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The Last Crossing: A Novel | [Guy Vanderhaeghe]

The Last Crossing: A Novel

This epic tale sweeps across continents and time, hovers over a key era in American history, and deftly realizes the humanity of a whole cast of characters. Told through flashbacks and alternating points of view, The Last Crossing is about redemption, about seeking and finding, about human feelings and strengths, about personal honor, and about that moment in life when we must decide to cross over and surrender to love.
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Publisher's Summary

Master storyteller Guy Vanderhaeghe, hailed by Richard Ford as "simply a wonderful writer," takes us on an exhilarating journey from the ivy-covered towers of Oxford in Victorian England to the dusty whiskey trading posts of the nineteenth-century American and Canadian West.

Englishmen Charles and Addington Gaunt are ordered by their tyrannical industrialist father to find their brother Simon, who has gone missing in the wilds of the American West. Charles, a disillusioned artist, and Addington, a disgraced military captain, set off to Fort Benton in America and enlist the services of a guide to lead them north, where Simon was last seen. The brothers hire the enigmatic Jerry Potts, half Blackfoot, half Scot, who suffers from his own painful past. At Addington's command, the party grows to include Caleb Ayto, a sycophantic American journalist, who is to record the journey for posterity; Lucy Stoveall, a fiery and beautiful woman who is bent on finding the men who viciously killed her sister; Custis Straw, a Civil War veteran in love with Lucy; and saloon keeper Aloysius Dooley. This unlikely posse, now encumbered with both psychological baggage and wagon trains, becomes entangled in an unfolding drama that forces each to come to terms with his or her own demons.

Told from alternating points of view and in vivid flashbacks, The Last Crossing is a novel of ruggedness and salvation, an epic masterpiece set in a time when worlds collided, were destroyed, and were built new.

©2002 G&M Vanderhaege Productions Inc. © and (P)2004 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Fiction (abridged), 2005

"Vanderhaeghe is a prodigiously gifted writer....no reader once embarked on this hugely involving adventure will be able to stop until it is done." (Publishers Weekly)
"A strong and varied cast....a narrative as carefully constructed and laboriously pieced together as a Lego Taj Mahal....[Vanderhaeghe is] a Dickensian sensationalist. His flair for the lurid can be exquisite." (The New York Times Book Review)
"As the various searches for revenge or redemption get under way the writing achieves unforced grace and power." (The New Yorker)
"Sumptuously imagined and fashioned with a master craftsman's attentiveness and finesse....Brilliant work." (Kirkus)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (25 )
5 star
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4.5 (6 )
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4.3 (6 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe K. 10-18-08
    Joe K. 10-18-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
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    25
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    "Don't pass this one by!"

    I really enjoyed this story about three very different brothers. In a way each one is unique and interesting enough to be entitled to their own novel, so in a way your getting three stories for the price of one. The brothers are from England, but the bulk of the story is an adventurous journey through the western USA and Canada. Alive with memorable characters, this work of fiction has historical facts and a real-life Canadian hero woven into a fascinating work of literature. Oh, I almost forgot Mrs. Stoveall and Custis Straw, unique story number four. I 'read' the unabridged audio version which is masterly performed by multiple readers, making each fascinating character come alive.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Bermuda Dunes, CA, United States 04-05-04
    Virginia Bermuda Dunes, CA, United States 04-05-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
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    Overall
    "A Very Dark Story"

    A unique writing style and entertaining narration by a variety of voices are the agreeable aspects of this book. However, it is a very, very dark story with nothing but unhappy characters that become more unhappy as the story progresses. I certainly wouldn?t call it enjoyable. Just an experience.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Livaudais New Orleans, LA 01-06-12
    Rebecca Livaudais New Orleans, LA 01-06-12 Member Since 2010

    Beckyliv

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to put down"
    Would you listen to The Last Crossing again? Why?

    no, I usually don't listen to any books more than one time


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Custis Straw was my favorite character. He is a great flawed, sympathetic hero and well defined.


    What about the narrators???s performance did you like?

    Using different narrators for the different characters really helped illustrate the story keep the characters clear in my mind


    If you could rename The Last Crossing, what would you call it?

    no opinion here


    Any additional comments?

    The very first part of the book was hard to get past, I stopped and started twice. Once I got past that section and the story picked up with the main characters, I was hooked. My MP3 player battery died on me several times because I was listening for hours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Powder Springs, GA, United States 12-27-10
    Marjorie Powder Springs, GA, United States 12-27-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the listen"

    It took awhile to get into the story. Interesting take on the British experiences during the Wild West era in the US.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Clarke 08-15-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't do it"

    Despite two of my English teacher colleagues declaring this their favorite book of all time, I couldn't get past the first 45 minutes. Bored out of my mind. It probably got good in minute 46 -- I'll take the loss.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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