Sunday, February 04, 2007

Thirteen Moons * Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier’s new book, Thirteen Moons, revisits the bracing wilds of North Carolina to recount the fate of small people churned up by big history - in this case the enforced removal in the 1830s of Native American communities from their traditional hunting grounds. The geography is big too: long vistas of peak and valley, river and gorge - Davy Crockett country reimagined for a tale of epic struggle and doomed love, but still good, you feel, for shooting bears.
Will Cooper is a white orphan boy forced into indentured drudgery as keeper of a remote trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. He likes to read Homer and but can handle a snake and play poker too. He is adopted by the local Indian chief and, over the years, prospers commercially with his hides, molasses and liquor, goes into real estate, lawyering and politics and brings the Cherokee cause to Congress. There's a hard-to-get beautiful girl who comes and goes. There's a scarred villain. There's the scrag end of the war with the North. There's a heap of feudin' and duellin'. In fact there's a heap of everything - political shenanigans, riverboat hygiene, campfire lore, Washington etiquette, Cherokee fashions (silk turbans), indigenous wildfowl, retail accountancy, whoring, how to spit-roast a possum, plus painstaking inventories of Will's shop, his attic, the voluminous saddlebags that accompany him on his innumerable excursions down this or that lonesome trail over succeeding decades.
It is an ambitious, ranging novel that (mostly) feels like an $8m read (the sum of the monstrous book advance). Frazier has the big storyteller's art. He is a careful chooser of words and in his descriptions has a way of making us look more closely at horses, rocks and water, or impressing upon us the weight of a hatchet in a man's hand. His metaphors are unforced, arising from the landscape or some aspect of 'redskin' doings. But the sheer welter of stuff at times carries us in an opposite direction to the emotional pull of the novel. Will's yearning for the girl never quite means as much to us as it does him; a bloody massacre of soldiers is gauged too readily in political terms; individual deaths are parenthesised by more urgent affairs. There's no time to lose. The book - impatient to spin the next yarn, to fathom the workings of some unusual cultural artifact, to classify another dragoon of characters in their particulars of blood provenance, dietary preference, hat size etc - refuses to dwell too long on any single incident, trivial or tragic.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I make money with the help of these programs.
I don't have problems with money now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I'm very close at catching at last a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Turn to my web site to get additional info.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I mostly visits this website[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url]Plenty of useful information on svwmarginalia.blogspot.com. Do you pay attention towards your health?. Are you really serious about your weight?. Recent Scientific Research indicates that nearly 60% of all U.S. grownups are either chubby or overweight[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url] So if you're one of these citizens, you're not alone. Its true that we all can't be like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, and have sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now the question is how you are planning to have quick weight loss? [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss[/url] is not like piece of cake. Some improvement in of daily activity can help us in losing weight quickly.

About me: I am author of [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also health expert who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under painful training program than you may also try [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/acai-berry-for-quick-weight-loss]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/colon-cleanse-for-weight-loss]Colon Cleansing[/url] for effective weight loss.