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Wounded Hardcover – August 11, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Pierced by the Sun
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

John Hunt, narrator of this western-with-a-twist, is a Wyoming rancher, horse trainer and Berkeley-educated art lover. He also happens to be black, an identity that Everett (American Desert; Erasure) presents as unremarkable in the rancher's accepting community. But intolerance rears its ugly head when the corpse of a gay man is found in a nearby canyon, and the cows of Hunt's Native American neighbor start turning up shot dead, racist slurs written in blood on the snow. Hunt believes a group of redneck thugs is responsible, but he's reluctant to get involved. He has enough on his plate, what with taking care of the ranch, tending the fires of a new romance and worrying about the health of old Uncle Gus, his cook and companion since his wife's death. When the gay son of an old college friend arrives at the ranch to recover from a bad breakup, Hunt must also referee the ongoing clash between young David and his homophobic father. The accumulation of these plot points overburden the novel, and Everett laconically renders the western milieu with a frustrating lack of sensory detail. David's disappearance toward the end fails to manufacture tension, and the violent conclusion is at once expected and unconvincing. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

John Hunt is a black man, a horse trainer, living with aging Uncle Gus on a ranch outside a small town in Wyoming. Hunt is recovering from the loss of his wife six years earlier in an accident he feels partly responsible for, even as he faces the budding romance developing with his neighbor Morgan. On the surface, Hunt's race seems to have little impact on the area, with its mix of whites and Indians. But the influx of white militia adds to the strain just beneath the surface that has always prompted Hunt's vigilance. When David, the son of an old college friend, comes to town with his gay lover, Hunt is forced to face the grim realities of his environment. Everett is masterful at conveying the slow pace of life in the region, the harshness of the terrain, the difficulty of the work, the reliance on neighbors, and the fear of humans more than wild animals. Readers who have enjoyed Everett'sErasure (2001) and American Desert (2004) will love this latest novel. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555974279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555974275
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Everett, an African American, depicts an edenistic life for the protagonist John Hunt in Wyoming's high desert. John is not average cowboy in the frontier, and by the book's end he proves this fact many times over.

John, an Exeter-educated African American preppie, who studied art at UC Berkley, matured into a heterosexual vegetarian whose modern feelings for women and acceptance to homosexuality would make him hip in the city, but make him really hip in cowfolk country, works with large animals on his 1500 acre farm - in short, not the average cowboy of literature.

While John the widower gravitates to his beautiful female interest, Morgan, he befriends his college buddy's son, David, whose sexuality curses his father, especially when he condemns his son in humiliatingly public places. And, while this happens, things in John's Eden begin to rot. Hate crimes and physical abuse grows in John's haven. People begin to say things in "their groups" which contradict their persona. "I am like that three-legged coyote. . . I can't recognize my own tracks until I stop moving." John realizes that friends to his face may be enemies of his race when he does not stand in their vision.

Predominantly dialogue, this book is rich. Many pert witticisms remind me of Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, Jeff Lindsay and others of the 21st century best selling world. And like those authors, this is easy reading for beach, flight or other times of relaxation. And, like those authors, occasional conflicts include moments of violence and horror, more mature than most young teens may wish to encounter.

This book is full of humor. Including cornball fun. "She's tougher than a dairy cow steak." "I am as fine as a toad's hair." I love those metaphors. If more had been incorporated, I would have smiled a few more times, for sure.

This is a new author for me. And, as he writes prolifically, I intend to read more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great. Good story and even better storytelling...but not as stratospheric as his other outings. Just...great. Not absolutely fabulous as say...Erasure. Still...a must read. At his worst, Mr. Everett is better than just about anyone out there. And I can honestly say he does not and will not do "worst."
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Format: Paperback
Percival Everett never writes the same book twice; in fact, he rarely even writes two books in the same genre, and his publishers seem nonplussed about how to market his fiction. If you were to pigeonhole this particular book somehow, I suppose you'd say it belongs to modern Western crime realism (or something), but it pulls its subject matter right out of the headlines--in this case, the Matthew Shepard murder.

Yet Wyoming's infamous incident is merely a point of departure for a novel that explores the interactions and foibles of its myriad characters as much as it examines the effects of bigotry. John Hunt, the area's only black ranch-owner and a widower who had lost his wife to a freak accident, finds himself playing host to the son of a friend, a gay college student who has arrived in town to protest the murder. While he deals with his unexpected guest (and, initially, with the young man's insufferable boyfriend), John also ham-handedly courts a nearby woman-friend, provides shelter for a three-legged coyote pup he rescued in the brush, clashes with a couple of local neo-Nazi skinheads, attempts to track down whoever is killing a neighbor's cows, and reconsiders what he thinks about some of his fair-weather friends.

The subject matter might seem a bit heavy, but Everett breaks up the tension with the comic behavior of an ornery mule and the characters' often wry, sometimes hilarious barnyard banter, usually between plain-speaking John and his world-weary uncle, Gus. ("We're not having a funeral for a leg," John tells his uncle when the latter questions the propriety of throwing the coyote's amputated limb in the trash.
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Format: Paperback
I am a lover of reading and a lover of horses, and it is extremely difficult to find good books with both. Of course, this is not a horse book, but the main character is a trainer, and the author himself has experience with horses. So if you are at all interested in horses, they do appear in a realistic manner.

If you don't care for horses, no big deal. Everett's writing is clear and solid. He crafts an entertaining story that tackles many different and difficult issues. The characters are wonderful. I put this book right up there with my other favorites of the west.
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