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Custer's Brother's Horse Hardcover – October 28, 2007


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Custer's Brother's Horse + Blessed McGill (Texas Literary Classics) + The Borderland: A Novel of Texas
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's 1865, the Civil War is just over, but some folks in Texas still settle Yank-Reb scores with bullets and nooses. Shrake's 10th novel, a fast-paced western, begins with Confederate captain Jerod Robin waiting to be hanged for murder in Austin. Also in the hoosegow waiting for the hangman is blustery English novelist Edmund Varney, who is accused of stealing the horse of Lt. Tom Custer, the famous general's younger brother. Their jailer and tormentor is Santana Leatherwood, leader of a cold-blooded family of misfits who want Robin dead because of a family feud—and Varney dead just for the fun of it. A wacky judge named Dingus sets both men free, but they and Flora Blowprie (a young black fortune teller also spared by Judge Dingus) end up fugitives again after Flora shoots a would-be rapist. En route to Robin's family plantation, they pick up Isabella Bushkin, the abandoned wife of a disgraced Yankee politician, and now all four must shoot their way through soldiers, outlaws and Leatherwoods. A mysterious letter in Robin's jacket, Flora's ominous predictions and the truth behind the Robin-Leatherwood feud add suspense to this action-packed yarn. The ending is delightfully unpredictable and provides a satisfying conclusion to this well-crafted western tale. (Oct.)
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Review

"Bud Shrake, in my opinion always underrated, has produced in Custer's Brother's Horse a brilliant novel of the terrible level of violence that afflicted Civil War America. This book will move you and also haunt you." --Larry McMurtry

"This is a western like Cold Mountain is a western, with much wisdom, mystery and beauty. And it is a great yarn, completely compelling." --William Broyles (screenwriter - Castaway, Apollo13)

Shrake's 10th novel, a fast-paced western,...[an] action-packed yarn. The ending is delightfully unpredictable and provides a satisfying conclusion to this well-crafted western tale. --Publishers Weekly

"This is a western like Cold Mountain is a western, with much wisdom, mystery and beauty. And it is a great yarn, completely compelling." --William Broyles (screenwriter - Castaway, Apollo13)

Shrake's 10th novel, a fast-paced western,...[an] action-packed yarn. The ending is delightfully unpredictable and provides a satisfying conclusion to this well-crafted western tale. --Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: John M. Hardy Publishing Company (October 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971766789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971766785
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
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3 star
33%
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See all 6 customer reviews
Truly creative, the unexpected at every turn, and an ending that deserves applause.
Harold Billings
The description of the flora and fauna of Texas made it easy to visualize the settings.
R. R. Bell
This novel is loaded with colorful characters, unexpected turns and page-turning drama.
R. L. Steed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harold Billings on December 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a terrific novel! This type of entertaining story-telling just doesn't come along very often. Put it among the best-written historical novels of Texas, with THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY and LONESOME DOVE, and with great recent post-Civil War novels, ENEMY WOMEN and COLD MOUNTAIN.

There are dead-on descriptions of Texas geography, from Austin to East Texas bayous, and natural history abounds -- a special attention to birds, birds, but the whole of the story hidden frequently in mist, fog, rain, smoke that gives it at times almost a fairytale atmosphere ... punctuated by gunfire and brutality. Shrake especially excels at carefully including the backgrounds of each of his major characters, and an opportunity for the action to be seen from each of their points of view, so that there is a deep enrichment of interest in them, in the fate of each.

This is accurate history, a carefully drawn story with ambiguous moral high grounds, a family feud, love interests, the uncertain life of freed slaves, great adventure and the influence of a magnificent horse. Truly creative, the unexpected at every turn, and an ending that deserves applause. A fine work. Thank you, Bud Shrake.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. R. Bell on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have never felt the desire to submit a personal review before, but this book was excellent and far exceeded my expectations. The flow and pace of the story made it very engaging and nearly impossible to put down. The description of the flora and fauna of Texas made it easy to visualize the settings. Most importantly the characters were completely fleshed out in such a way that it didn't interfere the overall pace of the story.

I am generally not a fan of civil war books (being an African American), but the way this book was written completly won me over.

If you liked the movie Outlaw Josey Wells you will enjoy this funny,gritty, violent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Steed on August 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Texas Monthly magazine featured this book with an excerpt of three chapters. I read those and HAD to own the book! I couldn't find it locally and ended up paying more for the shipping than the book as I wanted it NOW. I thoroughly enjoyed the story line, the historical setting and authentic Texas trails from Austin to Houston. I gave the book to my oldest son in college and he read it over one weekend; during school session! This novel is loaded with colorful characters, unexpected turns and page-turning drama. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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