Shoshone Mike

Frank Bergon, Author Viking Books $17.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-670-81563-0
Based on lamentable historical events of 1910-1911 in frontier Nevada, this exhaustively researched first novel tells the tale unremittingly, with mercy for the killers, with immense sympathy for the unoffending victims. Four stockmen have been murdered, by whom no one knows, though the trivial fact of ignorance doesn't deter the murderous posse composed of state troopers and other vigilantes from absolute certainty that those ""Injuns,'' the Shoshones, have committed the crime. Of the four dead men, three are Basque immigrants, about whom the posse couldn't care less, a ``Basco'' being no better than an Indian. It is to avenge the fourth man (lily-white) that they pursue and slaughter the well-meaning, hard-working Shoshone Mike and his family, who are caught during their seasonal migration. The passionate purpose of Bergon's book is to remind us of a dark aspect of our past. Himself a descendent of Basque settlers, he employs a spare and simple narrative voice to build an enormously affecting tale. (November 5)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-0-87417-244-7
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-0-14-009876-1
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