Butcher's Crossing
  • Butcher's Crossing
  • Butcher's Crossing
  • Butcher's Crossing
ISBN: 1590171985
EAN13: 9781590171981
Language: English
Release Date: Jan 16, 2007
Pages: 274
Dimensions: 0.8" H x 7.8" L x 5" W
Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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In his National Book Award-winning novel Augustus, John Williams uncovered the secrets of ancient Rome. With Butcher's Crossing, his fiercely intelligent, beautifully written western, Williams dismantles the myths of modern America. It is the 1870s, and Will Andrews, fired up by Emerson to seek an original relation to nature, drops out of Harvard and heads west. He washes up in Butcher's Crossing, a small Kansas town on the outskirts of nowhere. Butcher's Crossing is full of restless men looking for ways to make money and ways to waste it. Before long Andrews strikes up a friendship with one of them, a man who regales Andrews with tales of immense herds of buffalo, ready for the taking, hidden away in a beautiful valley deep in the Colorado Rockies. He convinces Andrews to join in an expedition to track the animals down. The journey out is grueling, but at the end is a place of paradisiacal richness. Once there, however, the three men abandon themselves to an orgy of slaughter, so caught up in killing buffalo that they lose all sense of time. Winter soon overtakes them: they are snowed in. Next spring, half-insane with cabin fever, cold, and hunger, they stagger back to Butcher's Crossing to find a world as irremediably changed as they have been.

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Book Reviews (12)

5
  |   12  reviews
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5
   `great western
A cold wind blew across the prairie when the last buffalo fell... a death wind for my people. Sitting Bull '' came down into the valley and the Buffalo Herds were moving darkly over the land like waves on the ocean. The men gradually moved in on them. The first shot went to kill the leader of the herd, and the following shots would follow. My mind stopped there. The buffalo stood there in wonder of what was going on. What beautiful creatures! What a very moving novel is.
 
5
   Really good novel
Williams is not a “ Western ” novelist, like a Louie Lamoure, just a great writer who wrote a novel in the West. The story is about a greenhorn from Boston with ennui caused by a buffalo hunter who joins some crossers at Butcher's crossing '' Let's just say that things don 't go as planned. Beautiful characters, interesting descriptions, but an ending you may or may not like. I could never quite grasp the author's overall thesis, but I feel like it was my fault and not his. To give you a sense of the power of his writing, I read the book while riding the train to work and the passage was about the characters being trapped in a blizzard. Not frivolous fare then, but a substantial read that isn 't dense. Our stars are 4-12, and ours is 5.
 
5
   fascinating
I loved the book and gave it to my son and husband and they loved it too, unusual situation, writing style, character portrayion. I was hesitant to read it because I did not like William Stoner's book, but this was not always a pleasant read, but fascinating.
 
5
   beautful
Beautufully written by.
 
4
   POWERFUL GRITTY WESTERN
This book is very good -- a strong, poetic, mystical Western -- but it is a step down from Augustus and especially Stoner, who are brilliant.
 
5
   John Williams has written three wonderful and distinctive novels on extremely diverse subjects
This is a very powerful and graphic live writing. An uneasy subject, but a compelling read about identity, the call of the wild, the power of nature, and so much more. John Williams has written three wonderful and distinctive novels on extremely diverse topics. I have been bitten by all three, but believe this to be his best.
 
5
   America's early frontiers and its human strugglers.
Brilliantly written, in my opinion. John John William's deep understanding of the human heart and his mind is expressed in his characters'joys, heartbreak, tragedies and inexplicable goals.
 
5
   The greatest book you've never heard of...
Not sure why this book isn 't more of a household name. A brutal description of the profound greed of man and how it destroyed the buffalo population.
 
4
   not your father's Western
This was written well. The setting and action was vivid. This is a coming-of-age, sort of and a western, sort of and an adventure, sort of. This is to stir and bake it. Some folks will claim that this is as real and grimy and unimpressed as the gritty and grimy West. Lonely Dove likes Kinda. If you are falling into the fandom of the Westerns, I think you'll like this.
 
5
   A western masterpiece without gunslingers and sheriffs
When I read that John Williams had written a western novel in Butcher's crossing, I was surprised. Not only did I find myself walking through the contours of the heart of darkness, I also sniffed reminiscently at the obsessiveness of a whale hunt, all completely unexpected! But John William's invitation to the world he created of such imaginative resonances was unrelentingly compelling and beautiful. More wonderful was how Williams invited me not so subtly to witness how he crafted his story. Here is a story and word crafter's novel. In his hands, a human novel also became a quintessential novel that explores the makings of a Western character in a part of the world.
 
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