a chance for a quick retreat. I was particularly interested to learn that their names can sometimes change over the course of a lifetime, and that they are not always as easily translatable as they would appear to be in TV westerns. Mart, who eventually learns the Comanche language, comments that a Comanche name known in the white world as "Big Red Food," would probably be more aptly translated as "Raw Meat." Also interesting is the bit of history we learn about West Texas. Apparently, before the Civil War, the Texas Rangers had mostly driven out the Comanche tribes. But after the war the Rangers were disbanded, the federal government did not keep its promise to police the area, and the natives gradually returned . . . with deadly results. But this is only the icing on the cake. The true joy of this novel is its sheer narrative force, and the compelling, d

a great American story

These people had a kind of courage that may be the finest gift of man: the courage of those who simply keep on, and on, doing the next thing ... -Alan Le May (on the Texicans) It's muy chic in these days of political correctness to bemoan our ancestors' horrible misguided behavior in regards to the American Indians. In Leftist hindsight, the Indians have been converted into pastoral New Age environmentalists, facing off against a militaristic, technological behemoth. The novel The Searchers, basis for the great John Ford/John Wayne movie (The Searchers--1956), offers a necessary antidote to such fuzzy headed platitudinous twaddle. The story begins in 1868 Texas; neglected by the military during the Civil War and now subject to the naive Quaker administration of Indian affairs, white settlements are being rolled back by persistent murderous Comanche raids. Living at the very edge of civilization are Henry and Martha Edwards and their children, Lucy, Debbie, Ben and Hunter. The couple are assisted by the young man , Martin Pauley, who they virtually adopted when Comanches slaughtered his family, and by Henry's brother Amos, a quiet, taciturn man who seems to be irresistibly drawn back to the ranch time and again. But then one day Marty and Amos are lured away from the ranch when a Comanche party steals a herd of cattle. They pursue them for quite a distance before realizing that they have been tricked. By the time they arrive back at the Edwards ranch, it is in ruins, the parents and the boys are dead and scalped and the girls are missing. As every movie viewer knows, what ensues is a years long quest by Martin and Amos (Ethan in the movie) as they search for the girls. Martin is driven by a memory of how he ignored Debbie on her last day of life, Amos appears to be driven by darker demons. Eventually, Martin has an epiphany: Amos, Mart realized, no longer believed they would recover Lucy alive--and wasn't thinking of Debbie at all. Seeing Amos' face as it was tonight, Mart remembered it as it was that worst time of the world, when Martha lay in the box they had made for her. Her face looked young and serene, and her crossed hands were at rest. They were worn hands, betraying Martha's age as her face did not, with little random scars on them. Martha was always hurting her hands. Mart thought, "She wore them out, she hurt them, working for us." As he thought that, the key to Amos' life suddenly became plain. All his uncertainties, his deadlocks with himself, his labors without pay, his perpetual gravitation back to his brother's ranch--they all fell into line. As he saw what had shaped and twisted Amos' life, Mart felt shaken up; he had lived with Amos most of his life without ever suspecting the truth. But neither had Henry suspected it--and Martha least of all. Amos was--had always been--in love with his brother's wife. At first they are accompanied by
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