This book was provided to me by the Penguin Group via their First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.
Glorious: A Novel of the American West by Jeff Guinn
Cash McLendon has always had an instinct for self-preservation, one that was honed by an impoverished childhood and life with an alcoholic father barely scraping by on the streets of Saint Louis in 1872. He’s always had a knack for finding and capitalizing on the slightest opportunities, choosing the path of financial security over happiness or real friends. He eventually builds himself up from a Saint Louis street urchin to the son-in-law and heir apparent to industrial mogul Rupert Douglass. Though it lacks passion, his life seems securely set: a wife, a career, property, standing.
But when tragedy strikes, all of his plans and his entire future dissolve in an instant. McLendon’s instinct for survival kicks in; he flees Saint Louis, and Douglas assigns his enforcer, an ominous skull-cracker with steel-toed boots, to track him down.
With nothing to lose, McLendon attempts to reconcile with an old flame—a woman he was nearly engaged to but put aside in exchange for the life now in shambles. He heard through the grapevine that she and her father moved their dry-goods store out west, to a speck-on-the-map mining town named Glorious, in the Arizona Territory. There, McLendon tries to win her back, and in the process discovers a new way of life at the edge of the final American frontier. But he can’t outrun his past forever. . . (via Goodreads)
Note: I did not finish this book. At about the 1/3 mark, I had met every single denizen of the town of Glorious, but didn’t feel invested in any of them, including Cash McLendon. The characters and situation were all rather bland. I felt like the world was being explained to me rather than shown to me with none of the grit, grime, and tension I’ve come to expect in the genre. Plot-wise, more needed to happen sooner. McLendon’s background could have remained a mystery in favor of furthering action. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the likes of Elmore Leonard, but I expect a measure of immediacy in a western.
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication date: May 6th 2014
Why did I choose to read this book? Haven’t read a good western in a while.