One Last Crossing with Cormac McCarthy: A Review of Cities of the Plain

We got John Grady and Billy Parham back for the last crossing. John Grady was the romantically-inclined teenaged horse whisperer from All the Pretty Horses. Billy Parham was the beleaguered teenaged ranch hand who seems always to be helping people get home—a wolf and his dead brother, Boyd, in The Crossing. Cormac McCarthy brings the […]

Waltzing (and Futzing) Across Texas: A review of Texas Blood

If you pick up this book you won’t know where you’re headed.  Texas, sure.  After all the title of Roger D. Hodge’s book is Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands.  And there are maps in the first chapter that will whet your appetite for West […]

Crossing into Mythical Mexico with Cormac McCarthy: A Review of The Crossing

Cormac McCarthy doesn’t need any more accolades from the likes of me.  His reputation as a great American writer seems pretty secure.  But as a recent convert to the ranks of his fans, I have to say of The Crossing – wow. That’s probably sufficient.  I’m not going to be an equal to his prose […]

Heartlands Best Reads of 2017:#1 Lincoln in the Bardo (& a recap)

There are certain things you know you’re going to find when you sit down to read a George Saunders story.  It will be weird, funny, engaging, and surprisingly deep.  I expected no less from Lincoln in the Bardo, Saunders’ first novel and I was not disappointed. The book, which won the Man Booker Prize this year, […]

The Relentless Storytelling of Philipp Meyer: A Review of American Rust

  Philipp Meyer is a relentless storyteller.  By the time he gets through with you, you will have a deep immersion in the place where the story happens and will have met characters who are anything but passive.  They are doers who fight and scrape against an unjust world.  They make many mistakes, some dreadful, […]