Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sin Killer by Larry McMurtry

Lord Berrybender is one of the richest of English nobility. He is also totally out of touch with reality. He brings a large contingent of his family and even more servants on an 1830's voyage up the Missouri River and expects things to run just as they did back in the manor. Except, of course, for the opportunity to kill exotic American game.

Sin Killer is a wonderful send-up of the English Aristocracy set against the backdrop of the American wild west. The action is very close to slapstick as the aristocrats deal with the Indians and trappers and boatmen. Nobody seems to be much concerned with convention or morality on any side, except for the title character, Jim Snow. Yet even Snow, who is a part-time preacher, has three wives.

While this book is not a traditional western, it does follow in the path of McMurtry's wonderful Lonesome Dove. This is a rollicking and very profane romp through the American West.

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