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Shooting the Sun Paperback – October 26, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Full of insights and laced with subtle humor.... The author shows us every detail of the trip, from the attitudes of the day to how to find water in desert sand and preparations for a Kiowa Sun Dance."
--The Denver Post
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The characters are strongly portrayed in sharp human detail and grow with the book and their experiences, rather than remaining static creations. Relationships form and erode, trust is offered and broken, strengths and weaknesses are transformed.Read more ›
The jacket copy convinced me to move this one to the top of my reading list--it's got Charles Babbage, the pre-computer computer-maker, eccentric extrordinaire, and a wild cast of characters. Babbage's business partner arranges for an expedition to, ostensibly, observe a solar eclipse which will, incidentally, prove the worth of Babbage's machine.
There's a great book in a premise like that one, but Byrd didn't write it. There's a lot about squabbling among the expeditioners; there's a lot about people convinced and unconvinced of Babbage's wisdom and his machine's value. Ultimately, the novel tries to cover so much--1830s Britain; early computing machines; 1830s Washington, D.C.; hostile Natives in the West--that Byrd's 300 pages can't cover it all. Another 100 pages may have been enough to make this a compelling historical novel; as it is, I strongly recommend reading Byrd's "Jackson" instead. It's a longer, more specific novel on roughly the same time period, and it's much more expertly executed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Max Byrd has been on my list of Historical Fiction writers to read for quite some time. I've run across several recommendations of his Presidential works and so when I stumbled... Read morePublished on February 11, 2008 by Barton Breen