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A Distant Trumpet by Paul Horgan

A Distant Trumpet (1951)

by Paul Horgan

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156576,544 (4.06)20



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This sweeping tale of a post-Civil War American West will either get you addicted or bored. I seem to have landed in the middle spot, seesawing between interest one day and apathy the next day. There is no denying that this is a book of epic proportions, I just never thought the American Southwest was all that intriguing.

This is a trade paper edition, and due to the large size, you might wear down your thumb and pages as you read. All in all, a decent read, but not a book I would peruse again.

Book Season = Summer ( )
  Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
This is a long, interesting, but sometimes boring read. The lengthy description of each character makes clear the mid-20th c fiction author did not feel bound by the "show, don't tell" theory that's drilled into today's fiction writers. Having said that, I must also stress that the research and background that went into this novel is exceedingly impressive. The relationship Mr. Horgan establishes between our hero Matthew Hazard and the Indian scout White Horn (Joe Dummy) is outstanding, and its significance carries right through to the last page. The Arizona outpost, Fort Delivery, with its small contingent of troops stationed in an incredibly desolate location where they are forced to be aware of each other every single day, comes magnificently alive to the reader. I could have done with less of Major General Quait but he stayed true to his colorful character throughout. For anyone wishing to understand more of what it was like during the period following the Civil War when the United States accomplished the "taming" of the last of the Apache tribes, I highly recommend A Distant Trumpet. ( )
  suztales | Mar 6, 2012 |
I shuffled this book to the bottom of the pile twice before I caved in and read it. It is touted, currently, as a Western, and on the cover of the older editions, it is said to be a love story. Turns out what it is, is a book that I plan to add to my keeper shelf, that shelf of books that ought to get 6 stars minimum, once I get a copy that stays in one piece. The glue on the spine of the 1962 paperback from Crest/Fawcett seems determined to dry out and let go of the pages.

When Abraham Lincoln rolls through town, Matthew Hazard is one very, very determined boy: he’s going to meet Lincoln! He does, of course, and their meeting sets Matthew’s life on a path to the Arizona Territory, via West Point. Hazard’s determination is one of his greatest characteristics. It brings him everything he has in his life, including his wife Laura, whose mother was none too keen on her daughter marrying a man who would drag her to the end of civilization and beyond. Their life is full of the sort of adventure that makes up the best and bravest, and the worst and saddest, in our history.

The first surprise for me was that this really is a love story. And the second was that it isn’t. There are several stories of couples here, and most of them are love stories, but they’re more than that. Who the characters are in their relationships – romantic and otherwise – defines who they are when the chips are down, and the chips are down often out west at that time. Many, many books weave sub-stories in and out, some successfully, some predictably. A Distant Trumpet is far more successful than others. What a wonderful surprise this book turned out to be!

- AnnaLovesBooks ( )
  AnnaLovesBooks | Aug 8, 2008 |
3532. A Distant Trumpet, by Paul Horgan (read 28 Jan 2002) This is a 1960 novel, and is on the Judd Brothers' list of the "best books of the century". It is mostly laid in 1880s Arizona, involving Army men fighting the Apaches. I have read five other books by Horgan, 4 of them non-fiction and all of them much appreciated. This was not as good as those, but still worth reading: it is kind of nice to read fiction where the characters have a conscience. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 21, 2007 |
This novel depicts the lives of US Cavalry officers and men in the Arizona territory in the late 1880’s, during the final battles with the Apaches. The young protagonist is Matthew Hazard, who receives his first Army cap from President Lincoln when Matthew meets him in a campaign stop. He befirends an Indian scout, and at the end when the scout is sent to Florida with the other Apaches, he quits the Army, despite a Medal of Honor awarded for persuading the Apache chief to surrender. Major Prescott is his commander, and the novel depicts the life at the desolate post. Major General Alexander Upton Quait is the most remarkable character in the book, and his diary forms the last part of the book, depicting the final war on the Apaches. Very absorbing, read in a new anniversary edition about 30 years after its publication. ( )
  neurodrew | Apr 7, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0879238631, Paperback)

Originally published in 1960 selling half a million copies at the time and first reissued as a Nonpareil paperback in 1991, this immensely popular work of fiction has attracted, informed, and been embraced by a whole new generation of readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:06 -0400)

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