One does not travel the path to vengeance alone.
Twelve-year-old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a traveling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt’s recent invention, the "Improved Revolving Gun", takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world’s first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure soon turns into a nightmare.
Thomas soon finds himself alone, and must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance. That is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road - and who have already stolen so much from Thomas.
In the spirit of The Sisters Brothers and True Grit, this spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys, through a boy’s eyes, a beautiful father-son story, as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America. Road to Reckoning offers a window into the history of the American West and the heart of a boy yearning for love.
I am particularly drawn to historical fiction, and when I saw this one about a father and son going westward to sell the Colt pistol together, I couldn't resist. There wasn't really any hint that the book was written by a Brit who would interject his anti-gun rhetoric into an otherwise wonderful coming-of-age story of a twelve year old boy. "I, to this day, hold to only one truth: if a man chooses to carry a gun he will get shot. My father agreed to carry twelve." . . . one of the first lines of the book . . . yet those same guns saved his life later in the story, when Henry Stands shot those who would have killed Thomas and him otherwise. These parts of the story are not the MOST important and do not ruin the flavor of the overall tale of Thomas, his father, and the relationship between Thomas and Henry Stands. I do recommend the book. In the story, Thomas grows up to marry and becomes a Menonite, who are pacifists. I appreciate that in many places scripture is quoted in the book, as I, too, am a Christian. It is harsh, sweet, thought provoking, and it's fiction. So Robert Lautner has written a novel from his own perspective and his own heart. Give it a listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Not the most original story ( many similarities to "True Grit"), saved by great narration and some good moments of action and pathos.