National best-selling author and New Mexico native Michael McGarrity takes listeners to the wild territory of the late 19th-century American Southwest for this epic tale. After the deaths of his wife and brother, John Kerney gives up his West Texas ranch and heads south in search of a new home. Soon Kerney is offered work trailing cattle to the New Mexico Territory - a job that will forever change his life.
©2012 Michael McGarrity (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
Mr McGarrity did outstanding job of research in New Mexico history and seamlessly wove it into his plot. His characters ring true - with all their strength and flaws. I love the way he portrays strong women. I recognize my father in his gentle hard working people of Tularosa and my mother (a Canadian), a World War II veteran nurse- another strong woman of character - who met ( and later married) my father in that war. His descriptions of the geography and weather of New Mexico. The way he used Eugene Manlove Rhodes in his story was great. The hard life of the ranchers was very well portrayed as well as the Mescalero Indians.
I was fortunate to meet Mr. McGarrity when he spoke and read the first chapter of this book in Alamogordo, NM. It is my understanding it was the first of 3 books. I look forward to the rest and thank him for all his hard work on this book.
I've heard people compare it to Lonesome Dove - but they are wrong - it stands alone and will become the new benchmark. It is a cut above.
Yes, he does a fine job of narrating this tale.
I don't think a movie would cut it. It needs to be a mini series.
This book is a tribute to all New Mexicans.
This is the best book I have listened to in over a year. My husband is the lover of coyboy stories, but this sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. Don't let the lenght of the book deter you, I wanted more.
The characters are really well developed, the writer and narrator give you a real feel for the times and country. This is no place for wimps and thouchy-feely types, rather tough, stoic, deal with the situation and move on types. Which is not to say there is no friendship or love for characters. Quite the opposite, the story shows how love, loyalty and friendship bridge the years.
The story runs from the mid 1800's to WWI, chronicling the changes in the country side, towns coming and going, and inventions (electricity/ cars). The characters are so real, and the narration is superb. I will definitely look for more books narrated by George Guidall.
Having recently done all but one of the modern Kerney series I wasn't sure what to expect. Such rich storytelling by George Guidall relaying the drama of just trying to exist just made me appreciate life as we have it now all the more. I used to want things like this to be turned into movies or series. In this case I almost think it would just somehow be less. Maybe Kevin Costner could do it. Following these characters through their lives and seeing how childhood lessons/events played out through adulthood and how promising lives didn't always live out (or up) to promise is just priceless. I was about to start this when Mr. McGarrity said there'd be a third before he revisits Kevin Kerney. I wasn't excited about that. Now I am and I am happy to wait for both as I start Backlands.
I loved this book in part because I live in Southwest New Mexico and the novel is based on real historical figures from Pat Garrett to Eugene Rhodes. The description of the Tularosa Basin before it was overgrazed was so accurate - also known as the short grass prairie - it is gone now because of drought and overgrazing. The ranching descriptions are dead-on. The people who settled this country fell in love with the mountains and valleys and despite often incredible hardships made a living. I also appreciated the fact that this was not just about the Anglos (white men and women) who settled the area but also brought to life the roles of the early Hispanic settlers, Buffalo soldiers and Apaches. New Mexico is a land rich in history and cultural diversity and Michael McGarrity makes it come alive. Bravo also to George Guidall whose narration is terrific.
Every so often, I like to listen to an old fashioned western, complete with cowboys, cattle drives, and gun slingers. This was a great choice. Good story, well narrated, and an easy listen. If you like books like Lonesome Dove and that genre, you'll like this. So "jingle your spurs", download, and enjoy.
The book very nicely walks you thru a family's day to day life, in New Mexico from late 1800's to early 1900s. The characters were developed well and very real.
I really enjoyed sharing part of their life on their small cattle and horse ranch and in the small towns, feeling their joys and sorrows.
I have been audible member for almost 10 years and this book is in my top 10 list, up there with Painted House. I was very disappointed when it ended.
I am going to pick up another one from this author this month.
I enjoyed Michael McGarrity's new book. It's different than his other books--following a family in New Mexico in the 1800's and early 1900's. The ending left me wondering if there will be a sequel. George Guidall is a wonderful narrator.
Even though this book is fiction the personalities are real enough that most any family, that had descendants that settled into the West could recognize qualities from this book that may have come from their very own families.
This is the first of a trilogy but there is plenty of pain and loss to go around for 4or5 family's.
I really enjoyed and I constantly found myself punching up for 30 more min. For 2 nights...
It was a pleasure taking a break from my usual gener and listen to a western written in the vein of Lonsome Dove
Characters with depth, unexpected events, insights into regional history, outstanding reader. You do not have to like western novels to appreciate this book.
I'm a Michael McGarrity fan and I like his Kevin Kearny universe. This is a waaaay prequel that delves into the Kearny ancestry between the Civil and First World Wars. I was looking for some insight into what made Kevin Kearny...Kevin Kearny. Perhaps I'm asking too much. But, I'd like some foreshadowing and such. Not there. Not really. So, this story must be taken on its own merit and the result is a standard cowboy yarn. Not bad. Not terrific. Just okay. That is all.
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