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News of the World (2016)

by Paulette Jiles

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0011906,056 (4.19)291
"In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember--strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become--in the eyes of the law--a kidnapper himself"--… (more)
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» See also 291 mentions

English (190)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (191)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
We begin this story in 1870, Wichita Falls, Texas, with Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd looking over the newspaper stories he will share at his reading in town. As the DVD is out, and no I have not seen it yet, I do know the main character is played by Tom Hanks. His is the voice I hear when I read this narrative.
He is approached by Britt Johnson, a freed black man, to deliver a a ten year old white girl to her surviving family. The U.S. Army recently rescued the girl but they no longer retain responsibility to return those captured to their families. She was taken captive by Kiowa Indians, her parents and siblings slaughtered, and she had lived with them these past six years. She loved her Indian mother and her life with the Kiowa and has forgotten about her past. Forgotten her native German language, does not know English and is as feral and fierce as her adoptive indigenous family.

Cicada, birth name Johanna has escaped twice and is hellbent to return to the Kiowa. While Captain Kidd does not know about Indians, he does know about girls as he raised two daughters. He accepts the undertaking and it's quite a journey between these two. An old Confederate war veteran aged 72 and a 10 year old girl full of mistrust.

It's quite a journey through northern Texas and Indian country and I hung on to every word. As a matter of fact, the ending of this book brought tears to my eyes and it's been a long time since a book elicted such emotion at the conclusion.

I am very much looking forward to the movie now. It will be interesting to compare the book to the movie. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Jun 9, 2021 |
I found this book an enjoyable read for the most part. Enjoyable as much in the character development, believable situations, and realistic settings. I find well written fiction based on believability interesting, often more so than nonfiction in bringing a story alive, and that's what this book delivers.

One thing that took some concentration to get into was an aspect of the writer's style. The author clearly doesn't employ quotation marks in dialogue.

I won't get into the storyline, because others have delved into it at length. I will say though, that unless you prefer excessive fantasizing, you might enjoy reading this book. It embodies a good range of characters and emotive content.

My favorite line :-)
“No. Absolutely not. No. No scalping. He lifted her up and swung her up over the ledges of stone and then followed. He said, It is considered very impolite.”
( )
  LGCullens | Jun 1, 2021 |
An aging man travels the raw southwestern US after the Civil War. He performs public readings from newspapers for a ten-cent entrance fee, sharing stories from around the world with audiences who may not read at all, or only "haltingly." He is paid a fee to return a ten year old girl, kidnapped four years before by the Kiowa who murdered her family, to her German immigrant relatives - which she very much does not want to do. There is some splendid writing evoking the desert and plains of Texas; the voice is slow, courtly and precise, like that of Captain Jeff Kidd. It was an enjoyable read. But there is little original in the plot. An elderly man saddled with a difficult child. She resists, she yields, she learns some charmingly bungled English. They fight off bad guys, they evade Indian raiders. Her German relatives are cold and heartless; he takes her back. There is a tall handsome cowboy who visits years later when Johanna is grown up, and, well, you can pretty much predict the rest. A pleasant couple evenings' read, an enjoyable book club choice. Jiles is a gifted craftsman with words and imagery. But The Searchers and Lonesome Dove do this sort of thing better. ( )
  JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
Wonderful story with historical details of life in Texas just after the Civil War, white captives of the Indians, and a man making a living an an itinerant reader of newspapers. Both the main character and the ex-captive little girl he agrees to return to her family are sympathetic characters and have interesting adventures together on their journey until a real respect and love grow between them. It's a harsh world, but there is a real sense of belonging in the end. ( )
  NMBookClub | Apr 20, 2021 |
Captain Kidd travels reading the news, but when he accepts a commission to return a 10 year old girl to her family after living with the Kiowa for four years, his true courage and care shine through ( )
  VeraKurz | Apr 12, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paulette Jilesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For friends on the long trails:
Susan, June, April, Nancy, Caroline, Wanda,
Evelyn, and Rita Wightman Whippet
First words
Captain Kidd laid out the Boston Morning Journal on the lectern and began to read from the article on the Fifteenth Amendment.
Quotations
Britt's own wife and two children had been taken captive six years ago, in 1864, and he had gone out and got them back. Nobody knew quite how he had done it. He seemed to have some celestial protection about him when he rode out alone on the Red Rolling Plains, a place which seemed to invite both death and dangers. Britt had taken on the task of rescuing others, a dark man, cunning and strong and fast like a nightjar in the midnight air.
Long bright crawls of water slid across the livery stable floor and took up the light of the lantern like a luminous stain and the roof shook with the percussion of drops as big as nickels.
A light drizzle drifted through the landscape of cranky post oak trees whose limbs did not have six inches of straight any of in them.
Then she seemed to struggle with a tangled thing inside her head, something knotted that would not unknot.
Above and behind them the Dipper turned on its great handle as if to pour night itself out onto the dreaming continent and each of its seven stars gleamed from between the fitful passing clouds.
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"In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember--strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become--in the eyes of the law--a kidnapper himself"--

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