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rode by Thomas Fox Averill
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Based on the ballad Tennessee Stud, in which a man is forced to abandon his home by the Pa and brother (or brothers) of his sweetheart. After a long journey to Mexico and back he returns, claims his sweetheart as his own, (after "whupping" her family) and they and the horse are able to settle down to a peaceful and fruitful life. Averill's adaptation is colorful and vivid, and it felt like a recreation of Homer's Odyssey in a western setting. ( )
  debs4jc | Jul 18, 2017 |
In 1825 Robert Johnson is on the run, innocent of the crime for which he's being pursued, astride his magnificent horse "the color of the sun," The Stud. He runs afoul of bounty hunters and Indians and wanders as far as Mexico before facing his fate and returning home to Tennessee and the woman he loves. Solid fleshing out of the old country and western song, "The Tennessee Stud." For fans of traditional westerns. ( )
  beaujoe | Feb 3, 2014 |
After reading a review of this book in the Kansas City Star, I was fascinated. Making a novel from the old "Tennessee Stud" song seemed like a stretch but one worth pursuing. It was worth the effort.

I'm not a horse fan, and not an avid fan of Westerns, but I do enjoy well written historical fiction. The characters, situations, and settings were believable. There is a straight forward, no nonsense tone to the writing which reflects perfectly the time.

My only quibble with the plot is there seemed to be just a bit too much coincidence. The "West" is a great big place -- how can one just happen to run into the same people that often. Still, if you like Westerns, like horses, you'll like this Tennessee Stud and his rider. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 22, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0826350291, Hardcover)

When Thomas Fox Averill first heard Jimmy Driftwood's ballad 'Tennessee Stud,' he found the song hauntingly compelling. As he began to imagine the story behind the lyrics, he set out to research the song s history--a tale from 'along about eighteen and twenty-five' of the legendary exploits of the greatest horse that ever lived, the 'Tennessee Stud,' and his owner.
Traveling the same route the song chronicles, from Tennessee into Arkansas, through Texas and into Mexico, Averill visited racetracks, Spanish missions, historical museums, a living history farm, and national parks, inventing characters of his own along the way. His novel captures the spirit of the ballad while telling the story of Robert Johnson, a man who holds love in his heart though adventure rules his time. Pursued by a bounty hunter, Indians, and his conscience, Johnson and his horse are tested, strengthened, and made resolute.

'Both an odyssey and a great love story, rode is made compelling by its thoughtful hero and the surprising woman he longs for. Precise language and authentic detail render a vivid sense of another time, and Averill s Southern landscape, so beautifully drawn, is peopled with unforgettable men and women.' Laura Moriarty, author of The Center of Everything.

'No one drives a narrative better than Thomas Fox Averill, and this novel version of a grand American tale shows Tom Averill s skills at their best. rode performs not only through action but the perfect articulation of 19th Century Arkansas and Tennessee. Averill knows the lingo, blunt, uncompromising, and accurate, from saddle trees to foals, and even to a dauncy mare, a wonderful allusion to the author s Scottish heritage and ours. This is complicated evocation of character, yes, in Robert Johnson, Jo Benson, and others; but even more, Thomas Averill s narrative rides evocative language like a great stud horse.' Robert Stewart, author of Outside Language: Essays, editor, New Letters magazine

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After the author heard Jimmy Driftwood's ballad "Tennessee stud" he began to imagine the story behind the lyrics and set out to research the song's history: a story of the legendary exploits of the greatest horse that ever lived and his owner. Traveling the same route that the song chronicles, he invented characters along the way. The resulting novel captures the spirit of the ballad while telling the story of Robert Johnson, a man who holds love in his heart though adventure rules his time. Pursued by a bounty hunter, Indians, and his conscience, Johnson and his horse are tested, strengthened, and made resolute.… (more)

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