That Day in Gordon

Raymond Abbott, Author Vanguard Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8149-0924-9
Elijah Black Horse is an Indian living in alcoholic squalor with his wife and children on a South Dakota reservation. He makes half-hearted attempts to improve his life by selling his paintings depicting local landscapes and by taking a job as a ranch hand in the nearby town of Gordon. Every time he tries to scramble out of the mire, however, he is defeated, not only by his alcoholism but by the prejudice of the whites who control the community. His story ends with an outburst of violence that has seemed inevitable from the beginning. This disturbing tale is written in a curiously flat, affectless style that may be intended to reflect Black Horse's feeling of powerlessness. Unfortunately, it robs the story of much of its power as well. One finishes the novel with only an unsatisfying glimpse of the hearts of Black Horse and his people. (August 20)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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