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Boone's Lick (2002)

Boone's Lick (2002)
3.53 of 5 Votes: 5
0671040588 (ISBN13: 9780671040581)
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Boone's Lick (2002)
Boone's Lick (2002)

About book: Jordan BlalockMinniearEnglish 910/11/10Boone’s Lick Boone’s Lick is a story that takes place during the Wild West era in a town called Boone’s Lick near the Missouri River. The story is told in first person by a young boy named Shay. The main characters are Shay, G.T., Grandpa Crackerthorpe, Neva, Uncle Seth, Ma, and Aunt Rosie. Boone’s Lick is a good book in my opinion; it is interesting and very entertaining. The story starts out at the characters home in which all of them live together (except for Aunt Rosie), explaining some about their lifestyles and characteristics until everyone is interrupted by gunfire at their house. Everyone discovers that Ma shot the sheriffs horse and eventually a job offer is made by the sheriff for Uncle Seth, GT, and Shay. The job was to defeat a gang in another town that was robbing and cheating the people and businesses of Boone’s Lick. The job required Uncle Seth to ask his long time friend, Wild Bill Hickock to join the posse to defeat the gang. Later in the story they track down the gang and kill the leaders but the sheriff was injured and unable to continue his job.When the posse returns to Boone’s Lick, the sheriff retired and another sheriff takes his place. Shortly after their return, the new sheriff beats Aunt Rosie up and causes the whole family to leave Boone’s Lick in search of Shay’s and G.T.’s father. While organizing the trip, Ma and Uncle Seth are constantly disagreeing about the trip which causes conflict in the whole family. Eventually they pack up and leave Boone’s Lick. Along the way Ma picks up travelers that include an Indian named Charlie and a Priest named Father Villey. They travel by wagon and boat to Wyoming in search Dick, (Shay and G.T.’s father). They eventually find him but end up in Fetterman Massacre of 1866. The family lives in the fort that Dick is stationed at but eventually leave. This is a good, fast paced book for anyone that enjoys western or adventure books.

Any “western” novel that Larry McMurtry writes will forever be compared to Lonesome Dove. McMurtry set the bar high with that one, arguably one of the great novels of the last fifty years. Even the sequels that I’ve read lack the epic sweep of his Pulitzer Prize winner. So how does Boone’s Lick match up or should inevitable comparisons even be drawn.Boone’s Lick, narrated by 15 year old Shay Cecil, recounts his family’s journey in search of their philandering father, a guy who shows up for a few days every other year. He’s busy selling supplies to the forts that are popping up in Indian Territory.The impetus of the story is how his mother, finally fed up with the present situation, one day just picks up and moves the family west and the trip, as you would expect, is far from smooth. As with most McMurtry historical novels you can expect humor, adventure, appearances by historical figures (Wild Bill Hickock is prominently featured), and some well-drawn interesting characters.This is a quick and worthwhile read with McMurtry at the near top of his game. Although the novel lacks the grandeur and scope of the Lonesome Dove tetra logy, I would recommend it to anyone who likes a strong heroine, westerns, or historical novels.
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I don't often read westerns but every once in a while will pick one up. This is a fairly traditional one, and I liked how McMurty wove historical fact into what is mostly a purely fictional tale. He gives you a nice slice of reality with this very flawed family, such that the reader can see monogamy wasn't the sacred cow we'd like to think it was way back when. The dangers of traveling into Indian territory are revealed, along with the effects of indiscriminate killing of wild herds of whatever animal you care to name.Mary Margaret Cecil and her daughter Neva are two strong and independently minded women, and I liked that. The banter throughout was fun to read.
This saga of the Cecil family is narrated by the oldest son, Sherman, Shay for short. The family is dominated by Mary Margaret, Shay’s mother. After living in Boone’s Lick, Missouri for 14 years and having her husband, Dick, only drop in every other year or two for a couple of days leaving her pregnant, she tires of the situation. She decides to go look for her husband who is working for the army in the Wyoming Territory. She packs up her home, three children plus a baby, her father, her brother-in-law, and at the last minute her half sister who is Boone’s resident whore and goes after Dick. It is 1875 and the Indians on the Great Plains are an unhappy lot. It is about the time of the last of the great Indian wars (just before Custer’s last stand in 1875) The family has many adventures on their journey west.
Boone's Lick is a backwater town in Missouri . The setting is the American West during the Civil War. Mary Margaret Cecil and her growing family are living off the land the best they can. Her husband Dickie is a supplier for the forts of the US Army and travels far and wide securing himself with an Indian wife and family at every fort on the Oregon Trail. Mary Margaret has had enough of his never-do-well ways and decides to pack up her family and her beloved brother-in-law, Uncle Seth, in a wagon and travel up the Missouri River to find her husband Dickie and put an end to his gallivanting ways. Along the way they procure an old Indian who guides them and a French traveling minister who sort of helps guide them. They lose old Grandpa Crackenthorpe in a storm, they meet several bands of Indians, including Pawnee, Comanche, Sioux, and the terrifying Blackfoot, as well as three Indian families of Dickie's. When they finally reach Wyoming and find "Pa", Mary Margaret delivers him his walking papers. Among the characters are the shy but ambitious son Shay, his tempered brother G.T., their fearless little sister Neva, baby Marcy, Mary Margaret or "Ma", crazy and delusional Grandpa Crackenthorpe, the family caretaker Uncle Seth, Ma's whore sister Aunt Rosie, Wild Bill Hickok, Sheriff Baldy Stone, the all-knowing Indian Charlie Seven Days, father Pere Villy, and the infamous Dick Cecil himself. This book is so humorous, I found myself giggling at every turn of a page. The frontier life and Civil War era is luring to me and I enjoyed it very much. Larry McMurtry is at his very best and cannot be out-written when it comes to westerns. The book was published in 2000 by Simon & Schuster Inc. Go get it right away, you won't be sorry!
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