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The Valley of Silent Men by James Oliver…
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The Valley of Silent Men (1920)

by James Oliver Curwood

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Oh.my.God! This is silly, and also appalling. What ever was I thinking? I blame it all on my spouse's grandfather, who introduced me to James Oliver Curwood some 49 years ago, when we had just begun courting.

So, Jim Kent, a Mountie, lies in bed. He thinks he's dying, so confesses to having murdered someone or other so as to get the guy the Mounties had fingered, Sandy McGregor, set free. An amazingly beautiful young woman visits Kent, briefly, and he is immediately smitten by her long raven tresses and her violet-flamed eyes. Also her tiny feet.

Well, it turns out Kent was lying and he didn't kill someone or other. But his testimony convicts him. But...the ravishing young woman, Marette Radisson, comes to the jail and frees him. They flee up the river into the north. They are separated when their boat crashes on the rapids, and each presumes the other is done for. But each persists on to the "Valley of the Silent Men" so as to commune with the soul of the "lost" one. And so forth.

The sexism in this is appalling. Yeah, I know it was written in 1920, but even for that time it seems appalling to me. The silly, self-indulgent romantic fantasies of the main character are appalling. But, back in the dark ages, I was attracted to the works of James Oliver Curwood, chuckling at the rampant sexism and self-indulgent romantic fantasies. I'm appalled at what I once was.
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  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
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This adventure-packed romp is chock-full of the classic elements that made James Oliver Curwood one of the world's most popular writers in the early twentieth century. The protagonist, Sergeant Kent, is a Canadian Mountie known for his world-class trapping skills. Torn between loyalty to a friend and love for famous beauty Marette, Kent is forced into action. Come along for the ride and imagine frontier life on the range in The Valley of Silent Men.… (more)

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