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Customer Review

on 8 July 2009


Crazy weather only happens in nthe valley of the Colorado River. Sometimes in late summer a great mass of streaming jungle air rolls up from Mexico, Crowding out the dry heat of the desert until it in turn is dispelled by a lightening-riven hurricane. A few hours of this festering heat ripen all the conflicts in a young white boy's mind.

His mother wants to send him away to school. His father wants him to shoulder more responsibility for running the ranch, now that he is fourteen and almost a man. Crazy weather makes both prospects doubly appalling. So he runs away with his Mojave friend to make war on the Piutes and win for himself a man's name.

During four tense days of maddening heat the boy travels the length of the Fort Mojave Reservation, encountering every phase of life among people who had once made themselves feared from the Rio Grande to the Pacific, who stood shoulder to shoulder and fought with clubs when the Apaches shot their arrows and ran away. He hears the Dream Singers chant the story of creation. Religion, birth, death, sorcery, heroism, all phases of the life of a people who are stark realists, still the possessors of a unique native culture in spite of white contact, are seen through the boy's eyes. He encounters one of the relics of the frontier - a white man gone Indian. Then death, and the weird ceremony of cremation. He saves his friend and is saved by his friend in the storm that brings an end to the crazy weather and leaves him an Indian boy no longer, but a white man.


Charles L. McNichols was raised on eleven Indian reservations, in Arizona, Indian Territory, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Minnesota, where his father was a special Agent for the U. S. Department of the Interior.

Mr. McNichols's first job was an actor with Universal Pictures in 1913. He says he was hired, not because he could act, but because he could ride any kind of horse. He worked for various studios, and also on the Los Angeles 'Tribune', while attending prep school and college. He served in Naval aviation during World War I and spent the six years following the war in Naval and Veterans' Bureau hospitals with intervals at Stanford University where he finally graduated.

In 1925 Mr. McNichols went to work in the story department of MGM, and later in the research department of Cecil B. De Mille Productions; from there he transferred to Pathe as a writer. In 1929, when a physical breakdown left him bedridden, he started writing magazine stories and articles. These proved so successful that he decided to try his hand at books. "Crazy Weather," a novel, is the first.
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