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The last Western
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Top customer reviews
What I liked best was Klise's deceptively simple rendering of difficult questions. It's a bold, original, elemental book, Swiftian both in its savagely satirical indictment of church, state and society, and in the gentle humanity readily discernible beneath that mantle of rage. There is something wonderfully old-fashioned about Klise despite the hilariously wicked satire in this book. His rejection of the "spiritual", for instance, as the mirror and equivalent of "bestial", I thought, was so surprising in a modern novel; it has a distinctly Enlightenment feel to it. I've heard it said that the book's Catholicism made a wider audience impossible, but I'm not sure about that ... the human race may not have a good vocabulary yet for the themes of this novel, but its Christian aspects only serve to bring it closer to what might someday become a new, all-inclusive human vocabulary, which would maybe be closer to what Jesus intended in the first place.
A mind-blowing book, just buy it!
To give the flavor of the book is difficult, but one can say that it is simultaneously very serious and very funny, and that it weaves its subjects -- Roman Catholicism, baseball, racial politics, Latin American revolution, big business, and film-making, among others -- into an extremely impressive tapestry. The Last Western's near-future setting makes it a speculative science fiction novel as well (R.A. Lafferty and Philip Jose Farmer both blurbed it). The prose is first-rate. I wish I knew more about Klise (I heard that he died some years back), but that is a good research project for someone so inclined. In the meantime, a re-printing would go a long way toward rescuing this novel and starting it on the road to the classic status that I believe it deserves. Perhaps someone at a literary small press is listening?
This treasure of a book is now yellow and falling apart. I see that the few remaining copies around are very expensive, so I will continue to keep and protect and sometimes lend it out to a specially chosen someone.
I've always wondered who Thomas S. Klise was. I've actually looked for his name over the years, and have never been able to find anything. He must have been some great kind of guy!
Most recent customer reviews
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