From Publishers Weekly
Numerous acquaintances of the leg endary Edgar J. Watson, said to have gunned down the outlaw Belle Starr, are given voice in a fictionalized oral history set in the Florida Everglades. PW called this "an imaginative and haunting evocation of a time and place, and the paradox of the tenderness and brutality with which real and imagined lives are filled." Ten tales about people trapped in futile behavior patterns comprise On the River Styx: "In limpid, lyrical prose, these dazzling stories ob jectively explore the lack of communi cation between husbands and wives, between races and cultures."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA-- More than 20 men wait in ambush as Mister Watson steps ashore and is shot dead. From this beginning, the story of Edgar J. Watson is told through the recollections of his daughter and neighbors, and by reports from magazines, letters, and other historical papers. This is a study rich in history, social studies, ecology, and nature of the The Ten Thousand Islands area of southwestern Florida from 1890-1910. It was a haven for escapees and renegades, and poor treatment of Indians, blacks, and half-breeds was accepted and expected. When Watson arrived there in the 1890s, he was thought of as quiet and friendly. But an aura of danger grew with the stories told and retold about him. When it was alleged that he killed 57 people (including Belle Starr), the tales became folk legend. The setting and characters are fully drawn as Watson's menacing power grows steadily. Because ten characters tell and retell in dialect their versions of the Watson story, YAs will need to persevere with this demanding format. If they do, they will know the Florida era that ended when Mister Watson was killed. --Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library,
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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