Saturday, January 3, 2009

Book Review: Etta by Gerald Kolpan

I received this book from Library Thing's Early Reviewers program. It is due to be released in March. I was dubious - to say the least - not being a fan of historical fiction or the Wild West. But I feel an obligation to read these early releases quickly and get a review out. And so I began.

Boy, was I surprised! Apparently Gerald Kolpan became fascinated with Etta Place some years ago when he realized that the notorious companion of The Sundance Kid was a vast mystery. Almost nothing is known about her. So Kolpan has proceeded, in this book, to craft a fictional account of what her life might have been like - where she came from, how she happened to mix up with Butch Cassidy's gang, and her romance and life with the Sundance Kid. The result is a book you can't put down. This story is imagined so well that it could actually be her life - in fact, I wish it was a true story. This book is about as close to perfection as it gets for me. A little bit of suspense and intrigue, a good solid love story (without too much sappy-ness), and a deep character study.

In the past, books where the author tries to intersperse news articles or journal entries has seemed jarring to me. In this book, Mr. Kolpan does a great job of weaving them into the story. In fact, I have no criticisms of this book at all. Read it. You'll love it, even if you think the Wild West holds no interest for you. This is a story about a woman's life, and an fascinating one at that. But plan wisely, you'll be reading late into the night!


Literary Feline said...

Wild West fiction is not something I usually gravitate towards either, but your review has me curious. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

jay are said...

wow, I can't wait to read it. And I've been DYING for a good book. I can't remember the last time I read one. My library here is not on par with my old one, and so I'm constantly longing for a really good book. I always depended on the New Books section at the old library, and now I'm going to have to actually know some authors and titles and request them. Or--gasp--BUY books, which I don't like to do unless they're absolute keepers. sooo....thanks for another great recommendation!

Lisa said...

* Got a personal note from Gerald Kolpan on my Library Thing profile. So nice when authors write you themselves!! He's definitely down in my book as an author I'd read again!!

SFP said...

Thanks for this. It sounds exactly like something I'll enjoy.