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Heart of the Country (1986)

by Greg Matthews

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1042230,419 (4.54)1 / 11
Follows the lives of cowboys, buffalo hunters, Indians, pioneers, and enterprising women across the frontier of the Great Plains, in an epic tale of trials, travails, and heroes in the American West. Reprint.
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 Name that Book: Western - late 80's/early 90's...4 unread / 4magnumpigg, November 2011

» See also 11 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
Read and liked this one a lot; then discovered Stephen King referenced this book when he was talking about good books. My taste was validated by Big Steve himself, how exciting for me! ( )
  KaterinaBead | Mar 6, 2014 |
This novel should be a recognized classic, I should be able to give it 6 stars. ( )
1 vote CharlesBoyd | Sep 11, 2010 |
Showing 2 of 2
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In Kansas there is a town called Valley Forge.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Follows the lives of cowboys, buffalo hunters, Indians, pioneers, and enterprising women across the frontier of the Great Plains, in an epic tale of trials, travails, and heroes in the American West. Reprint.

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A half-white child is born to a dying Indian woman alone on the Kansas prairie in 1855. Adopted by a Saint Louis doctor, he grows up intelligent, willful, and perhaps cursed. He runs away at 16 and careens through several jobs and much money until trapped as a nursemaid to another precocious brat in a small Kansas town. Hunchbacked, distant, and of alien stock, Joe Cobden lives an unheroic life, but the small insanities he takes part in or meets in that small town are the meat of this tremendous novel. Matthews has taken a dust-blown soap opera and turned it into a character study of warped minds and withered souls, of human nature distilled to essences by isolation. The various people can be as grotesque in their actions as Cobden is in his physique, but nothing seems contrived here.
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