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Bad Land: An American Romance (1996)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679759069, Paperback)Jonathan Raban ambles and picks his way across the Montana prairie, called "The Great American Desert" until Congress offered 320-acre tracts of barren land to immigrants with stardust in their eyes. Raban's prose makes love to the waves of land, red dirt roads, and skeletons of homesteads that couldn't survive the Dirty Thirties. As poignant as any romance novel, there's heartbreak in the failed dreams of the homesteaders, a pang of destiny in the arbitrary way railroad towns were thrown into existence, and inspiration in the heroism of people who've fashioned lives for themselves by cobbling together homes from the ruined houses of those who couldn't make it. Through it all, Raban's voice examines and honors the vast open expanses of land and pays homage to the histories of families who eked out an existence.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:49 -0400)
Raban describes the austere, harsh world of early settlers on the dry Plains land of Montana and the Dakotas, and of the living settlers either barely scraped out, boomed with in good times, or withered away as quietly as they did.
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