We have a really nice librarian at our local library. When she recommended the book I took it at once, no questions asked.
The fact that I actually read the whole book (minus a page here and there) is proof of how well written it is. I did not like the topic of the Wild West and the ethos of the frontiersman. In particular I find hunting (which is putting it politely) buffalo distasteful. That was the section where I skipped a page at certain points. I would have stopped reading the book if the language and the descriptions hadn’t been so very good. I had to see it through. I did need closure. In doing so I discovered how clever the title was.
It’s important to note that the author does not glorify hunting at all (otherwise I really would have stopped reading!). Nor does he glorify the “cowboy” figure. I got that. But I am left with a sense of not really understanding the point of the book. The behavior of the hero at the end puzzles me.
I agree with what I saw online that there are elements of the book that remind one of Cold Mountain. I wondered if the Cohen Brothers were influenced by the book when they chose the name “Miller’s Crossing” for their film. Miller is a main character in the book and “crossing” in the film also has more than one meaning. But IMDB does not support this thought.
In short, I don’t know what I feel about this book. I couldn’t quit but I was glad when it ended.