Going West!

Posted on October 1, 2017 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

The sheer endless prairies of the North American continent have inspired people from the first settlers until today. Let’s explore the Wild West with 10 gems from our catalog.

Of course, before doing so, we need to be properly prepared. The Boy Scouts Handbook teaches everything a future cowboy needs to know about wood- and campcraft, tracks and trailing, and even chivalry.

Reading that book before setting out to California might have led to a better outcome for Eliza P. Donner Houghton. She was orphaned at the age of four and recounts in this biography The Expedition of the Donner Party and its Tragic Fate.

Frank and his three friends hope to avoid a tragedy like this by going through the Panama Canal on their way to California. However, on their search for Gold in the novel by Stewart Edward White, they still encounter plenty of desperadoes, natural disasters and unfriendly indians.

Definitely not friendly either are the Apache when a railroad is built through their territory. Only when engineer Old Shatterhand saves the life of Winnetou, the relationship improves. Find out how the two became blood brothers in the famous German western by Karl May.

Less idealising is Charles Alexander Eastman’s biography of Indian Heroes and Great Chieftans. We hear about the – sometimes flawed – life of real great people like Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Red Cloud.

There is definitely something wrong with Our American Cousin – so his English relatives believe, when Asa Trenchard shows up to claim the family estate. Find out if the two branches of the family can make a deal in this play by Tom Taylor.

There will be no deal with rancher Conrad in The Delafield Affair, ever. After all, his father was cheated out of a lot of money by a Mr. Delafield years ago. Will Curt Conrad finally get his revenge in the novel by Florence Finch Kelly?

Revenge is not what Wildfire is looking for. Freedom will do just as nicely for the fierce red stallion that has been subdued – but not broken – by man. Zane Grey’s first western describes masterfully the yearning any creature feels for freedom.

The American Stephen Crane, poet, novelist, and short story writer, also had a deep understanding of yearning of all kinds, which he expressed throughout his writings. The Black Riders and Other Lines is a collection of enigmatic poetry in free verse.

Eventually, every trail ends, and our final gem this month is Deadwood Dick’s Doom by Edward L. Wheeler. It has all the ingredients a good western needs: gun men and indians, strong gentlemen protecting weak ladies – and Calamity Jane, who doesn’t need their help at all.

Enjoy – and blaze your own trail!

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