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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2017
Good story but sometimes far-fetched. Not as good as St Agnes Stand
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on 12 March 2008
I wanted to read this book after watching the movie "The Missing" which is based on this book. The movie I thought was excellent but, as is often the case, the book is even better as it enables you to delve deeper into the characters. There was even a surprising amount of humor mixed into the story that was not in the movie. The story of Samuel Jones and his daughter Maggie is told in stark yet humanistic terms, tough related each comes from a completely different world. The story is a quest to free Maggie's own daughter who has been taken captive by Apaches. I loved the mystery and native American mysticism woven into the story. This a beautiful though sometimes brutal read that I highly recommend. For another excellent read set in the modern American west, I have to give a shout out for "Across the High Lonesome!"
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on 21 January 1999
Eidson creates a world which is simple but at the same time complex, in his attempt to capture the spiritual world of the native American in contrast to, and at times in conflict with, the Christianity of the white settler. It is an unforgettable tale of redemption and ultimate reconciliation set amidst an exciting adventure story. The characters are superbly created and the narrative grips like a vice.
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on 7 February 2005
Eidson's the last ride forms a sort of trilogy with his previous books All God's Children and St Agnes' Stand. The Last Ride, made over into The Missing, is a solid example of how the book is better than the film. Though a decent film, the Last Ride is a much better character study (books have that advantage). However, the richness of the character interaction makes this a delightful read. The conversations are well thought out, the plot keeps a good pace, and you do immerse yourself in the dust of the desert. Characters and conversations stay with you after you're done, I even went back to re-read parts between Maggie and her father.
Summed up:
If you have seen the film, and want to read how it should have been, read this. If you like Western-type novels with good, original characters, try it. A good, solid, representation of its genre, you're likely to enjoy The Last Ride.
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on 7 April 2008
I heard this reviewed on Radio 4 where it was raved about and ordered it straight away. This really is an amazing book. My copy is only two weeks old but already three people have read all 300 pages of it!
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on 6 April 2008
This book was an amazing read. It was recommended to our bookclub but was not our usual style or subject. From the off I was there. I was filled with fear and trepidation. When it was brutal, I wanted to hide under the sheets but my stomach churned and I had to read on to see if they got through each ordeal. They may have been wounded physically, but they grew as people. Their particular brand of loyalty ran deep through their long family history which unravels as the story continues with an utterly skillful mastery of suspense and terror in keeping themselves and eachother alive until the final unveiling. The good characters had a thread of astounding strength and bravery that ran through them all - Indian, white, mexican, adults and children alike. Despite the horrors, they kept their compassion towards their fellow man and animals and relied heavily on their faith, which was tested at every turn. They would give their life for eachother. The bad were truly brutal, and you were tempted to say how appalled you were with the cruelty of the Indians but you had to remember that some of their cruelty was linked to their customs but also that the whites and mexicans were just as cruel without regard for race, creed or gender. Religion and spirituality were explored in equal measure and in such a huge expanse of territory with a strong spiritual heritage, it was easy to comprehend how the indigenous population relied on their traditions of faith in the spirits, but you marvelled at how the christians held onto to their faith in God and you understood better why they tried. Highly recommended.
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It may get a bit Mystic Meg in parts but this novel is saved by its picture of the Old West which we can splice onto the landscape that has become so well known. The novel has two main drivers; the capture and pursuit of a young girl by Apache slavers, and the relationship between a father and his deserted daughter (the mother of the captured girl). The sense of murderous threat and of the size and spread of the terrain is well rendered; the tale of the father and daughter perhaps less well so.

This novel was the basis of the film "The Missing"
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on 10 September 2012
This is a brilliant book about a homestead in New Mexico which is attacked by 9 apaches who escape from a reservation.
What takes it into the realm of art is the conflict between the religious values of the white settler and those of the Indians.
The excitement begins early with a wolf being shot by an old sick Indian, a beautiful scene which was not attempted, as it should have been, in the film starring Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones.
There is at the start, a seemingly impossible problem: what has the Indian done to justify the aggressive and appalling rejection of his daughter? The eventual solution is very surprising and fully believable.
I do not think there is a better book about the American West or about the Indian/Settler conflict.
There is a belief that Eidson made up his tales from the happenings of ancestors and their friends and foes. This is entirely credible. There is a depth of knowledge of this settler/indianworld which is breathtaking.
A book with terrific narrative drive which informs you about a very different world and a different time.
I am buying and sending a copy to a friend.
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on 24 March 2008
I really enjoyed this book. It was a walk back in time to a simple and brutally honest period in history.

More than that is was so refreshing to read about pure and simple values so strongly held and fought for; a real antidote to todays moral vacuum.

A story about love and loyalty set amongst the often savage American frontier, where both the white settlers and Native Indians fought desperately to cling onto the lives they held so dear. The book is brilliantly even-handed portraying the picture from both perspectives.
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on 11 October 2012
I must say this writer is one of the best of this genre. Give yourself a treat , buy it! The film of the book 'The Missing' was good , this is much better , deeper.
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