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The Long Night of Winchell Dear by Robert…
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The Long Night of Winchell Dear (2006)

by Robert James Waller

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I read this book several years ago, and every now and then, I think about it. For me, the story is memorable, including its cast of unlikely characters - two-legged and no-legged. This author's work reminds me of Louis L'Amour, and he is a favorite of mine. Good and evil fight it out through characters who are not perfect, but who are smart and who want to do the right thing. Good triumphs over evil, as it should, and leaves the reader feeling hopeful. ( )
  brickhorse | May 15, 2013 |
Winchell Dear knows that something is about to happen, he just doesn't know what.

Winchell is a professional poker player who lives on his ranch and remembers. He remembers his life, old friends and his lost love but things are happening that are beyond his control.

I liked this story. Waller's writing is very descriptive and paints a picture. His characters are interesting and alive.

My only complaint is that it was hard to pin down the time frame of the story. Sometimes it seemed very wild west like but then the modern aspect is there. ( )
  cal8769 | Jul 19, 2009 |
This read like an old Clint Eastwood movie. I think if you enjoy Westerns, poker, and rattlesnakes, you will really like this book. However, if you are not an afficionado of any of those things, you might want to pass. I fall into the latter category. The book was OK. ( )
  nevusmom | Jul 14, 2008 |
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Epigraph
I am sorry I have not learned to play at cards. It is very useful in life: It generates kindness and consolidates society. Dr. Samuel Johnson
Dedication
To my wife Linda, who lived in and loved the high desert for twenty years.
First words
So, my nephew, listen to me and know my words: In the high desert, Time is an old, sly rider, a bandit of legend who will steal your days and take your woman and be smiling down at you as He boards the evening train.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307353087, Paperback)

The steady tick of an aged Regulator wall clock and the squeak of an overhead fan turning slowly are soft but insistent, counting down the night, while the high desert thrums like a half-remembered Victrola song. The sounds are below the consciousness of Winchell Dear, an old-time gambler, a Texas poker player on the southern circuit, as he waits for something . . . something vague that his life of chance tells him is evil and moving his way. He has gassed and oiled the Cadillac and adjusts the pistol in his right boot, then plays one of the six fiddle tunes he knows, thinking back to his good days with Lucinda Miller. Alone, he waits in his remote ranch house, while, just outside, an acquaintance named Luther hunts, unblinking and of nervous temperament and moving through yellow primrose bending in the night wind.

In Diablo Canyon, a distant part of Winchell Dear’s ranch, Peter Long Grass squats by a campfire, contemplating the profile he saw moving along the ridge of Guapa Mountain an hour ago, thinking about the gambler’s housekeeper, Sonia Dominguez, about the small, quiet world he has fashioned far from civilization and what undefined presence might now be threatening it. He gathers his tools and begins to run across the desert floor.

And boring toward all of them is a cream-colored Lincoln Continental with two men aboard. Traveling from Los Angeles on a mission they’ve been given, they are professionals, cool and implacable at the start, but becoming steadily more confused by the strange landscape they are passing through. Forty minutes from their task, they ready themselves, while a kitchen wall clock ticks its way through the long night of Winchell Dear.

The Long Night of Winchell Dear finds master storyteller Robert James Waller at his best as he takes us through the wind and dust of the high desert mountains, into the shadowy world of high-stakes poker fought in the back rooms of Amarillo and Little Rock, and headlong toward the book’s stunning finale of chaotic terror, where an unexpected hero emerges.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

GENERAL & LITERARY FICTION. In Diablo Canyon, a distant part of Winchell Dear' s ranch, Peter Long Grass squats by a campfire, contemplating the profile he saw moving along the ridge of Guapa Mountain an hour ago, thinking about the gambler' s housekeeper, Sonia Dominguez, about the small, quiet world he has fashioned far from civilization and what undefined presence might now be threatening it. Traveling from Los Angeles on a mission they' ve been given, they are professionals, cool and implacable at the start, but becoming steadily more confused by the strange landscape they are passing through. The Long Night of Winchell Dear finds master storyteller Robert James Waller at his best as he takes us through the wind and dust of the high desert mountains, into the shadowy world of high-stakes poker fought in the back rooms of Amarillo and Little Rock, and headlong toward the book' s stunning finale of chaotic terror, where an unexpected hero emerges.… (more)

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