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The Resource The last cowboys of San Geronimo, Ian Stansel

The last cowboys of San Geronimo, Ian Stansel

Label
The last cowboys of San Geronimo
Title
The last cowboys of San Geronimo
Statement of responsibility
Ian Stansel
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"A contemporary Western debut about two brothers locked in a deadly feud, a woman on horseback trailing her husband's killer, and the inescapable ties of home and family. When Silas Van Loy flees home on horseback to avoid capture for his brother's murder, he is soon followed by both the police and his brother's wife, Lena, who is intent on exacting revenge. She reluctantly lets her trusted stable assistant join her in a journey across the wilds of Northern California in the hopes of catching Silas for one final showdown. Stansel follows the chase and shares the story of the brothers' rise from hardscrabble childhood to their reign as the region's preeminent horse trainers, tracking the tense sibling rivalry that ultimately leads to the elder's death. A fully realized tale that challenges notions of the modern West, The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo will satisfy fans of Kent Haruf, Larry McMurtry, Molly Gloss, and Smith Henderson, and establish Stansel as a new voice in this grand tradition"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • After killing his older brother, Frank, Silas Van Loy looks at the lifeless body and notes his “clean heart shot.” Aside from remembering that Frank once shot him, too, Silas makes no effort to justify his action. He simply saddles his favorite horse to make his getaway—without the “foggiest notion” of where he’ll go. When Frank’s wife, Lena, learns of his death, she, too, saddles up and rides off, determined to kill her brother-in-law. It’s a classic tale of murder and revenge in the Old West, but this one is set in affluent, sophisticated, present-day Marin County, California. Flight and pursuit on horseback is a contemplative enterprise, and Stansel lets Silas and Lena recall their lives. Both recall the brothers’ inheriting a ramshackle stable and how Frank turned the stable from western to English riding to appeal to Marin’s horsey set. Both acknowledge that Silas’ understanding of horses and horsemanship was superior to his brother’s. And both recall the fistfights and rivalry that spanned decades. Stansel’s portrayal of violence and loopiness in one of the world’s most beautiful places makes for an unusual but captivating crime story infused with western tropes. -- Gaughan, Thomas (Reviewed 5/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 18, p21)
  • After murdering his brother, Silas Van Loy gets on his horse and heads north, followed closely by Lena Van Loy, his brother’s wife. Lena (and the faithful stable assistant who accompanies her) seeks justice, and as they chase Silas through the mountainous landscape of present day Northern California, Stansel’s rhapsodic debut novel reveals the history of the Van Loy family—the rise and fall of their renowned horse training business, the rivalry that simultaneously binds the brothers together and pushes them apart, and Lena’s powerlessness to control or end the relentless feud. The book draws upon many of the western genre’s finest traditions: a bitter and inescapable rivalry, a narrative propelled by the pursuit of justice, a reverence for the powerful relationship between horse and rider. But in many other ways, the story stands apart: Silas and Lena’s travels through the rugged Californian terrain are punctuated not by shoot-outs or high-speed chases, but powerful memories and meditations on partnership, rivalry, regret, and redemption. Stansel’s debut is a moving exploration of the complicated and fateful bonds of brotherhood. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 05/29/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 22, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In his forthright, beautifully rendered first novel, following the PEN/Bingham Prize-winning story collection Everyone's Irish, Stansel limns the murderous tension between two brothers, showing how families can fracture for mysterious reasons. Frank and Silas Van Loy grow up on their father's Northern California ranch, but while Silas is the true horseman, arrogant Frank has the head for business and takes over as their father slowly succumbs to cancer, successfully turning the ranch to English riding. The novel opens with Silas shooting Frank to death, then leaping on a horse and escaping into the wilderness, furiously pursued by Frank's wife, Lena. As the novel unfolds, we learn how the brothers have sought to undermine each other, often coming violently to blows. Yet they remain tightly bound, and though we gain some sympathy for sour Silas as the taut relationship is revealed in flashback, his reason for shooting Frank comes as an affecting and effective surprise. VERDICT The occasional scene seems extended, and readers will anxiously wonder whether these horse-loving fools would hurt their charges for revenge, yet Stansel has written a captivating novel, elegantly spare in language but big in purpose. [See Prepub Alert, 2/13/17.] --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 05/15/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 9, p82)
  • A contemporary tale of two brothers, both horse trainers and rivals, and the tragedy that ensues when one kills the other.Silas and Frank Van Loy have a complicated relationship. They're both a bit wild, a bit co-dependent, and more than a bit antagonistic toward each other. The novel opens immediately after Silas, the younger brother, has shot and killed Frank. He flees on horseback, for him a natural mode of transportation, over the landscape of Marin County in northern California. At least two issues complicate the psychology, the ethics, and the logistics of this fraternal relationship and murder. First, Frank was married to Lena, who hates Silas. When she finds out what happened, she takes off in pursuit, also on horseback, with the intent to kill him. Second, when we finally see Frank and Silas' final confrontation, toward the end of the book, the shooting turns out to have been less vengeful than it seemed. The narrative moves briskly on a number of levels. While we follow Lena's pursuit of Silas, we also get generous flashbacks into the brothers' lives, especially their rivalry in the world of horse training (Silas' career was thriving while Frank's was declining) and the almost unaccountable depth of their hatred (earlier Frank had shot Silas, and on the surface, their argument had been about a Stetson hat). Stansel writes well and moves effortlessly from past to present and from the perspectives of Silas and Frank to that of Lena. A stirring narrative of hostility, pursuit, and the desire for vengeance.(Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2017)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10570629
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Stansel, Ian
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Widows
  • Husbands
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Fratricide
  • Revenge
  • Horse trainers
  • California
Target audience
general
Label
The last cowboys of San Geronimo, Ian Stansel
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Some copies include discussion questions and conversation with the author
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
192 pages
Isbn
9780544963399
Lccn
2016047296
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (OCoLC)953709688
  • 2961116
Label
The last cowboys of San Geronimo, Ian Stansel
Publication
Copyright
Note
Some copies include discussion questions and conversation with the author
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
192 pages
Isbn
9780544963399
Lccn
2016047296
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (OCoLC)953709688
  • 2961116

Library Locations

  • Delaware Main LibraryBorrow it
    84 East Winter Street, Delaware, OH, 43015, US
    40.299672 -83.064923
  • Orange BranchBorrow it
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    40.190037 -83.027387
  • Ostrander BranchBorrow it
    75 North Fourth Street, Ostrander, OH, 43061, US
    40.267330 -83.216989
  • Powell BranchBorrow it
    460 South Liberty Street, Powell, OH, 43065, US
    40.149379 -83.073659
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