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St Agnes' Stand (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers)) Paperback – 1 Nov 1999

34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (1 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582416906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582416901
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,087,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘Spare, violent and exciting…recreates an unforgiving world in which a moment’s distraction could prove fatal.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Compelling…a powerful feat of storytelling.’ Irish Times

‘The pace and tension are unremitting, but there’s also time for some heart-wrenching emotion.’ Daily Express

‘The writing is excellent and the atmosphere of place is first rate.’ Dee Brown

‘Eidson writes clean and lean, with a hint of sage incense, and can strike a lingering chord. Should make mellow celluloid entertainment.’ Kirkus Reviews

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Thomas Eidson is the author of four previous novels including the award-winning ‘St Agnes' Stand’, which has been optioned by Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. In 2004, Ron Howard made his novel ‘The Last Ride’ into a feature film, ‘The Missing’. Thomas Eidson lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Duncan Schwier on 11 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this a couple of years back. My sister bought it for me for Christmas - a most unlikely choice for her, and told me to read it. Finished it Boxing Day, and absolutely loved it. What better recommendation?

I'm no great authority on the genre. I enjoyed the gritty realism of Cormac McCarthy novels. This is much more in the great tradition of the Western. It has a great pace, and that simple morality that great western movies have.

I'm about to recommend it for my book group, and was amazed it wasn't already reviewed. I'll revisit this review in more depth when I've re-read it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
I just loved this novel. The harsh setting (wild West) is vividly described,the characters are totally credible and faith is the issue. I was absolutely hooked. It is, however, the style of writing which makes this book such a memorable one. Words are not wasted. A thought-provoking and satisfying book. Highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
You Britons have all the luck! St. Agnes Last Stand is virtually unavailable in the US. The copy I read around the first of October ('98) has since travelled through dozens of States and at least as many hands. It is that kind of book, the kind that doesn't collect dust on a shelf, a story passed from friend to friend. Set somewhere (probably New Mexico) in the high southwestern desert during the later part of the 19th century this is the story of the fateful intersection in the lives of the redoubtable heroine St. Agnes, a resourceful but rootless Cowboy drifter on the run, and a terrifying band of Mimbres Apache. The book will satisfy anyone looking for a gripping escapist adventure.It is a thoroughly entertaining story. It is also absolutely spot-on in authenticity with the time, setting and characters rendered with complete authority. The reader's knowledge of the time and place will grow with the reading. But the most interesting part of the book is the way the author, like a clever angler, uses this gripping tale to lure us into involvement with the characters as they are forced by harrowing circumstances to consider the spiritual intersection of their respective faith, free-will and fate. Mother says the shortest sermons are the hardest to write and greatest ones are always short. This story in it's brevity and focus is reminiscent of the best of Hemingway. It is as unforgetable as it is enjoyable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By keara-56@libero.it on 31 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book on a whim in a London airport and didn't put it down until it ended, eight hours later on the other side of the Atlantic. Eidson has to be one of the finest writers I have ever come across for his stark and simple prose and for allowing us to feel the soul of a storyteller. This is the prefect book for a trans-Atlantic that will send you searching thorough bookstores trying to find another one to match it. He hooks you on the first line and doesn't let go until the last page. I wouldn't call this a "western", although it is that in part, but more than a western, his book is a story of humanity and the human condition that wins you over on all fronts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By KiwiJu on 2 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
I agree with the other comments - a fantastic story that hooks you from the very first page and doesn't let go. I read the whole book in one sitting - I just couldn't put it down until I had finished it. BUY THIS BOOK!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the story of a woman's great faith in a hopeless siege situation, and the effect it had on those in her care, her attackers and a would be rescuer. It is well written and keeps you wanting to turn the page. It is however very violent, and the images stayed with me (but then I don't like violence). My other reservation is that the representation of American Indians is wholly negative. The story moved along fast, and the two main characters were likeable: overall a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Somehow, the style of this book reminded me of Hemingway - the author never (ab)uses too many words in his descriptons. The book is about a hero against the odds/his own will, bonding with a nun, and includes violent, bloody scenes with Apaches, of which Quntin Tarratino would have approved. Though I think it is essentially a Western (but from a refreshing angle, mixing in faith and religion with steadfast friendships, the cool handed loner, the siege and everything else), this did not bother me at all. Good story to read, well written, never over the top. I enjoyed it tremendously & did read it at one go.
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By Bluecashmere. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel seems to me the product of an accomplished writer, who knows the world of which he writes and possesses a fine ear for language. He has powerful descriptive powers and with considerable skill can pace a narrative to hold our attention. It is, I imagine, a further tribute to his craft that despite the fact that it is clear that the general outcome will be a happy one, we are lulled into uncertainty and relish the suspense. In short he tells a rattling good yarn. Nonetheless, I have to admit to some serious reservations. There is no more than token conflict within Swanson; we know that he will stay and place his life in jeopardy for the children and the nuns. What is more disturbing is the mixture of sentimentality and the most brutal violence. The graphic dwelling upon the detail of Apache torture seems to me questionable and most probably gratuitous. In Cormac McCarthy's major novels there is sickening violence but never is it coupled with the cloying false feeling that Eidson seems to me to indulge here. Despite the stomach-churning sections, I have to confess to falling under the book's spell. Whether that says more of writer or reader I'm not sure.
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