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good story, but letter form falls short
on March 11, 2004
Letters from Yellowstone is told through a series of letters written by the main characters to their various friends and family members by the wildlife researchers during the last of the 19th century. While the different letter writers divulge varying opinions and agendas that make the book interesting, often letters from the two main characters (Professor Merriam and Miss Bartram) are way too long to be plausible. Frequently they write letters that are 8-10 typed pages, complete with every word of a conversation.
While the letter form did serve this story well (and the brevity of Rutherford's letters and the Captain's telegrams) do enhance the story, it is too bad that many of the longer letters were not split into more missives. For example, Miss Bartram writes a few long letters to her friend, Jess, but she could but very few to her parents, to the point that her request for money goes through Jess.
Overall, it is a fine story, and the vivid descriptions of the Park wildlife and discussion of the historical theme are well presented.