Sunday, April 27, 2008
This is a book written by two people that reads like a book written by two people. It’s subdivided into three shorter books—Zeke’s Folly, On the Scout, and Ned’s War—and it’s really the middle one—On the Scout—that shines. I have no idea how McMurtry and Ossana divided up the writing chores on this one, but whatever they did on On the Scout works a lot better than what’s going on in Zeke’s Folly or Ned’s War. If it wasn’t for the writing team angle on this one, I would’ve thought it was just a matter of beginnings and endings being a lot harder to pull off than middles, but since I know that two people wrote it, I can’t help but wonder if in fact one of them wrote Zeke’s Folly and Ned’s War, and the other one wrote On the Scout. The characters live a breathe in On the Scout in a way they don’t in the two other books, and if it wasn’t for the need to learn where the people came from and what finally happens to them, I would honestly say there’s not much reason to read anything but the middle book. Sorry. Just calling them like I see them.