Sadly, we’ve fallen foul of the whims of the publishing industry: our two initial choices for the next Classic Bookclub have either been reprinting (Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook) or are only available in back-breaking sized editions (Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex). Rather than have you all hate me for giving you bad backs – and for breaking the bank (de Beauvoir is also a bit pricier than your usual paperback) – I’ve switched our bookclub book to something completely different.
Westerns have gone down well in the past; I still think about Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage whenever I’m feeling wistful. And given the stunning success of this author’s recently rediscovered Stoner, John Williams’ earlier novel Butcher’s Crossing. Here’s the blurb:
Will Andrews is no academic. He longs for wildness, freedom, hope and vigour. He leaves Harvard and sets out for the West to discover a new way of living.
In a small town called Butcher’s Crossing he meets a hunter with a story of a lost herd of buffalo in a remote Colorado valley, just waiting to be taken by a team of men brave and crazy enough to find them. Will makes up his mind to be one of those men, but the journey, the killing, harsh conditions and sheer hard luck will test his mind and body to their limits.
So, see you on Monday 17th of February from 7.30 for a chat about another potential forgotten gem from this until now overlooked author.
PS. If you’ve already bought a copy of de Beauvoir from Nomad, feel free to pop in and exchange it for the new choice!