Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Frontiersmen: A Narrative by Allan W Eckart

NOTES: This month, we are going to cheat a bit. If you look in my profile you will see this book listed as a favorite... has been for a while. I've just decided it is time for a re-read and I am completely moved to discuss it here.

Also, an observation my wife made a while back seems to be holding true and seems to negate my purpose for this page. I am not able to finish books I don't like. I can't do it. Given that, no review for any book I don't like will ever show up here. Seems a bit... lopsided doesn't it? Ah well. Next month I believe I will list books I tried to read and failed to complete this year. The list is kind of long. should be interesting... Anyhow, on to the book.

I freaking love this book. No two ways about it. Aside from being a really well told and well written story, this book applied historical events and personalities to the places I have seen and been all of my life. Fort Washington, Three Islands in the river by Manchester, Chillicothe... All places I have seen and walked. It adds a bit to my life day to day just to know these things.
This is such a good story and it is well told. Allan Eckart has a solid and well crafted style for recounting events and conversation. The research noted in the book, while it has been called into question in some cases by historians, represents a serious bit of effort and underscores the commitment to a solid telling of the tales of revolutionary American frontier.
So let's get to it then:
  • Readability - 5 of 5 -OK. I am willing to admit that my enjoyment of this story has colored my rankings a bit, however there is just no way to argue that this book is a great read. The words flow well and the structure of the underlying word relationships is right on. Well written, no argument.
  • Subject Matter - 5 of 5 - Oh my, how in the world could a go less than 5 for 5 on this? It's a book and about a trapper and hunter exploring the world around him and being smarter, faster, and just plain more lucky than most of the other guys doing the same thing. And he does a lot of it in Ohio. Uhmm... Woo Hoo!
  • Editing - 4 of 5 - What? 4 of 5? Are you kidding? So, no, not really. This is a pure opinion thing and more than a little knit-picky... however, I am not a fan of the dramatic transition. Specifically in this book I do not like the way key characters are transitioned into the tale at the chapter breaks. Otherwise, this is fabulous work.
  • Did I like the story 5 of 5 - What is there to say? Given the chance to go live it first hand I would be gone with less that 15 seconds of thought. I loved this story.

If you need a good read about what Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and others were like when they actually were battleground states, this is the book for you. The portrayal of all characters and issues is well rounded and well done. All in all, well done.

No comments: