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Horses They Rode [Hardcover]

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Item description for Horses They Rode by Sid Gustafson...

A dramatic novel of love, family, and changing cultures along Montana s rugged Rocky Mountain Front. The novel lyrically weaves the protagonist s journey through women, children, horses, and Indian spirituality, culminating in a thrilling cross-country horse race. Gustafson's beautifully crafted writing limns the intense and complex interactions between men and women, fathers and daughters, Native Americans and whites, and animals and nature. His storytelling and language is full of rhythm and surprise. Gustafson is a Montana veterinarian who has written a previous novel (Prisoners of Flight) and a guidebook (Field Care for the Active Dog).

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.7" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 10, 2006
Publisher   Riverbend Publishing
ISBN  1931832749  
ISBN13  9781931832748  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sid Gustafson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gustafson practices veterinary medicine.

Sid Gustafson currently resides in the state of Montana. Sid Gustafson was born in 1954.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary

Reviews - What do customers think about Horses They Rode?

Washington State Magazine review  Jun 25, 2007
HORSES THEY RODE, Wazzu review
By Sid Gustafson '79 Riverbend Publishing, Helena, Montana, 2006
Reviewed by Brian Ames
Midway through Sid Gustafson's new novel, Horses They Rode, I found myself put in mind of all the second chances I have had. His take on the reknitting of family, friendship, and one man's tumultuous life is such a story--a tale of second chances where hope effervesces across a storyscape of high country, horse corrals, drunkenness, and regret that seems, at moments, irresolvable. It's a wholly American novel, for of course, America is a land forgiving of first mistakes--where a shot at trying again is fair and right.
Wendel Ingraham, Gustafson's protagonist, is a ranch hand who has roamed Washington State's Inland Empire, Idaho's panhandle, and Big Sky Country on a multi-year binge, leaving a daughter and a broken marriage in his wake. A series of experiences, including encounters with a high-school sweetheart and with mentor, companion, and part-time Blackfoot medicine man Bubbles Ground Owl, leads to his sobriety and amends.
Wendel and Bubbles take jobs as hands on a ranch where they worked as youths. And this is where the novel cries its message in earnest. The protagonist is never so competent as when he's reunited with his beloved horse. The symbiosis that is rediscovered between them, a language of faithfulness and trust, portends atonements awaiting Wendel. A gathering of horsemen and their mounts prompts language from Gustafson that is a gorgeous but gritty admixture of potential:
"Whoever they were, whatever breed of horsemen, they brought horses and they brought hope, hope that horses could revive a manifest heart."
At the ranch there are additional reconciliations required of Ingraham. In their execution, he emerges whole, ". . . grateful for all the people who'd gathered to live the life they knew best, everything and everyone connected, men and animals, fishes and birds, grass, trees and stars."
As in his first novel, Prisoners of Flight, Gustafson often joyfully eschews writing conventions. By turns, his forms are starkly tangible or cloaked in mythology. His prose is exuberant and accessible. Rhythmic, he often reads like a long poem: "Parents want their children with them, children of the land, something about having your children with you on the land, native children on native land."
Horses They Rode is a one-sitting book. And it's the kind of book about something important in a world full of books about unimportant things. People should like it.
--Brian Ames '85

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