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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2001
Elmer Kelton is the most honored western sriter who ever lived. Novels like Slaughter are the reason why. The story is about buffalo hunters on the high plains of what is now the Texas panhandle. Anyone who has spent time in this part of the country should enjoy the story, as well as any lover of western literature. As always, Kelton writes of country he loves (West Texas) and histroy he has thoroughly researched. I would also recommend Kelton's sequal to Slaughter, The Far Canyon as a five star book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2001
Elmer Kelton has written another very good book. It is about the slaughter of the buffalo by hide hunters. Kelton writres so you feel like you are there. You can just see the country, the plains, mountains and valleys, the buffalo running. It is all so clear. This is about how people lived at that time. It is about Cephus Browder and his daughter Arletta, who does a man's job but has the feelings of a woman. Colonel Damon Gregar and his sorry son Farrell Gregar. There are times I would liked to have shot Farrell myself. Jeff Layne, who I guess is the hero. But he is a humble one. Sully, who is a hero in my openion. Nigel Smithwick, know as English to one and all. How he becomes one of the people of the west. An last but not least Crow Feather and his fellow Indians. How they were badly mistreated and the life they had. A good read. The last few pages will cause chills to go up your back, or at least it did mine. If you like westerns with out a lot of bang, bang heros or ugly words you will like this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 1997
Kelton is the premier western fiction writer of our time. Slaughter is very historically accurate and a thrill to read. The "Cowboys and Indians" that so many of us played when we were children becomes real in this novel.
The slaughter of the American Bison is a real tragedy of American history. Kelton describes the scene of the bison lying dead on the ground while skinners cut off their skins to sell. This book will make you think about the careful use of our natural resources instead of exploiting them to the fullest like the buffalo hunters did.
A very good read. I highly recommend this book to all western fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
Elmer Kelton makes you feel as if you are there living in this time and place, you love or hate the characters as if they are real people and this is one of his best ever.The Time It Never Rained Another of his best
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on September 4, 2015
Note: These are some early comments after reading about 1/4 of the book.

Elmer Kelton is a well-known and respected writer of Westerns / historical fiction. Many years ago I read a book of his called The Wolf and the Buffalo. I recall liking it a lot and hope to read it again someday. This book is really good but I do notice something about the point of view that I want to comment on. The time of this story is the early 1870s. The ex-Confederates are all pretty good and fair guys while the Northerners are rough and tough (and some are crooks) and one particularly dirty dude also dislikes the lone black guy/ex-slave. The Southerners have less of a problem with him, if any at all. It just feels like Kelton created sort of a pro-South fantasy that would leave aliens thinking the Northerners were the racist slaveholders. Anyhow, getting past those details, the story is pretty good. More to come when I'm finished...

September 14, 2015:
I stand by my original assessment... A good story overall. Towards the end of the book some of the main characters find themselves at the battle of Adobe Walls in June 1874. The only real downside for me was that there are some undercurrents in this book (and sometimes not so "under") that don't really reflect my worldview. I'm not going to get into specific details with examples from the book (mostly because I wasn't taking notes -- except in one case below -- and trying to find examples now is more trouble than it's worth). But I will give a GENERIC example of the thinking of some of the characters (which I assume reflects the author's too): God gets credit for something going right amid other stuff going wrong, including people getting killed. It's like a plane crashes and the lone survivor thanks God. Assuming there even is a God (which I don't believe), shouldn't God get the blame too for the plane crashing and killing all those other people? I just find it an inconsistent way of thinking. God gets credit for the good and no blame for the bad. Count the hits and forget the misses. But why did God step in after the fact to save the lone plane crash survivor instead of just saving everyone? The only real opposition to this type of thinking came from the main Comanche character who thought: Could it be that they [in this case, the spirits] had never existed except in the minds of those who want to believe? (p. 418 paperback edition). But this is followed by: That thought was too terrible. He would not allow himself to consider it.

Anyhow, if you like Westerns, this is generally a good solid story. My final rating for this book is 3.5 stars.
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on October 29, 2014
I love reading Elmer Kelton books.....this one was especially good. He makes you feel like you are right there living among everything that is going on, like you actually know these people that are characters in the book.
This book is wonderful!!
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VINE VOICEon April 7, 2013
I like everything Kelton wrote. I just didn't like this one as well as some others. I preferred Buffalo Wagons which tells some of the same/similar story of the wonton slaughter of the once great buffalo herds. But, this is still worth reading.
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on December 13, 2013
This is without doubt, the best Western I have read, and I've read plenty. Absorbing, Thought-provoking, and Highly Entertaining.
I would definitely recommend it to others, and I have!
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on March 7, 2010
The Texas Tradition Series is one of Elmer Kelton's best. Anyone who loves the western genre will love this book.
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