Monday, July 30, 2012
Starting an anticipated six volumes of saga (Reader Review)
Few people expect an experienced cattle rancher also to be a wonderful conveyor of ideas in writing about the land, yet that is exactly what Reid Lance Rosenthal is. Fourth generation cattleman, first generation author, Rosenthal is as large in spirit as his books are in depth. The much-acclaimed Threads West: An American Saga addresses the very roots of Americana, blending romance and high excitement with a spiritual awareness of the strong and ethical spirit that permeates the land.
Starting an anticipated six volumes of saga in the year 1855, which Rosenthal regards as being a key time for the opening up of the American West, in Threads West: An American Saga he grounds his leading characters in the origins from which they have come, whether from a European country or home stock born and bred. Equal credence and viability is given to both man and woman, to those who are lowly born and those who come from the moneyed classes. The genuineness of his characters and the authenticity of their setting sweeps one away into another, more primary world than that which we frequent nowadays. According to Rosenthal, his key focus is on the “separate lives of these driven men and independent women [who] are drawn to a common destiny that beckons seductively in the wild remote flanks of the American West.”
Romance and the land are two pivotal impetuses of his work, both of which so clearly appeal to the American public that Threads West: An American Saga has already garnered several national awards (including those for Best Western, Best Romance, and Best Historical Fiction), and more acclaim is sure to follow. Rosenthal asserts that key influences on his work include Crane and Hemingway, who have always thrilled him in their detailed description of scenes and circumstances, and McMurtry and L’Amour, whose gritty portrayal of the thoughts, ethics, and personalities of the West have set a high benchmark to which to aspire. Rosenthal’s fine detail and lack of pretentiousness attest to the above, with many drawing attention to the similarity of his writing to that of the latter two authors especially.
Having committed himself to his writing of the series, Threads West, of which this work is the namesake, Rosenthal clearly sees that he has a daunting challenge ahead of him, yet he finds that his work transports him to another realm in time and place. The reader of historical fiction, too, is likely to find themselves drawn in to a world imbued with energy and dynamism – the opening of the American West.
~Lois Henderson of Bookpleasures.com