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At the Moon's Inn (Library Alabama Classics)…
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At the Moon's Inn (Library Alabama Classics)

by Andrew Lytle

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Startling detail of the De Soto Expedition, Lytle puts us into to heads of the Spanish and by way of Ortiz, a released captive, the Indians. The story is mostly of contradictory righteousness, which slowly leads away from gold lust toward mere survival. The army's approach is appeasment, slavery, torture and slaughter. The violence is numbing and graphic. A key confrontation between De Sota as Governor an a mission of God's, and the head priest, who speaks for God about the strategy of the mission. The various authorities of the Indian clans are often set up as counters to De Soto's changing standards of honor.

While mostly from the point of view of a trusted but disgrace soldier, Tovar, Lytle shifts into raw narrative and a few Ortiz stories. The shifts are disjointed, and the jumps from Cutifichiqui to Mauvella to Guachoya are jarring. The novel has more value as history than entertainment. The novel is heavily based on U.S. De Sota Expedition Commission Report of 1939. Reading one of the novel or report should suffice unless the reader is pursuing an academic investigation of the styles and effects of historical fiction. ( )
  DromJohn | Feb 29, 2008 |
I would not call this book entertaining; however, it has its merits. Well researched but I think only someone with a doctorate degree in literature and history would fully appreciate this book. I compare it to Deliverance in the fact that a movie version would be more popular. You can tell a poet wrote Deliverance and like Dickey's novel; people that love the movie may not like the book. Bring out the humor of herding pigs along the path of conquest and you might have a screenplay. ( )
  rareflorida | Dec 22, 2007 |
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