Savage Country by Robert Olmstead
A Novel

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Savage Country by Robert Olmstead is a literary achievement that describes the West and those who struggled to survive in its harsh environment. It is not for fans seeking a romantic view of the West, nor for those wanting a tradition shoot-um-up. Savage Country is for the serious reader.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

“Robert Olmstead gets better with every book. If you know all of his previous books, you know how startling this fact is, and how startlingly good this writer is.” --Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

In September 1873, Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband’s folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterious brother-in-law, Michael. With no money, no family, no job or security, she hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and their families who depend on her. The buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, she now realizes, was his last hope for saving their land.

Elizabeth and Michael plunge south across the aptly named Deadline demarcating Indian Territory from their home state, Kansas. Nothing could have prepared them for the dangers: rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods, threats to life in so many ways. They’re on borrowed time: the Comanche are in winter quarters, and the cruel work of slaughtering the buffalo is unraveling their souls. They must get back alive.

This is a gripping narrative of that infamous hunt, which drove the buffalo population to near extinction--the story of a moment in our history in which mass destruction of an animal population was seen as the only route to economic solvency. But it’s also the intimate story of how that hunt changed Michael and Elizabeth forever.
 

About Robert Olmstead

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Robert Olmstead is the author of seven previous books. Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana Award, and was a #1 Book Sense pick and a Border’s Discover pick. Far Bright Star was the winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant, and is a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.
 
Published October 10, 2017 by Algonquin Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Action & Adventure, Westerns, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Savage Country
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jul 04 2017

What follows is a story about America told through its land and its animals and its diverse people and, especially, through the experiences of two vivid, singular, powerful characters. Another gorgeous, brutal masterpiece from a great American writer.

Read Full Review of Savage Country: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by D. R. Meredith on Sep 25 2017

Savage Country by Robert Olmstead is a literary achievement that describes the West and those who struggled to survive in its harsh environment. It is not for fans seeking a romantic view of the West, nor for those wanting a tradition shoot-um-up. Savage Country is for the serious reader.

Read Full Review of Savage Country: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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