Saturday, August 08, 2009


Oooops. That was 27 books I hauled back from the States. Not 26.

The book I forgot to mention (Why? How?) is The Way West by A.B. Guthrie, who also wrote a prequel, The Big Sky, as well as the screenplay for the 1953 classic movie Shane.
The Way West is about settlers in a wagon train going from Missouri to Oregon. It's the 1950 Pulitzer fiction winner, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it tremendously. The good vibes started back in that magnificent Barnes & Noble in St. Louis where I unexpectedly stumbled onto so many bookish treasures. [Insert dreamy reverie here]

I thought this novel had gone missing, then I found it in one of the many pockets on my suitcase. My sigh of relief turned to a sigh of annoyance as I realized that I'd hurriedly jammed the book into the pocket with some smaller items and accidentally creased the front cover. There's a sepia-toned photograph of a wagon train on the cover so the crease barely shows, but I can feel it when I'm holding the book. So irritating.

I've only paged through a little bit, but words and phrases keep attaching themselves to my eye. This one probably won't be on the TBR shelf long. From just a cursory look at the prose style, I wonder if A.B. Guthrie (1901-1991) was one of Larry McMurtry's influences.


Sue F. said...

I didn't know about this book. I read The Big Sky years ago and really enjoyed it. I will have to look for this one. Anxious to hear what you have to say about it!

Kristen said...

Too bad you creased it! I feel your pain on that. I like my books to stay as pristine as when I bought them. But then I admit to and accept my sickness. ::grin::

Charles said...

The Way West is a good novel, but The Big Sky is much better. The descriptive language of the country is prose poetry, and this from a reader who's usually pretty indifferent to descriptions of setting.

The ending few pages almost take on a biblical tone, rich and sweeping.

myza said...

Hi! I was wondering if you saw this...its from Canada Reads webpage. Look at this guys favorite blogs!


Bybee said...

Sue F,
Mr. Bybee was pretty lukewarm to my Pulitzer collection, but when he heard about The Way West, he exclaimed, "That's a movie with Kirk Douglas! I saw it!" Then he told me the whole plot. It was as fresh as if he'd seen it yesterday.

I'm so pristine that often used bookstores will give me better prices because they can put the books back out and sell them as "new".

As luck would have it, I saw The Big Sky at another used bookstore in Seoul. Oh no, here I go again...

That guy is Aaron. He used to be in Veronica's bookgroup when he was here in Korea. I really miss him. Small world, eh? Oh...good news...yesterday, the group chose the Guernsey...potato peel pie novel for next time! Yay!

Susan said...

You win!!! You brought back more books than I did, from across the water!!! But sorry to hear you creased the cover - I hate it when brand-new books get damaged somehow. I like them to stay pristine too, at least the first time I read them!