The year is 1916. The enemy, Pancho Villa, is elusive. Terrain is unforgiving. Through the mountains and across the long dry stretches of Mexico, Napoleon Childs, an aging cavalryman, leads an expedition of inexperienced horse soldiers on seemingly fruitless searches. Though he is seasoned at such missions, things go terribly wrong, and his patrol is suddenly at the mercy of an enemy intent on their destruction. After witnessing the demise of his troops, Napoleon is left by his captors to die in the desert.
Through him we enter the conflicted mind of a warrior as he tries to survive against all odds, as he seeks to make sense of a lifetime of senseless wars and to reckon with the reasons a man would choose a life on the battlefield. Olmstead, an award-winning writer, has created a tightly wound novel that is as moving as it is terrifying.
Robert Olmstead follows up his bleak Civil War novel (COAL BLACK HORSE) with another grimly nihilist and brutal account of men losing their moral compass in the chaos of violence. It is the year 1916, and Napoleon Childs assembles a ragtag band of marauders and mercenaries to track down the infamous Mexican bandit Pancho Villa. His doomed quest is bloody and merciless, but Olmstead's prose renders it into a kind of desolate beauty reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's BLOOD MERIDIAN or Peter Matthiesen's SHADOW COUNTRY.
- Fiction + Literature Themes
- Literary Genres + Types of Novels, War + Military, Types of Characters
- May 25, 2010
- May 25, 2010
- Robert Olmstead