by John (John Edward) Williams

Reviewer Rating:
4

Review

A literary western, Butcher's Crossing tells the story of Harvard dropout Will Andrews, who heads west to "see as much of the country as [he] can" after being inspired by a lecture by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Will finds himself in Butcher's Crossing, Kansas, where he hooks up with a grizzled frontiersman named Miller who's been planning a huge buffalo hunt in the Colorado Rockies for close to a decade.  With Will's savings funding the journey, he, Miller, and two other men embark on a hunt that no one but the hunters themselves believe will be successful.

Butcher's Crossing was very well-written and enjoyable, even for people who don't generally read westerns, but much of the plot was spoiled by the publisher's blurb on the back cover.  If you decide to check this out, do yourself a favor and avoid the blurb and the introduction.  I would've found the book a lot more suspenseful if I'd done that.

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