The Shooting of Dan McGrew

Robert W. Service, Author, Ted Harrison, Illustrator
Robert W. Service, Author, Ted Harrison, Illustrator David R. Godine Publisher $14.95 (31p) ISBN 978-0-87923-748-6
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
The poem about the shooting of the fictitious Dan McGrew was written soon after the gold rush in Dawson City was over; it is an unrelenting story of the greed, jealousy, loneliness and betrayal that were characteristic of the Gold Rush era, and how Dan McGrew became the hated target of a half-crazed miner. While the action of the poem is intense and demanding, the painterly illustrations by Harrison are overwhelmingly powerful; they seem to take on a life of their own, drawing readers' attentions away from the text and toward the surrealistic interpretation of events. With ice-cold blues and violets, accented by vibrant reds and yellows, Harrison creates a pulsating world of hate and destruction; it's a fascinating interpretation of a well-known poem about the frustrations and splendors of the Canadian Gold Rush. Ages 8-up. (September)
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