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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Talented Young Author, Congrats, 5 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Gabriel's Story (Paperback)
When I consider buying a book I look it over asking two questions. One, does the author have a story to tell? Two, does he or she have the skills to tell that story compellingly? As far as "Gabriel's Story" is concerned, the answer is yes on both counts. The story is strong both because it has a tight spine along which the narrative progresses and because the author picks up on an under-acknowledged feature of the American West, namely the role African-Americans played in its history. The novel educates, but it does so effortlessly, so that a reader is transported along on an adventure tale, probably not even noticing how much the novel adds new dimensions to writing about the West. The landscape descriptions are incredibly vivid and poetically drawn. It made me see part of America in ways I never had before.
As for the author's skills... He's got it. The narrative reads like some combination of Larry McMurty's "Lonesome Dove" and Toni Morrison's "Paradise", somehow spliced together with a cinematographer's eye for horizon-lines, with a soft heart for the family scenes and a keen eye for the violent passages. The novel follows a young man named Gabriel Lynch, who has moved with his mother and brother from the East Coast to the Kansas plains. He's a disgruntled youth not at all happy with the move, and before long he runs away with a group of cowboys heading to Texas. The journey, however, turns out to be much more harrowing and bloody than he imagined. In and of itself there's nothing that original in this basic plotline, but in this author's hands in magic, filled with unexpected moments. And it even has a satisfying ending. That's rare these days and seems especially hard for first novelists to pull off. Congrats to the author.
I originally wrote part of this review for the American website, but I've now read his second book, "Walk Through Darkness". I liked it just as much and I honestly believe that many others will to. Since it first came out "Gabriel's Story" has won a number of awards and made all sorts of "best of the year lists" - New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle's, for example. This author is here to stay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel's Story - gripping book, 16 April 2012
This review is from: Gabriel's Story (Paperback)
I am a fussy female reader, and I found that this novel to be original, gripping and well written. Hope he has written some other books!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cowboy book that's not just for boys, 9 May 2003
This review is from: Gabriel's Story (Paperback)
Gabriel's story is an infectious tale of one boy's journey towards a cowboy lifestyle which is at times both brutal and moving. The plot gallops along and the artistic descriptions of the land and the climate of western America builds up with the heat of the action. Gabriel, and his nemesis, Marshall, are characters who will enthrall and capture your imagination. It also helps that one of the good guys is Scottish!! This edition is only available in America at the moment, so buy it here and impress your friends with your diverse book collection.
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Gabriel's Story
Gabriel's Story by David Anthony Durham (Paperback - 1 Jun 2002)
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