GRISHAM’S THE RACKETEER TURNS THE TABLES

I had overlooked John Grisham’s The Racketeer until I spotted it at the library fiction shelf. “Missed that one,” I said to myself.  Glad I found it.

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Released in 2013, The Racketeer easily stands the test of Grisham excellence. He spins a complex story in his classic page turning fashion. A young lawyer, wrongfully imprisoned by the Feds, carefully plots and executes his revenge upon the system.  The tale travels through Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Jamaica  and Antigua. Of course there is a beautiful woman at the center of the twisting plot along with an intriguing cast of characters.

Grisham’s  latest book is Gray Mountain, released last October, it followed Sycamore Row.  I have placed it on my summer reading list.  Due from Grisham on October 20 of this year is his latest book, Rogue Lawyer. Search gordonsgoodreads for other Grisham offerings.

 

 

NATHANIEL PHILBRICK- FROM THE MAYFLOWER TO THE LITTLE BIGHORN

Author Nathaniel Philbrick makes it easy and joyful to love history. I first became a fan when I read  Philbrick’s Mayflower.

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In 358  concise pages Philbrick manages to capture the essence of the complete story of the Pilgrims voyage, The Plymouth Colony,  Native Americans, King Philip’s War and of course Massasoit,  Miles Standish and William Bradford.  Philbrick’s  historical narrative  flows with an ease , in great part, because the reader never loses track of the principal players  and their recurring roles as history unfolds.  This single volume  painlessly educates  the reader about Puritan history, the odd collection of mankind called Pilgrims, the Mayflower’s voyage,  King Philips War and the beginning of the two century’s  of deceitful treatment of Native Americans .  The efficiency with which Philbrick tells this story is remarkable.

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For all of the aforementioned good reasons I eagerly purchased Philbrick’s THE LAST STAND, Custer, Sitting Bull and The Battle of The Little Bighorn.  Once again the author distills this often told story into 312 pages of narrative that places all of the elements of a  complex story, distorted by time and ideology,  into laser-like focus.  Interwoven in  both books is the vivid picture of  how not much had changed between the white settlers engagement with the Indians of  New England in 1620 and the duplicitous treatment of  America’s Great Plains Indians in the later part of the 19th century.  In both cases the author explodes many myths carried forward over the two centuries.   THE LAST STAND, much to absorb about American culture, Manifest Destiny, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Custer, Reno and what can occur when a presidential administration becomes distracted!

Because the subject matter of the Mayflower and Custer’s Last Stand is so much in the public domain you may think you already have a firm grasp on the narrative.  Think again! Take a second look  at these two landmarks in  American history through the eyes, mind and research of historian  and story-teller Nathaniel Philbrick.

Also by Nathaniel Philbrick In The Heart of The Sea, Sea of Glory; The Epic South Seas Expedition 1838-1842 .  I am currently reading  Philbrick’s latest work , Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution.