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Augustus Green in the Lair of the Pye-a-Saw

by Thomas G. Lammers, Jeff Suntala (Cover artist)

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322,001,085 (4.25)None
Member:Lammers
Title:Augustus Green in the Lair of the Pye-a-Saw
Authors:Thomas G. Lammers
Other authors:Jeff Suntala (Cover artist)
Info:Privately published, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Softcover, saddle-stapled, 64 pp.
Collections:Home, Your library
Rating:
Tags:Botany, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Cryptozoology, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri

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Augustus Green in the Lair of the Pye-a-Saw by Thomas G. Lammers

Recently added byyingko, Lammers, YoungTrek
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A self-published, first novel (actually, more of a "novella" in length) by Lammers, an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. The author, a fervent botanist who has been to many exotic locales over the years, collecting samples, brings this wealth of knowledge and experience in his chosen field to good use in this tale of "Augustus Green", another botanist living at the very end of the 18th century in the still young United States. He and his guide, a French-Canadian named Jacques Blondin, venture into the then Spanish held territory which is now southeastern Iowa--then known as "northern Louisiana"--against the wishes of the Spanish Lieutenant-Governor over that area, Zenon Trudeau. Green makes many interesting botanical discoveries in the region, but soon finds himself more enthralled by the tale of the "Pye-a-Saw", a giant predatory bird which once menaced the Native Americans living there. Furthermore, rumors have spread that the Pye-a-Saw has actually returned. Green and Blondin become resolute to discover if this is indeed the case, and, if so, to bring down this monster before it can kill again. This entire tale is told via Green's journal of the expedition, discovered in the attic of a college administration building about to be demolished in 1948 (the novella's framing sequence). This first work of fiction by Dr. Lammers is an enjoyable read. Occasionally the botanical verbiage (the various scientific names of the various plants Green encounters) can become a bit distracting to someone not used to them (although they do add to the feeling of authenticity, that one is reading an actual journal kept recording such an expedition), and I couldn't help but wish that we could have seen an additional scene or two of Green and Blondin avoiding discovery by the Spanish authorities, however those are minor quibbles. I very much look forward to whatever future tales Dr. Lammers comes up with. (Finished reading 8/9/09) ( )
  YoungTrek | Aug 16, 2009 |
There are self published books galore on Lulu.com, CreateSpace and elsewhere. Then, there are self-published chap books such as Thomas Lammers debut foray into the realm of Tale-Telling. This is a stellar example of the DYI ethic in action. Self-printed, bound and stapled and available via mail order only.

Tom Lammers is a botanist and that informs this particular tale of derring-do. In Augustus Green, Lammers tells the story of Augustus Green, out collecting samples in the Louisiana Territory shortly before it is purchased by the United States. He finds samples and an adventure that borders on the fantastic.

The story is set up with a nifty, if oft-used, framing sequence. A present day Academic finds the heretofore unknown journal of Green, and gets caught up in reading it. We do as well as the journal entries become the narrative vehicle for the framed part of the story. What makes this work so well is Lammers journal entries. They show the voice of somebody who was there, who was what he claimed to be. Small sidesteps into botany flavor the journal with more than a little degree of authenticity.

Lammers Academic credentials inform the story, but don't get in the way. This is no dusty, dry, boring tale written by a PhD with some time on his hands. This was well thought, well plotted and well executed. Dialogue was crisp, and believable. Overall, this is a well written novelette. And according to Lammers, "everything is true, except what I made up." ( )
1 vote yingko | Aug 6, 2009 |
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"I found I just had to keep reading to find out what happened next in the story! This is the mark of a well-written book."
 
"An Amazing Fictional Adventure on the American Frontier!"
 
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Epigraph
What went ye out into the wilderness to see? --Matthew 11:7.
Dedication
Dedicated to two of the finest writers I know: Keith Schulz of Burlington, Iowa, who taught me to Keep it on the River; and Van Reid of Edgecomb, Maine, who showed me how to get there on the Moosepath.
First words
The volume looked old. Very old.
Quotations
"Trucs de fou, Blondin? Did that look like trucs de fou to you? ... That trucs de fou nearly had me for its dinner!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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http://www.mbgpress.info/index.php?ta...

A frame story. A 1948 college professor discovers the title character's journal of a botanical expedition to the upper Mississippi Valley in 1799. The framed portion of the story is epistolary, told as a series of journal entries. Though the two main protagonists of this portion are fictional (as is the framing sequence), all other characters are historical personages. A bibliography of non-fiction works germane to these factual aspects is included at the end.
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