Bel libro che racconta un pezzo di storia del nord America Bei personaggi Consigliato I have only recently discovered John Williams After being completely enraptured by the wonderful Stoner I had to read some and Butcher s Crossing was the logical choice It is hard to find suitable words to represent how much I enjoyed this novel which is about essentially, buffalo hunting Possibly, as with Stoner it is also about a young man s search for something which he can t quite define as well as the constant tension between good and bad possibly feelings many of us can relate to The beauty of John Williams is that he writes simply and descriptively about place and characters He is a creative writer whose words are never wasted and it is easy for the reader to visualise the characters and their foibles and to develop a certain fondness for them even though at times they are not the most likeable of individuals What does this leave us with A page turner which takes you off to another place and leaves you content that you have experienced great literature Very good Ain t Stoner, but what else is. Very well written, hard to get into at first but then you get hooked into a gripping story Hardships of pioneers recounted with mastery. BY THE AUTHOR OF STONERWill Andrews is no academic He longs for wildness, freedom, hope and vigour He leaves Harvard and sets out for the West to discover a new way of living In a small town called Butcher s Crossing he meets a hunter with a story of a lost herd of buffalo in a remote Colorado valley, just waiting to be taken by a team of men brave and crazy enough to find them Will makes up his mind to be one of those men, but the journey, the killing, harsh conditions and sheer hard luck will test his mind and body to their limits Williams writes as if he been on this trail, crossed the plains, climbed the passes, endured the hardships, felt the heat, and the cold, but mostly that he has a lifetime of experience hunting buffalo The detail is quite amazing.He prolongs the agonies, ekes out the days to weeks, then to months The journey is long and arduous The hunt is the same In many ways it s a very simple story but the writing is so graphic and full of interest that boredom never comes into it, though it does feel a long read in places.Williams is a wonderful discriptive writer for sure The river incident reminded me of As I Lay Dying, by Faulkner His discriptions of the countryside is not unlike the writing of Steinbeck I notice a lot of reviewers here have said not as good as Stoner and I would disagree I read this before Stoner and think it is the greater book although the two books are so different perhaps a comparison isn t fair.Butcher s Crossing is grand expose of human folly and greed The book is a brutal endurance test at times which is exactly what the characters are going through but it is a story that builds gradually and grips you totally The details of how the hunters deal with their arduous task is fascinating but you begin to realise that this also represents an arrogant fantasy that man can win over nature Despite the hunters skills and experience, nature wins The massacre of the buffalo is savage in the extreme yet the monetary value of their hides the purpose of the quest is dependent on the whims of fashion There is no redemption for the hunters.Some have compared this book unfavourably to Cormac McCarthy I disagree again Give me Williams lucid and self effacing prose against McCarthy s pompous and irritating conceits punctuation is for wimps any day. I did not know of this author before I read this book and it has spurred me on to look for others The story just flowed for me but there was always a sense of desperation in the main characters as the tale unfolds The senseless slaughter of the buffalo was lost on the hunters because they saw it as a way of life a way to survive but Andrew s was the hardest one to fathom which in my mind also help the story I recommend this book to people who want to read something that is not run of the mill and is a subject not often covered in what I like to call a thinking person western written by a very underrated author. Other reviewers have been right to claim not only that this book is equal to Stoner but that both are classics of literature that will stand the test of time The theme is not unusual a man trying to find himself through wilderness and wildness But the detail of leather and hunting is unusual and closely supports the theme The main weak point is the ending For today s readers the lack of reflection on the mass destruction of wildlife may be jarring as in the case of Moby Dick which in a number of ways this book parallels But literature should be challenging, I guess.