- 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: #588,290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$4.99|
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An Embarrassment of Riches Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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.
There are some instances of graphic violence, such as a depiction of a trading post which has been burned to the ground and all inhabitants gruesomely slaughtered, with no detail spared. But there is an abundance of subtle humor as well, including Uncle Walker's preoccupation with the numerous 'undiscovered' botanical species they encounter on their travels.
Although first published in 1985, Kunstler's writing has the flavor of the 1800s: "In the year 1803, our nation's capital was less a city than an idea for a city. Upon a hill at one end stood the one-story brick monstrosity built for the deliberations of Congress. It was dubbed 'the Oven' by those condemned to sit in it through the hellish Potomac summer. At the other end of the Columbian District lay Georgetown, described by Abigail Adams as 'a dirty little hole."
Some readers may find this style off-putting. The book is rather long, in my opinion, more of a novel to be savored a bit at a time than voraciously consumed in one sitting.