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The Seventh Man Kindle Edition
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I didn't cozy up to any of the many characters. There were few people I could look up to, enjoy or even care about.
"Whistling"Dan Barry was unexplainably too powerful, unless the reader wanted to believe he obtained his powers from below. He communicated with his horse and wolf-dog as if they spoke English. He could shoot with accuracy facing backwards from a running horse. His eyes turned yellow when angry. What's up with that?
There was an atmosphere of some sort of mystical powers at play that were not explained.
"Satan" the horse, had unbelievable stamina and intelligence. Ran full-speed for 100 miles, then jumped 6 foot fence? Unbelievable.
"Black Bart" the wolf-dog was smarter than any character in the book. Much smarter and more dangerous.
"Whistling Dan's" five/six year old daughter Joan was out of control and seemed threatening to her mother. A weird child.
The basis of the story was odd. Seven men had to die at the hands of Dan Barry - for the death of a horse that didn't even belong to him. And he was willing to give up his wife to fulfill his mission.
Dan Barry was almost defeated by the use of the telephone - and he didn't even know the telephone existed. This, even though Dan seemed to be aware of everything else in the tiny towns he did his killing in. Unbelievable.
About half way through the book, I correctly figured out the ending and there was no surprise for me. It was apparent to me based upon the building disintegration of relationships.
This is not your typical "Western".
But I gave it 5 stars anyway because I enjoyed the wonderful writing. If you just want to go along for the ride and let the unexplainably odd things happen, and don't mind super-powered animals - you'll enjoy it too.
My biggest complaint is likely due only to the digital conversion - there are a ton of totally unnecessary commas sprinkled liberally throughout the whole book, leading to some stunted sentences. I learned to ignore them but it was an annoyance. I assume it is the conversion rather than the author that placed the commas there but who knows.
For the most part I liked the tale but there were parts where I lost interest and plodded on to finish. It is not a story that captures you on the first page and holds you in it's grip as you race to the end.
Brand's writing style is more stilted than contemporary writers, which may require some adjustment on the part of the reader, but he still knows how to keep you reading.
Fans of the Western genre won't be disappointed.