I have recently read a few westerns I really liked, although it’s not a genre I really know. I choose books based on whether the story itself looks entertaining or interesting, usually regardless of the setting. Being a fan of Mark Twain (who isn’t?), I couldn’t pass on this inexpensive ebook that promised to speculate on the futures of two of his most beloved characters.
Not all of the book was a true western. The young men go their separate ways during the Civil War, and do not meet again for many years. When they do, the story continues in Redemption, Colorado, and is definitely western in tone and setting. There are a lot of guns involved and bending of the law is a common pastime.
Along with Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, another character plays a large part in the story: Jed Blevins, who takes revenge to another level as The Laramie Kid. All of the characters have interesting lives, and they are well-described and entertaining.
Although the author made some attempt to mimic the speech patterns of Huck Finn, it was not irritating or difficult to follow. There were a few errors in the manuscript that would be caught by a proficient editor, but nothing major.
The author did insert a scene or two that seemed quite unnecessary to the plot. It seemed like he simply wanted to stick to his outline and had to find ways to do it. I am not a particularly critical reader, but this practice did take away from the rhythm of the story.
Overall, the book was good fun, but don’t expect Mark Twain.