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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Strange Angels Paperback – July 1, 2000

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Formulaic plotting and cliched characters mar this otherwise often captivating tale of the contemporary West set in the sandhills of Nebraska. Upon the death of Heywood Bennett, patriarch of a wealthy ranching family, his three offspring--each by a different mother--jointly inherit his holdings. The eldest son, Arthur, is embittered by having to share the fortune. Kya, Heywood's reckless, independent daughter by a Lakota woman, wants to be free of family responsibilities. Kept unaware of his father's identity until he was a teenager, Cody is a tough, handsome rancher who wants to make sure his adored half-sister receives her due share of the estate; meanwhile, he falls in love with an older woman, a widow. A complex net of loyalties and rivalries within both family and community ensnares each of these siblings as they grapple with their father's legacy. Agee ( Sweet Eyes ) writes knowingly of ranching life, the Indian nations and the modern realities of reservations, especially the corporate and governmental encroachments on them. Though she brings a heartfelt lyricism to her evocation of the vanishing West, her tale of the Bennett family tends toward the maudlin. The plot takes predictable turns to rather trite resolutions and the characters rarely transcend the familiar western stereotypes.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A big, rowdy--if sometimes padded--western ranch saga about three Nebraskan siblings of mixed ancestry who battle it out with each other when the patriarch dies. The story begins with the death of the father, larger-than- life Heywood Bennett, and with Arthur, who considers himself the legitimate heir, running the spread, while brother Cody Kidwell- -ostensibly the bastard brother--cowboys around the ranch, and sister Kya, part Indian, ``did as she wanted.'' The other main player is Latta Jaboy, the widow on the next-door spread who becomes Arthur's business partner and Cody's lover. The will leaves equal shares to all three siblings, but specifies that the ranch cannot be sold or divided. Agee fills her book with the sights and smells of ranch life and small-town business (Babylon, Nebraska) as she spins out the family drama: Arthur makes deals to diversify and searches for the ``real will''--the one that will leave everything to him; a prize stallion disappears, which leads to all sorts of violence, including Cody getting shot; and Kya, who searches for her Indian heritage and turns against Latta Jaboy (``doing one kind of business with Arthur and another with Cody'') serves as the catalyst whereby the family comes together after near-disaster. Old Joseph, a kind of wisdom figure, points out that ``Revenge doesn't work anymore,'' and, by the end, Latta, pregnant, is nestled into battered Cody's arms while Arthur, older and wiser, has learned that he's the bastard, not Cody. After Jane Smiley's Thousand Acres, yet another western twist on Lear seems ill-advised, but Agee (Sweet Eyes, 1991, etc.) peoples a lived-in landscape with wild, vivid people, resulting in a McMurtry soap opera more than a Smiley allegory. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140291865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140291865
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,327,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
People who come to Nebraska seldom describe the landscape as "lush." Most tourists don't have the vision for it. Agee does have it, and she writes the landscape into being so that the reader sees the vision, too...the blue open bowl of sky, the land that really isn't as flat as it looks driving through on I-80. Agee has it right--in Nebraska, especially for those who live from the land, it and the weather are other characters, living, breathing, gentle or stormy. The real people who live here are just as complicated as people living anywhere, and their motivations just as intriguing. This book offers a powerful vision because it is a vision which is so whole. The people and their weaknesses or desires aren't the only things which drive it. How do we know who we are apart from family, from place, from our own sense of ourselves in time, from our spirit? Agee has so much, so right; she has interwoven so many threads, and most of the time, it all holds. Most importantly, she doesn't seem to me to imitate anyone. Agee writes literature from the heart of the heartland that most people haven't seen flying over, driving through. This literature is worth staying a while
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Format: Paperback
Jonis Agee's "Strange Angels" is a nobel attempt to modernize a Western. Set in contemporary Nebraska(Cherry county to be precise), the story follows the contempestous relationship between three siblings(Cody, Arthur and Kya). They all have a different mother, but the same father: recently deceased rancher Haywood Bennett. The novels follows their changing lives as Arthur tries to steal an attractive widow away from Cody, Kya tries to be less selfish(and man hungry), and their Indian friend Joseph tries to steer them along(he's the best character in the novel easily). Too slow for my tastes, and overly melodramatic with a hero that drinks A LOT. Only merits 2 stars.
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Format: Paperback
Animal and land descriptions and relationships are the strongest part of this novel. Many of the horses were portrayed so realistically they became real and I felt as if I was riding some of them. I did not feel the same way about the humans. Will was hardly mentioned after the early segment. Love scenes between Latta and Cody were flat. I stayed with the book until the end because I am a Nebraskan. It left me disappointed that the story remained flat through out.
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By Sesho on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Heywood Bennett, a cattle rancher with extensive tracts of land and livestock died a month ago leaving his son Arthur the appointed true heir to deal with the family business. He also left him to deal with his two bastard children. Cody is a macho cowboy right out of the Clint Eastwood tradition but is crippled by a murder he committed as a young boy and his subsequent raising by his seemingly psychotic mother. Kya is the other lovechild, and due to her half-Indian blood, she struggles to find a place in the world, using her beauty to gain fast sex and freedom from the small town of Babylon. She lives life to the hilt and it sometimes seems as if the only thing that keeps her from falling into the abyss is the love of Arthur and Cody. The three siblings love each other but always seem to make each other's lives more difficult, sometimes with tragic results. If it isn't Arthurs jealousy of the relationship between Cody and Kya, it's Cody's belief that Arthur sees him as a threat to his father's legacy. Add into the mix their ranching neighbor, the 40 year old widow Latta Jaboy, who throws a wrench into Arthur's ambitions and also falls into a passionate romance with the man-boy Cody and comes between him and his sister. Strange Angels basically tells about Arthur, Cody, and Kya's quest to come to terms with each other and their father's shadow and being able to start their own lives.

Strange Angels is beautifully written and Jonis Agee really conveys the feel of an old western in a modern setting. The toughness of the characters sometimes comes close to stagnating their lives instead of giving them the courage to forget the past. While not much plotwise goes on in this character study, you'll find yourself hooked to the narrative.
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