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Sun Going Down: A Novel by Jack Todd

Sun Going Down: A Novel

by Jack Todd

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I was totally carried away by this multi-generational story about the Paint family. Perhaps because this was loosely based on his own family, the story comes across as very authentic.

I’ve seen this book compared to Lonesome Dove which is one of my all time favorite books, and although I wouldn’t go that far, this is an excellent saga of the American West. The book touches on many historic events that helped to shape America from the Civil War, Wounded Knee, the drought years and the Great Depression in a simple and real way that makes the story all the more believable.

Part of the magic of this book for me was the fact that this family wasn’t trying to cross America to get to the other side, but rather a family that was invested in Nebraska and Wyoming, putting roots down and helping to build the American heartland. Rich in details of pioneer life, we are shown how hard that life was and how tough the people who lived it had to be. I didn’t admire all the choices that were made, but they made sense in the context of the story.

Simply put, Sun Going Down by Jack Todd is a wonderful read. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 6, 2010 |
Sun Going Down is author, Jack Todd's fictional debut, a big, ambitious saga of the American West set in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
It covers four generations of the Paint family, who
moved from the eastern seaboard to settle in Nebraska and later, Montana. Ezra and Eli Paint , the main characters, were gold miners, ranchers, and cattle traders, even horse thieves, in order to fiurther their ambitions, and took advantage of changing conditions, that bankrupt many other settlers, to become hugely rich and successful.
The story mainly centres on Eli, his multiple marriages and the rearing of five daughters, who could outshoot and outride any man who stood in their way, pardon the cliche.
The story spans seventy years, through civil war, Indian wars, and the great depression. Add in the harsh winters, droughts and dustbowls and the myriad stories of the generations make for entertaining reading. Although Todd could be compared with Mcmurtry, this book stands on its own as a great western novel.
Interestingly enough, author Todd's book was inspired by his ancestors memoirs, which were discovered long after their passing.
For those readers who like a meaty read (460 pages) sprinkled with enough bad hombres, mean Indians, hopelessly misguided U.S. Cavalry soldiers committing barbarous acts, and steamy love scenes, this is the book.
There's even enough comedy and pathos to mebbe' bring a smile or a tear before you reach the end. Can I venture a guess that there might be a movie script here? ( )
  morfam | Jul 9, 2008 |
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Follows the fortunes of Ebenezer Paint and his descendants -- rough and tough individuals who are caught up in Civil War river battles, epic cattle drives through drought and blizzards, the horrors of Wounded Knee, the desperation of the dust bowl, and the prosperity of the roaring 1920s.… (more)

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