I have watched the film several times and each time have identified something that I missed previously. Little did I know that reading the book would be even better. I must admit that having watched the excellent film helped me in my visualisation of the content of this book which I felt at first might have spoiled this read for me. From the start, I was thoroughly engrossed in the text and from my perspective it appeared to add a third dimension to the two dimensional film. The story allows the reader to look deeper into the changes that took place as the white man moved further to the west and left behind death and destruction. It reminded me of the fact that the first nation ever to use germ or chemical warfare was the USA: in regards to the former it was through trading smallpox impregnated furs with the natives with obvious consequences and the latter via introducing the natives to whisky and through their ready susceptibility to alcoholism, moved them onto wood alcohol which drove them blind, mad and ultimately to alcoholic poisoning.
Please do not be put off by my interpretation of the book. It is both delightful yet extremely sad and leaves the reader at the end with the dilemma of what was going to happen to the group which up until that time had enjoyed the freedoms of the vast plains with their only enemy being the other tribes and nature.
I would not suggest that you listen to the soundtrack by John Barry whilst you read it, but considering the film, the book and the soundtrack it is hard to find anything which compares, with the exception of high noon and perhaps the Godfather: strange comparisons, but for me, three of the very best combinations of text, visual and sound ever produced.