- File Size: 860 KB
- Print Length: 276 pages
- Publisher: Prospecta Press (November 1, 2011)
- Publication Date: November 1, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005TJM9JC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,928 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$4.99|
Save $1.99 (40%)
An Embarrassment of Riches Kindle Edition
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Along the way, there is some interesting commentary embedded in the story. At one point, the travelers are exchanging their fantasies about the future USA with a plantation owner who produces hemp with the help of numerous slaves. The plantation owner’s vision of the future USA doesn’t line up with the way he runs his own plantation, and one of our intrepid explorers later predicts that slavery will be abolished, he responds by agreeing that the practice of slavery is morally insupportable in the long view; when asked who will then till his hemp fields, he replies that perhaps he will no longer be in the business of growing it.
Ultimately, the adventurers discover that the ideas and ways of living they bring with them into the wilderness are not an unalloyed good for every person and every creature they come into contact with. Without introducing any spoilers, this insight finally sinks in toward the end of their travels, making for an interesting conclusion.
The narrative imitates the tone I would imagine an early 19th century natural historian would exhibit in a daily travel journal. I ultimately found this quaintly amusing, but it took some getting used to. Also, although events progress quickly enough, for a brief time following the White House meeting, the novelty bogs down just a bit (somehow events are not always that interesting), and the less-engaged reader might be lured away before things really get going. This is one of those books that gets better as it goes, and the last 2/3 of the book is definitely the best part. A little patience early on will be rewarded.
Although there are a few scenes with some graphic violence and one or two short (but amusingly outrageous) sexual "encounters," the primary tone seems to be mildly amused and adventuresome, and the author knows how to tell a story, even though I believe this is one of his early (perhaps his first?) work. I read the entire book over a two-day period with little difficulty, and will no doubt explore other works by this author.
In the spring of 1803, William Walker, a Botanist of renown and friend of the President, along with his nephew, an aspiring artist, are invited to dinner. The invitation is to inform them of, and enlist their endeavors to find, the giant sloth rumored to exist prowling the wilds of the American frontier somewhere in the area between the boundaries of the eastern states and the Ohio/Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. These intrepid explorers set forth upon their journey and have encounters with river pirates, Indians of several tribes, a displaced French nobleman, his beautiful wife and young ward of unusual identity in a magnificent plantation in an unbelievable setting, a mysterious `woodsman' and even members of the `Lost Colony of Virginia'. Lewis and Clark also are encountered several times.
Although a novel, this quasi history in many ways follows a protocol of formality more in line with a history book; e.g. the Latin names of plants and some animals always are included as are even end-notes detailing the fate of some of the persons involved in the story and the chronological life of Samuel Walker.
For many readers, the author's manner of presentation and fanciful descriptions of the characters and their activity no doubt will be enjoyed. Unfortunately, although I found the author's fertile imagination most commendable and much of the material a `different' offering, the overall exposition was not my `my cup of tea'. Reviewed by John H. Manhold, award winning fiction/non-fiction author.