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A Man Called Outlaw Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel tells two stories, thirty years apart, and switches back and forth between them--a few chapters in 1887, then a few chapters in 1858-9, then back to 1887 again. In the end the story-lines merge, and loose ends are tied up.
I hope that's not giving away too much. But it's obvious from the beginning that there are two stories going on. I even guessed the big secret long before the ending, but that didn't lessen the suspense. I was still eager to see how the story played out.
The author does a good job of maintaining suspense, and despite what I thought I knew, it kept me riveted until the end. In addition to the "greedy rancher trying to force the smaller ranchers off their land" plot, the 1887 protagonist, Shane Lassiter, is struggling with his own ethical and moral dilemma. Both problems are resolved in the novel's explosive conclusion.
Have I given too much away? I'll shut up now. This is a great read and a good addition to every western afficianado's library.
The layout of the novel was...shall I say irksome at times, because it kept going back and forth between two times, two stories. It seemed like every time I was getting into the problems of one set of characters, I'd be forced back to the others...and then I'd get into those characters and then be ripped back to the others again. (And so on and so forth.) Some characters overlapped both times, and the conflict was pretty much the same, down to the same main villain (who was incredibly annoying--gah! So evil and manipulative--there were so many times when I just wanted him to die...but then, that was kind of the point, I guess...). Anyway, I'm rambling, so I'll get back to the point.
I should've guessed it would be a bittersweet story by the end of chapter two, after being introduced to the protagonist of the earlier time--who I knew was dead in the later time. And his inevitable death made me sad, because I liked him. Possibly/probably more than the protagonist of the later time.
The ending was somewhat ambiguous. It wrapped up the main plot, but kind of left me hanging on "what happens next?" regarding the main character. But then, such an ending rather fit with the themes (for lack of a better word...maybe I'm thinking of "tone") of the story.
If this all sounds negative, I don't mean it to. It was a good story, well-written (K.M. Weiland has become a new favorite author of mine), and one of the most thought-provoking and emotion-inducing ones I've read in a long time. I just wish it were... happier.
I happened upon A MAN CALLED OUTLAW due to reading a non-fiction by KM WEILAND. My thinking was if she is able to give great advice on writing a novel, it is worth seeing if she can produce the type of stories she has aided others to write.
Shane Lassiter never knew his biological father. Nathaniel Wilcock stepped up and did the job. A man Shane owes everything to yet questions his morals.
Anne Cassidy refuses to sell her land. Not to the man that threatened to destroy her, or any other man. She was willing to even refuse the man she loved.
I have this bizarre love hate relationship with A MAN CALLED OUTLAW KM WEILAND. Well, perhaps hate is too strong of a word. For many chapters the switching from the past to future, and the number of characters had my head swimming. If not for the amazing writing, I would have given up early on.
The amount of characters and now soon they were introduced was an issue. The switch from the past the present at times was an issue as well. Even more so due to the same character names in both. The more I read, the more it became apparent that I could not stop reading A MAN CALLED OUTLAW.
Despite the fact that switching from past to present can be a tad confusing, I love this approach to a novel. Author MAUREEN LANG did this brilliantly in THE OAK LEAVES and ON SPARROW HILL.Read more ›
The plot line alternates between the late 1850s and the late 1880s. By reading from the earlier period the reader gains insight into a mystery. The early period also contributes to the reader's understanding of the plot and character development. In many ways, the main character is the antagonist, Nathaniel Wilcox. He is introduced as judge and a corrupt one that that. He owns the largest ranch in the area and is determined to use every means possible to expand his property without consideration for who he hurts or how deplorable his methods become. If you are like me, you will grow to despise this slick, conniving narcissist. He lives by the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest. He epitomizes corruption, injustice and hypocrisy.
In contrast I found myself pulling for the underdogs, those settlers attempting to survive on the fringes of Wilcox's property. These are admirable if flawed people. The author does not present us will larger than life characters. Each has strengths and weaknesses. For me I found their constant struggles against a ruthless, powerful opponent to be quite admirable. You will grow close to several of these very realistic individuals.
Ms. Weiland weaves a good storyline with enough tension, action and fighting to keep most readers interested. Her descriptions paint vivid imagery. She knows and understands the lives of cattlemen, cowboys and their families. Her action scenes on horseback are exceptional.
Toward the end of the book important elements of the plot converge toward a resounding climax. My wish is that you read and enjoy A Man Called Outlaw as much as I did.
I highly recommend it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“A Man Called Outlaw” is one of those books that hooks you from the start and you just don’t want to put it down. Read morePublished 23 days ago by John
I could not put this book down! I don't normally read Westerns (actually, this might have been my first), but it gripped me from beginning to end. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Annie Douglass Lima
A bittersweet tale with bravery, cowardice, love, hate, and a great western theme. What more could one want? :) An excellent story.Published 3 months ago by R W
A book with several storylines and characters, but it's not confusing. A really good western book.Published 9 months ago by Jim
Kattie is an incredible writer. I highly recommend this book.Published 9 months ago by michael ryan
Time comes in a man's life when he needs the spine-stiffening breeze of the American West and its broad valleys of cattle to color his imagination with the simple intricacies of... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Luke
A story that moves through emotional gamuts while wishing the characters would get some common sense, get out of themselves and realize what is happening. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ken Alger
Major and Judge Nathaniel Wilcock would do anything to get what he wanted and the man desired the entire river valley. Read more