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The plot of the story is interesting and a somewhat classic base for a western story. Our protagonist, Joe, had been an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the War he had a cattle ranch in Oklahoma; he also was known as a fast gun. He sold his ranch and was on his way to California when he spotted a herd of wild horses led by a beautiful black stallion. He captured the stallion but did not break the horses spirit. They became friends. He stopped in a town in Texas and fell in love with a woman. He became the town marshal. That is just the jest of the story. There are a lot more exciting details, but you will have to read the book.
I am enjoying the story along with the bits of western lore that have been tossed it. My problem with the story is the constant repetition. I think the book could be half its size if the repetition was removed. I find the constant hyperbolic writing style annoying. It seems at times words and fluff are added to just add words in the style of the old western pulp fictions where the author was paid by the word. I had a feeling this was a first or second manuscript draft rather than the finished product. I had read a prior Stroud book and enjoyed it as it was tightly written; so, I will try another of his books.
The book is almost 13 hours. Fred Humberstone does a good job narrating the book. Humberstone is a voice-over artist and audiobook narrator.
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