- Hardcover: 444 pages
- Publisher: BMC Publications; 1st edition (March 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0970167814
- ISBN-13: 978-0970167811
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler Hardcover – March 1, 2004
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From the Author
"I may be the only former Nevada duderanch wrangler -- 'still above ground' -- who lived through this era." -William L. McGee
"For me, the best moments ofresearch were the interviews with an amazing 'cast of characters' -- aremarkable breed of women and men who lived through the Great Depression andWorld War Two, and managed along the way to fall in and out of love with adegree of style. And, of course, there were those cowboys!" -Sandra V. McGee
About the Author
William L. McGee's writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 books, including five World War II military histories and five memoirs. Bill and his co-author/wife, Sandra V. McGee, have garnered critical praise for Bill's contemporary Western memoir, THE DIVORCE SEEKERS: A PHOTO MEMOIR OF A NEVADA DUDE WRANGLER, cited as the "best book yet about Nevada's dude-divorce ranch business" by Eric Moody, former Curator of Manuscripts, Nevada Historical Society, Reno. Bill and Sandra are members of Western Writers of America.
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Top customer reviews
One is the pictures. The quality of many is very poor, and very rarely is the reproduction good. I know the pictures are old, but lots of them are very hard to make out. More distracting is the fact that they are often not closely related to the text. It often seemed as though McGee found a bunch of old pictures and felt he had to use all of them regardless of their quality or relation to his text. And maybe he was given a quota of solid text pages? I suppose some of the pictures are supposed to be representative, but they're often many years (as many as 80) off from events in the text and frequently of people who don't figure in the text at all (just a bunch of folks around a generic craps table in Reno, for instance, or little tiny horseback riders off in the distance). At first, I'd read the captions trying to figure out how the pictures related to what I just read. I finally gave up and started just glancing at the caption to see IF the picture related.
More disturbing is the change in writing style from section to section. The author does best when he's doing straight reporting. He's much less successful at dialog. I doubt that anyone would remember conversations in as much as much detail as McGee puts on paper, so I'm surmising that he's creating dialog that gives the sense of the conversation rather than reporting verbatim. I hope so, anyway, because I can't imagine one individual having the misfortune of meeting so many people who talk like characters in badly written fiction.
Worse than the general dialog is the dialog in the sex scenes. Fortunately, there weren't too many of them. The writing for these changes dramatically. In addition to the poor dialog, we have to put up with all the cliches: forward-thrusting nipples, pert breasts, etc. And then there were the "kisses [that] devoured me" (note - the kisses did the devouring, not the woman; didn't know that was possible). Sometimes, things just sound plain silly: "To my male surprise"? Male surprise is different from female surprise or just surprise in general? The level of writing is embarrassing - maybe suitable for the lower ranks of cheesy paperback romances.
I like a good sex scene - if it fits in the book. While McGee's subtitle tells us this is a memoir and we expect personal stories, insights, recollections, etc., the detailed sex scenes here are out of place. I kept waiting for there to be a reason for them - maybe after this night of ecstasy the girl was going to come back and demand marriage or something? - but they seem pointless. They don't actually contribute to the narrative. Bill has sex with so-and-so. So-and-so leaves the narrative, never to reappear - but we got to hear about "sensual pleasure," "hair spread over the pillows," ambrosial fragrance, wiggling in pur joy, and so on. Ick. The scenes come across as poorly written score-keeping and have nothing to do with the ostensible premise of the book.
While all the dialog sounds like the first attempts of someone who's only read pulp fiction, at least the non-sex dialog scenes give us a sense of time, place, and events.
I was fascinated by the period and individual's portrayed in the book, but felt that McGee needed to decide at the outset whether he was writing nonfiction or a novel based on fact. He didn't mix the styles well. A skilled editor could perhaps have pointed him in a single direction and greatly improved the book.
Bill and Sandra take the reader back to a time that was unique and one that will probably never exist again. The photography is wonderful and probably tells a story all by itself.
This is definitely a worthwhile read and a great coffee table book!