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Sagebrush Paperback – July 3, 2013
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About the Author
William Wayne Dicksion's ancestors migrated to the American frontier in the eighteen century. As a boy, he loved the stories they told about that great adventure. Writing is his way of sharing those stories. He's educated in science and literature. His other interests are geography, history, philosophy, and anthropology. His writings reflect those interests. He and his wife, Millie, live in Waikiki.
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I thought that some of the negative reviews were a bit harsh. I didn't mind the short sentence structure that the author uses throughout. To me it's just a stylistic thing and maybe you like it or you don't like it, but I don't think it submarines the whole book. I do agree with some reviewers that the dialogue was somewhat contrived and a bit unrealistic. Again, a good editor may have cured some of that.
Finally, there were a lot of reviewers coming down on how easy the hero picked up skills. Whether or not it was plausible didn't bother me and didn't seem to interfere with the story. To me, it's fiction and western fantasy, so I don't mind the hero's strengths.
I started this one late at night when I couldn't sleep. And it made me mad so many times. First off, the writing is awkward. Then we get the absolute ridiculousness of the story line and the excessive repetitiveness of the way it is presented. The boy is made into some sort of superhero for whom nothing every goes wrong. His successes are all a little too convenient.
How ridiculous it was got really obvious when it had him tanning an entire mountain line hide (including using the head as a hat) and turning it into a wearable garment IN A FEW DAYS! Then he gets out amongst a friendly tribe of Indians and it keeps saying he was better than them at everything. It had him teaching the indian maiden how to forage for food and her admiring him for being better than her entire tribe.... It is just so insanely idiotic to think that a boy after 6 years ALONE in the wilderness has learned techniques that exceed the natives--techniques that aren't reliant on technology Indians didn't have. He also managed to stumble onto a tribe that had never seen whites and never seen metal? And he MAKES a wagon spring into a fancy sharp knife for her in his cave.... Nope, I didn't fall for it. It mostly just made me mad about how offensively it treated Native Americans. Then he manages to kill 4 notorious Comanche warriors, whom he was able to recognize easily despite only seeing them briefly 6 years earlier (and all of whom had ridiculously obvious identifying marks that he found as a kid...).
I should also mention that he didn't consider himself an adult until he was 18?? How modern is that idea!! It was quite normal then for boys to be considered a man significantly younger, especially if managing on his own. So why would he continue to hide out for 6 YEARS before doing anything?? And I'm supposed to believe that the granddaughter is losing her land and his father was supposed to go save her in a hurry and yet it's still going to be there for him to save more 6 years later?
I wanted to throw the book away several times while reading. And now that it's a new day, there is NO way I am forcing myself to go back and read more. I don't recommend this book to anyone. I really doubt the "newer" versions managed to edit out all these issues!
Every character is the same.The dialogue is wooden and written as though a 7th grader were writing a story for an assignment. I'm amazed at the reviewers who thought this was a book they couldn't put down. I finished it because I, like one other reviewer, finish books that I begin - but I was speed reading it to get to the end.
No more of this guy's books will shadow my Kindle.
I know B Westerns are sometimes predictable and sometimes simple, but it is a good story and good entertainment. Yes I do have to suspend my disbelief a bit because the youngster develops so many skills in the wild and carries them over to his adult life that one may think a big "S" for Superman should be on his chest, but again it's a B Western so sit back, read and enjoy and realize things are a bit over the top but it is entertainment fiction, not a documentary. Villains were dispatch and justice served without shock value details. I appreciated the action without being overly gory or graphic. I do think some parts of the become overly descriptive and repetitive slowing the flow of the story, but those were minor flaws.
If you are looking for some sort of sophisticated, semi documentary account this is not it, but if you are looking for a simple, good story with virtuous (but not perfect) heroes this B Western is for you.