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This book is absolutely the last subject matter I ever want to read!! After I bought the book, I thought, OH Well, might as well go ahead and read it! I'm here to tell you, this a really good book. the story is about a thirteen year old boy named Shawn, who finds a cow with a broken leg, and puts it out of it's misery. He takes a back quarter for supper and was promptly arrested as a cow thief, and sent to prison. The story is about his life in prison. A very good story. I heartily indorse it.
Shawn Brodie is only 14 years old when he is railroaded into serving three years in the Arizona territorial prison in Yuma. Although this could be a horrible experience, Shawn is able to turn it into an uplifting through teachings of other inmates and his wish to keep learning despite his circumstances. There are several horrific experiences with several guards who are determined to show him just how little he means as an inmate. The Snake Pit also gives a feel for the fading days of the Old West. A bit of rough language and actions but well worth reading.
This book is darn good. I'm so glad to see it available, again. Tyrell is a master of character development and has a cantankerous tendency to subvert the readers' expectations. This is a heck of a good novel. It does much more than shake a bunch of prison fiction tropes at you. It's a character-based coming of age, student/master, and odd couple/buddy Western that gets tenser and tenser with each scene. Man, The Snake Den is good! You'll get attached to the main characters very quickly. Fortunately, Tyrell brings Shawn Brodie and Shoo Lee back in DIABLO.
A 14-year-old is thrown into Yuma Territorial Prison for theft of a cow haunch, and his struggles to survive the prison was an interesting story. He had to fight off the sadistic and twisted Sergeant of the Guard, let alone survive the Snake Den, a room carved out of the caliche with a hole in the roof, giving the only light and which snakes fall through. One crisis after another makes the tale fly by and kept my interest throughout. A five-star for sure.
This Western tale is as tough and gritty as they get. Chuck Tyrell has created a prison story that rivals some of the best. He makes you feel that you're there, in Yuma Territorial Prison, where there is a new threat at every turn. Young Shawn Brodie, falsely accused and facing challeges no one his age should have to face, must call on all of his resources if he is to survive "The Snake Den." I recommend Tyrell's book for fans of Westerns, historicals (the author clearly knows his stuff), prison tales, and coming of age stories "The Snake Den" is certainly all of those and more!