Outlaw

Warren Kiefer, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (518p) ISBN 978-1-55611-148-8
An 89-year-old codger's reminiscences make for a zestfully youthful saga in this blend of Western, picaresque adventure and historical novel. Kiefer ( The Lingala Code ) charts the transformation of narrator Lee Garland from cattle smuggler and desperado to deputy sheriff, oil millionaire, banker, soldier with Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, ambassador to Mexico, and last of the old-time robber barons. Betrayed by his business partner Charlie Bruce, who prevents Garland from marrying his sister Caroline, Lee marries a second choice, takes Caroline as his mistress, suffers tragic losses, but never loses his shrewd frontiersman's spirit. With hindsight our hero, whose story climaxes in 1968 in a symbolic act of protest, implicitly urges common sense, decency and hardy individualism as the best hope for survival in a nuclear world. His crusty, ironic narrative voice, as blunt as a sawed-off shotgun, adds a certain introspective dimension to this long, extroverted yarn of heartbreak, love, murder, Pancho Villa, Mormons, wars, scams and schemes. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 560 pages - 978-0-451-16954-9
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