Saturday, July 30, 2016


He wished for his guns, but decided his hate would have to do.
While the country is neck-deep in civil war, unassuming Texas rancher Daniel Hays wakes up to find his loyal ranch-hand and lover Steven castrated and lynched, hanging from a juniper tree. Daniel gathers his guns and his horse Oscar and sets out to reap vengeance on those responsible.

Based on that summary, you might expect this novella to be a Death Wish-style Western actioner where Daniel tracks each man down one by one and we get episodes of violent, cathartic retribution in graphic detail. But I was pleasantly surprised that this was much more brooding and contemplative, and more about studying the nature of revenge, and how much of an ineffective effort it can be. It shows how muddled it can be, how it rarely goes the way many would expect, but shows how through it all, Daniel keeps going out of a sense of duty; it's something he simply has to do. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the little hint of what might be some magical realism, which really added great texture to this tale. I'm lowering the score a bit though because the ending felt like a bit of a rushed cop-out and a let-down.
"I hope you get your revenge. A man can't be right when there's somebody livin' that oughtn't be."

1 comment:

  1. Your review makes me want to read this novella. You have a reader's commitment to review books, whereas I simply try to get through as many titles as possible and should try to review more. I happened upon your blog via Goodreads - similar interests. Keep writing!


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