Savage Country

Savage Country From the writer of the bestselling Coal Black Horse who has consistently created riveting fiction about pivotal moments in history comes another spellbinding novel covering one of the most infamous

  • Title: Savage Country
  • Author: Robert Olmstead
  • ISBN: 9781616204129
  • Page: 245
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the writer of the bestselling Coal Black Horse, who has consistently created riveting fiction about pivotal moments in history, comes another spellbinding novel covering one of the most infamous hunts in the American West In September 1873, Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband s folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterFrom the writer of the bestselling Coal Black Horse, who has consistently created riveting fiction about pivotal moments in history, comes another spellbinding novel covering one of the most infamous hunts in the American West In September 1873, Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband s folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterious brother in law Michael With no money, no family, no job or security, she hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and women who depend on her The buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, she now realizes, was his last hope for saving the land Elizabeth and Michael plunge south across the aptly named Deadline demarcating Indian Territory from their home state of Kansas Nothing could have prepared them for the dangers rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods, threats to life in so many ways They re on borrowed time the Comanche are in winter quarters, and the cruel work is unraveling their souls They must get back alive This is a gripping, historically accurate account of that infamous hunt, which decimated the bison population to near extinction, and the story of a moment in our history in which mass destruction of an animal population was seen as the only route to economic solvency And it is also a thrilling, readable tale of how that hunt changed Michael and Elizabeth forever.

    One thought on “Savage Country”

    1. Kansas, 1844, Elizabeth finds herself without monetary means after the death of her husband. she learns that he had hinged everything on a buffalo hunt, a hunt he hoped would provide him with the necessary funds the clear his debts. His estranged brother Michael, makes an appearance and Elizabeth begs him to take on this hunt, and to take her with him.The last buffalo hunt, two powerful characters, gorgeous writing, outstanding imagery of nature, but a very brutal time. The title is apropos, a t [...]

    2. ”Soon he could see thousands of buffalo roaming the plains and he filled with a strange and powerful feeling, the passage of receding time. There were so many of them he felt diminished, infinitesimally small, insignificant. He lost his breath. It made him wonder on the courage of the first man. Man the shadow. Man the child. Man standing erect. Man just beginning and the wars of civilizations yet to take place.”It was a few years after the Civil War, 1873 to be precise, when Michael Coughli [...]

    3. 1873 Kansas. Under the bowed heads of drooping sunflowers, death is always just a heartbeat away. The smell of blood hangs in the air, as whirling dust devils wind their errant paths along the way. Follow a band of buffalo hunters, skinners, and butchers making its way to what will turn out to be one of the last major buffalo hunts. Battling the forces of nature, savage Indians, and murderous miscreants, the trip will take its toll. Nursing old wounds, pondering heavy truths, blind ambition, and [...]

    4. In 1873, Kansas had many boom towns that were now bust. Bankrupt families sold their possessions for pennies on the dollar and took locomotives out of town with plans for a fresh start. Construction sites were abandoned, streets were littered, residents lived in miserable shacks, tents and dugouts. This is what Michael Coughlin encountered when he came to town.Michael arrived at Meadowlark, home of brother David, and was greeted by David's widow, Elizabeth. Upon David's death, Mr. Whitechurch of [...]

    5. This book was so good that I devoured it in a couple of sittings. It fulfills a hunger I have for some kind of wisdom or parable about how the West was won for the American Dream, but lost for Manifest Destiny. How to resolve the American frontier and its untamed wonders as the doorway to imagination, adventure, and personal challenge in the wilds of nature with the genocide and the rape of the earth that resulted. This novel is a magnificent attempt to fill in this gap, achieving lyrical wonder [...]

    6. ** 3.75 stars, rounded up **This is a raw, gritty story about the buffalo hunting of the late 1800s that drew the species to near extinction. Told in spare, exacting prose that still manages to paint incredible, vivid imagery of the dangers and depravations of life on the plains and of the times, this book touches the reader’s senses. To me, this novel is a look back at the behaviors of man and the long-lasting consequences of greed and excess – even though the book did not highlight that th [...]

    7. SAVAGE COUNTRY is my first book by author Robert Olmstead, and it won't be my last. This is a story with characters as raw and as spare as the rugged Kansas and Indian Territories of the old west. Olmstead's prose also has a razor sharp edge that can be at times beautiful and at other times quite chilling and visceral. There is an underlying feeling of melancholy in SAVAGE COUNTRY that stems from one of the novel's themes, which is that of exploitation. This involves man's exploitation of wildli [...]

    8. Olmstead has done it again; one of my favorite authors. As usual, uncompromisingly direct and seemingly simple writing. Not a word that is not necessary and, as befits the title, this is one savage story with many beautiful and thoughtful moments.This is a tale of a Civil War veteran who joins his brother's widow on a hugely dangerous buffalo hunt to settle his brother's debt and save her land. They have limited time to accomplish this, while the Comanche are in their winter quarters, and must d [...]

    9. I clicked buy/read now after two sample pages of Savage Country. I just finished Pachinko, with a longing for descriptive word pictures, and Olmstead more than delivered in a book that won me over in spite of itself.This was a good novel with occasional flashes of brilliance and a significant amount of blood and violence. First page begins in a barely settled Kansas town”the smell of raw sewage and creosote, the smell of lye and kerosene oil” and in the second paragraph, “The year was 1873 [...]

    10. Oh wow! A violent story of the last buffalo hunt in the late 1800s. Normally this sort of story would not appeal to me for its killing and animal cruelty. I'm that sort of person. However, the characters of Michael and Elizabeth and Aubuchon stole my heart.Michael is a selfless human who reads, loves his dogs and horse. He is a horse whisperer (my definition). This man would steal my heart if I were Elizabeth.Elizabeth is a fiercely independent woman who will not marry again to be cared for by a [...]

    11. And so we have people seeking wealth within the savagery and beauty of the wilderness in this terrible beauty of prose we visit the clash between peoples and cattle, for foods, skins, monies, and ways. A solider, Michael, a reverend doctor and a business woman Elizabeth of whom is seeking enterprise in turning buffalo into money, along with a band of hired men, to take that others also want claim over.Killing again in history upon the land, a cycle that has no ends.Great prose within these pages [...]

    12. It is the late 1800’s and the buffalo roam in the millions across the west. Recently widowed Elizabeth Coughlin organizes a buffalo hunt to save her ranch from Whitechurch, a corrupt banker. Agreeing to help after attempts to dissuade Elizabeth is her enigmatic brother-in-law Michael - a hunter by trade who thinks the hunt a fool hardy undertaking. Along with all of the necessary supplies, the local irksome pastor, and hardened, desperate men of questionable character they ruthlessly track dow [...]

    13. Butcher's Crossing by John Williams, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, Warlock by Oakley Hall, and now Savage Country by Robert Olmstead are the must read books you need to read about the American West. Let others here give summary reviews of this wonderful book, I'll simply say this is one magnificent read.

    14. Savage Country was a savage tale. The reader faces peril along with the main protagonists (Elizabeth, Michael) and crew as they embark on a buffalo hunt. I found the following passage illuminating: That night Michael thought about how the American war was not the end of something but the beginning of learning how to kill more easily, learning that however destructive, however much destruction they did, they were capable of even more. The world would be a warring place. The nations would form and [...]

    15. Olmstead's ninth book is set in the west and focuses on the last buffalo hunt. Readers learn all about the hunt, the men, the killing and skinning, and the destruction of the buffalo and an Indian way of life.Written in a high literary style, with well-crafted, flowery language, Olmstead describes the hunt in vivid, gory detail. His characters carry on terse conversations, no words or actions wasted. The characters aren't lovable or admirable, in fact they seem one dimensional. I'll admit I didn [...]

    16. Olmstead continues to be one of the finest writers out there. Beautiful language, incredible imagery. This is a book that gets better with each reading (twice already for me). I consider Olmstead to be more accessible than Cormac McCarthy but just as engaging.

    17. This one ended up being not for me, BUT my husband is super excited to read it. I think I DNF'd because I'm just not the right reader for it, not because of the quality of the book.

    18. The year is 1873, and Michael, a civil war veteran comes home to bury his brother. He and his sister-in-law embark on a buffalo hunt that his brother had planned prior to his death. They must go ahead on this planned hut because of the huge debt that his brother left. A host of people accompany them, farm hands and their families who depend on Elizabeth, and the hunt to provide them with hides, and food. This book is richly written with stark words describing a stark time of the plains, the hard [...]

    19. The title of this powerful novel that follows a buffalo hunt in post-Civil War Kansas pretty much says it all: the American West was a land of brutal savagery. While the violence of the Indian wars lurks everywhere in the novel, Olmstead's true subject is the savagery of the white settlers to each other and to the environment. While the national myth portrays the progress of civilization from east to west, Olmstead suggests (following Cormac McCarthy, particularly in Blood Meridian) that the ide [...]

    20. Don't think I have the words to pay tribute to this story. I'm certain others more literate will say it better. All I have to offer is that this book was a very enjoyable and exciting read. I enjoy the historical time-frame and thought it was well written. Some of the wording was beyond me, so I'm guessing Mr. Olmstead did his homework. I've read other works of this period, but the author came forward with terms I have no knowledge of. It was educational in parts (thanks). Quite an adventure! Ha [...]

    21. With the sudden death of her husband, Elisabeth Couglin not only becomes a young widow but an impoverished one. In 1873, Kansas, she learns that David’s investments were but idealized dreams for an elusive future. While Elizabeth ponders what she will do, David’s brother Michael arrives. He is the opposite of David, action not thought. His background is one of travel and adventure. But now he is seeking to relieve Elizabeth’s debts. But when he pays off the person who holds her debt, both [...]

    22. 3 1/2 StarsOn the plus side, there’s plenty of gritty old American West in this book.   In Kansas, 1873, David Coughin has died leaving his wife Elizabeth in desperate straits.  What she thought was a profitable ranch is actually bankrupt and the evil Mr. Whitechurch is ready to grab it all.  David’s brother Michael rides to the rescue giving Whitchurch all he can handle and more.  But to maintain her holdings Elizabeth is determined to go through with her late husband’s plan for a mas [...]

    23. Savage Country tells the story of Elizabeth and her brother in law Michael. Elizabeth has just lost her husband when Michael shows up. Her husband had planned to embark on a buffalo hunt just before his death. Elizabeth decides that she wants to continue the trip anyways and recruits Michael to join her. The story tells of their difficult travels, buffalo hunting, and of all the strife that hits the team. This was not really mu cup of tea. I felt like many parts of the book were slightly confusi [...]

    24. Received book from with agreement to review; a great bargain considering what I had in store! Read much of this book while traveling across Argentina and Patagonia; our travels reminded me of the vast, beautiful Texas plains and this intriguing story as it unfolded. Set in the years immediately following the war between the States and greatly impacted by its results, the tale begins in Kansas and crosses down into Commanche and buffalo lands. Interesting in his descriptions of the gear and supp [...]

    25. Savage Country by Robert Olmstead will probably be the last book I finish reading in 2017 and what a treat it is. This is a fine, rip-roaring western adventure, but definitely not for the fainthearted. Elizabeth has just lost her husband and will probably soon lose the farm she and her husband built. To make money she requests Michael, her husband's brother, an animal hunter, to help her hunt down the wild buffalo that roam America's wild west so she can sell their pelts and parts. They set off [...]

    26. GAB I love Robert Olmstead western novels. Savage Country, based on fact, is the tale of the 1873 buffalo hunts, the great slaughter that nearly decimated the buffalo in America. A two fold effort, the hunts were an attempt to turn around the U.S. economy following the end of the Civil War, and also to hold the native Americans on reservation lands once their mobile food source was gone. Every part of the buffalo was utilized in these last hunts, although previous hunts were wantonly wasteful. S [...]

    27. A recently widowed woman along with her brother-in-law plan a last ditch effort to save their family fortune by going on a massive buffalo hunt. They venture from Kansas with a rag tag party and face indians, bad weather, vermin (both animal and man) all just to keep out of the poorhouse. Elizabeth is the perfect role model for the tough pioneer woman- independent, tough as nails, but still graceful under pressure and kind. Everything lives up to the title - savage people, savage animals and an [...]

    28. If you are interested in America's wild west, this could be the book for you. Robert Olmstead spent a lot of time researching the "last buffalo hunt". You almost feel like you are right there where you can see and feel all of the action.Elizabeth Coughlin's husband had been planning to go on the buffalo hunt but was killed in an accident. His brother, Michael, came to pay the mortgage so Elizabeth would not lose the farm. He was then persuaded to go with her to the buffalo hunt so she could earn [...]

    29. I received this book in a giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I devoured this novel in one day. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a brutal depiction of life on the open plains of Kansas in 1873. Hardship, buffalo slaughters, savage attacks by Comanche Indians, desperate post civil war soldiers trying to find their way, newly released slaves attempting to be integrated into any social group and treated equal to whites, illness, and devastating storms rampage across the chapters of t [...]

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