Wolf Song - Harvey Fergusson, 1927
Critics and discerning readers of Westerns have called the finest novel of the American West. The protagonist is Sam Lash, a mountain man, and is based roughly on the life and times of Kit Carson.
The novel opens with a bang. Chapter One moves quickly, in economical and flowing prose. The descriptions of nature and fights are a cut above. The ethnocentric and male chauvinist baggage that we’d expect in a novel written in the 1920s keep this book from being as satisfying a read as A.B. Guthrie's The Big Sky, another novel on the mountain men.
Sometimes the vernacular speech is forced and cheesy. Dadgummit, shoot me for a tail-draggin' galoot if it ain’t true this novel has survived a purty spell and folks are still reading it in 2008.
Survival counts. I think readers who like semi-literary westerns or are interested in the history of Taos and New Mexico will enjoy this novel