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Heart of the Country

Matthews, Greg

342 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393022897 / ISBN 13: 9780393022896
Published by W W Norton & Co Inc, New York, London, 1986
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Jay Toelkes (Salem, OR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

1986 Fine Book, Near Fine unclipped jacket($17.95), Stated First American Edition 1986, First Printing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0 532 clean tight unmarked untrimmed pages, book has cream colored boards with 1/3 burgundy cloth covered spine, gilt embossed lettering on the spine, jacket is brown with tan and blue lettering, a color illustration of buffalo on the front, spine and back jacket, 1" tear to top back jacket, mild shelf wear to jacket, Bookseller Inventory # 004498

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Heart of the Country

Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc, New York, London

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Outcast and wanderer, Joe Cobden, a half-breed hunchback, becomes Joe Buffalo, famed Kansas buffalo hunter of the 1870s until the buffalo herds diminish and he must learn to live a conventional life

From Publishers Weekly:

If the vast buffalo herds that still roamed Kansas in the mid-19th century were in some sense the heart of the country, then the white pioneers committed some kind of spiritual suicide by wiping them out. So suggests this sprawling and doggedly fanciful tale by the Australian author of The Further Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The central figure in a cast of energized puppets, of whom most are either insane or malicious, is Joe Cobdenillegitimate, half-Indian, fated both by his birth and the buffalo-like hump on his back to be a social outcast. Joe starts his working life as a hunter of buffalo, then regrets his role in their destruction and turns to making cigar-store Indians, while rearing the ingrate son of a pious lunatic. The story includes incest, murder, whoring, drunkenness, opium taking, ghoulish burial and shovelfuls of insanity, as well as a spectral white buffalo, among other echoes of Moby-Dick. Dickens (with whom Matthews has been capriciously compared) could treat reality in a fanciful manner; Matthews treats fancy as though it were reality. His story is enjoyable by dint of its vitality, but also exasperating because of its lack of clarity and substance. BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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