THE TRUE ACCOUNT: A Novel of the Lewis & Clark & Kinneson Expeditions

Howard Frank Mosher, Author . Houghton Mifflin $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-618-19721-7

Yet another novel that anticipates the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark's expedition, this clever account by Mosher (A Stranger in the Kingdom, etc.) breaks with form, to hilarious effect. Private True Teague Kinneson, a Vermont schoolteacher and inventor, writes to Jefferson to recommend himself for the expedition to the Pacific. When Jefferson announces that he's already appointed Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, True, with his teenage nephew, Ticonderoga, in tow, heads West anyway, determined to reach the Pacific first. Ticonderoga narrates their adventures, describing with a straight face the schemes of his daffy uncle. True is an odd duck, strutting around in a chain-mail vest, an Elizabethan codpiece and a red cloth cap with a bell attached. The cap covers a copper helmet that protects his skull, which was injured, he improbably claims, during his tenure with Ethan Allen's regiment at Fort Ticonderoga. He also gleefully indulges a daily cannabis habit, which perhaps accounts for some of the above eccentricities. As the pair travel to Monticello and points west, they come across all manner of outlandish characters: Daniel Boone's sexpot daughter, Danielle; an angry badger; and many Indian tribes, friendly and not. Meanwhile, Ti lovingly paints his experiences onto canvas, True corresponds with the Kinneson clan back in Vermont and the pair keep in touch with their rivals, Lewis and Clark. Fun and fanciful with much to savor, Mosher's novel demonstrates a boundless imagination and a light comic touch. Bicentennial promotion; author tour. (June 5)

Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 337 pages - 978-0-618-43123-6
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-544-39126-0
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