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Broken Trail Paperback – June 1, 2006

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rich and well-written western that offers humor and a glimpse of what the old west was like." -- USABookNews.com

"If you enjoyed Lonesome Dove, you will not be disappointed with this novel...It belongs in every western lover's library." -- Historical Novels Review, November, 2006

From the Publisher

Novel of the Year
-Western Heritage Awards

Best First Novel
-Spur Awards

Finalist for Best New Voice
-Ben Franklin Awards

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing; First Edition edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555916058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555916053
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on June 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
You know a book is good when you promise yourself you'll only read for a chapter...and hour...a morning! That's Broken Trail!

Westerns are not my usual reading fare--and this western is already a June 2006 mini-series on AMC channel. It is unusual in that the actors are pictured on the cover, so when you read, you see Robert Duvall as Print Ritter, the bowed and bandy-legged old cowboy, and Thomas Hayden Church as his nephew, Tom.

Fulcrum Publishing launched Geoffrion's book as its first adult fiction. And WOW, he really brings this late 1800-early 1900 history lesson to life.

Ritter and Tom are driving a herd of 500 horses from Oregon to Wyoming--and along the way encounter bad guys of every ilk. One despicable character had bought five Chinese girls who had been shanghaied to America for prostitution. He was not nice at all!

Guns were used to protect, steal and kill--often those bad guys "needed killing." Friendships and respect were shown without words (Chinese not spoken here), and loneliness and isolation are woven throughout the entire story.

The humanity given to those two main characters crosses from rescuing complete and sometimes pathetic strangers--to killing when necessary with no second thought in order to protect good people. Print Ritter decides in a split second to rescue needy men and women--and bring them into their camp and life.

Armchair Interviews says: Walk in the boots of old-West cowboys and the men and women whose paths they cross. You'll be very glad you did.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Red Moose on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Picked up a copy of Broken Trail last week on the east coast and on the flight back devoured the fast paced, well written story of Print Ritter, Tom Harte, and the ill-fated group of 5 Chinese girls. This is the first western I've read in quite sometime, at least 10 years, and Alan Geoffrion's free flowing, fast paced style, has "spurred" me on to pick up others that have been lingering on my shelves.

Broken Trail is a unique story, full of the action that you expect from a Western, but with an uncommon plot focused on the perilous lives of 5 Chinese girls who had been brought to the US to serve as prostitutes in the mining camps of the interior West (Wyoming). Throughout the story we learn about the personal struggles of Print Ritter, the main character, a crusty-old cowboy who is challenged with a broken relationship between his nephew (Tom Harte) that he is trying to mend, and the realities of his past.

The story grabs you on page one, and after just a few chapters packed with great visualizations, and the unique (often funny) dialogue between the characters you can't put the book down. This is a must read. Not just for Western genre lovers, but for anyone that enjoys a great story.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the AMC movie with Robert Duvall this summer!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a child I went through a Western-reading phase, but it's been a number of years since I've dipped into anything of that genre. However, recent viewings of Deadwood have rekindled an interest in the subject matter, so I thought I'd give this debut novel a whirl. It opens with an awkward two-page prologue spanning the Western countryside, a small Chinese village, and the Boer War. This soon gives way to the kind of deceptively simple storytelling which sucks you in for fifty pages before you realize it. The plot is nothing particularly complicated: an old cowboy and his nephew buy a 500 horses in eastern Oregon and drive them to Wyoming to sell for a tidy profit to agents for the British army. Along the way, the two men have various adventures and meet interesting people, including: renegade Indians, desperate Indians, men just looking for a break, thieves, bullies, rapists, the law, Yankee fly-fishing tourists, madams, sporting ladies, honest merchants, mean merchants, a Chinaman, and a pimp trying sell five Chinese girls into prostitution.

Written with the actor Robert Duvall in mind, the uncle is a crusty old fella', well-read and fond of a good story. His nephew is a bit of a cipher, mainly distinguished by being surlier and more prone to acts of violence. As the two lead their herd from vignette to vignette, the author builds a classic picture of stoic comradeship and family. These are cowboys who aren't reluctant to take care of those in need, but also aren't reluctant to mete out frontier justice when needed. After the two men, the next most prominent character has to be the West itself, as Geoffrion revels in descriptive passages evoking the West before it was won.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Art Green on June 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Alan Geoffrion's singular style and unique voice moves well beyond the traditional Western, he is a true storyteller without pretense. He uses historically accurate and telling details to move the story forward and develop memorable characters.

The British have The Play, the Irish have Poetry, the French have The Farce -- Americans have The Western. Geoffrion OWNS the Western.

After Lonesome Dove alot of kids were named Gus. I predict that after Broken Trail there will be many American babies named after Geoffrion's colorful and integris character Print Ritter.
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