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A Drift from Redwood Park   By: (1836-1902)

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A Drift from Redwood Park by Bret Harte is a captivating tale that transports readers to the rugged landscapes of 19th century California. Set amidst the backdrop of the Redwood forests, this collection of short stories takes readers on a thought-provoking journey through the lives of a diverse group of individuals, each grappling with their own hopes, dreams, and tragedies.

One of the standout features of this book is Harte's masterful storytelling. With eloquent prose and vivid descriptions, he brings the characters and settings to life, immersing readers in the lush beauty of the Redwood forests. Whether it's a secluded cabin nestled deep in the woods or a bustling trailhead filled with weary travelers, Harte's attention to detail is commendable, painting a vibrant picture that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned.

The characters in A Drift from Redwood Park are remarkably well-drawn and relatable. Harte showcases a diverse range of personalities, from optimistic pioneers hoping to strike gold, to jaded gamblers seeking redemption. Each story explores the complexities of human nature, delving into themes of love, loss, and the pursuit of happiness. Some characters find solace amidst the towering trees, while others succumb to their inner demons. Harte's ability to evoke genuine emotions in the reader is a testament to his storytelling prowess.

One of the highlights of the book is Harte's exploration of the intertwining themes of nature and humanity. The Redwood forests serve as a powerful metaphor for the vastness and beauty of the human experience. Through his lyrical prose, Harte encourages readers to reflect on how the natural world can both inspire and humble us, reminding us of the delicate balance between life and death.

However, it is worth noting that while Harte's writing is undoubtedly beautiful, some readers might find the pacing of the stories to be a bit slow. The leisurely nature of the narratives might not appeal to those seeking a more fast-paced reading experience. Nevertheless, for those who appreciate rich character development and poetic descriptions, this book is a true gem.

In conclusion, A Drift from Redwood Park is a captivating collection of stories that transports readers to a world filled with beauty, hardship, and introspection. Bret Harte's masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions make this book a compelling read. While the pacing might not suit all readers, the overall experience of immersing oneself in the lush landscapes and complex lives of the characters is undeniably rewarding.

First Page:


by Bret Harte

They had all known him as a shiftless, worthless creature. From the time he first entered Redwood Camp, carrying his entire effects in a red handkerchief on the end of a long handled shovel, until he lazily drifted out of it on a plank in the terrible inundation of '56, they never expected anything better of him. In a community of strong men with sullen virtues and charmingly fascinating vices, he was tolerated as possessing neither not even rising by any dominant human weakness or ludicrous quality to the importance of a butt. In the dramatis personae of Redwood Camp he was a simple "super" who had only passive, speechless roles in those fierce dramas that were sometimes unrolled beneath its green curtained pines. Nameless and penniless, he was overlooked by the census and ignored by the tax collector, while in a hotly contested election for sheriff, when even the head boards of the scant cemetery were consulted to fill the poll lists, it was discovered that neither candidate had thought fit to avail himself of his actual vote. He was debarred the rude heraldry of a nickname of achievement, and in a camp made up of "Euchre Bills," "Poker Dicks," "Profane Pete," and "Snap shot Harry," was known vaguely as "him," "Skeesicks," or "that coot." It was remembered long after, with a feeling of superstition, that he had never even met with the dignity of an accident, nor received the fleeting honor of a chance shot meant for somebody else in any of the liberal and broadly comprehensive encounters which distinguished the camp... Continue reading book >>

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