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A Straight Deal or The Ancient Grudge   By: (1860-1938)

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A Straight Deal or The Ancient Grudge by Owen Wister is a captivating novel that delves into the complexities of human relationships and the lasting impacts of the past on the present. Set against the backdrop of the American West during its tumultuous era, Wister weaves a story that explores themes of vengeance, redemption, and the power of forgiveness.

The book follows the life of its protagonist, who finds himself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between two families. As the narrative unfolds, Wister masterfully reveals the deep-seated anger and resentment that have fueled the conflict for generations. Through a series of vividly depicted events, the reader is taken on an emotional journey that forces them to confront their own preconceived notions and prejudices.

Wister's skillful storytelling and attention to detail create a rich tapestry of characters, each contributing their unique perspective to the narrative. The protagonist, in particular, undergoes a profound transformation throughout the course of the book, as he grapples with his own personal demons and seeks to break free from the cycle of violence.

One of the book's standout qualities is Wister's ability to capture the essence of the Western landscape. His vivid descriptions of rugged canyons, vast plains, and dusty towns transport the reader to a bygone era, immersing them in a world teeming with danger and adventure. The author's extensive knowledge of the West is evident, adding an authenticity to the story that further enriches the reading experience.

Moreover, Wister's exploration of universal themes, such as the pursuit of justice and the bonds of loyalty, resonate with readers regardless of their familiarity with the American West. The story serves as a reminder that, at its core, humanity's struggle for love, acceptance, and understanding remains a timeless quest.

While A Straight Deal or The Ancient Grudge is undeniably a captivating novel, it does require a degree of patience from the reader. The plot unfolds gradually, allowing for a deeper exploration of the characters and their motivations. However, this deliberate pacing may not appeal to those seeking a fast-paced, action-packed narrative.

In conclusion, A Straight Deal or The Ancient Grudge is a thought-provoking novel that combines the allure of the American West with a profound examination of human nature. Owen Wister's masterful storytelling draws readers into a tale of betrayal, revenge, and ultimately, the power of finding common ground. Whether one is a fan of Western literature or simply appreciates a well-crafted story, this novel is sure to leave a lasting impression.

First Page:




By Owen Wister

To Edward and Anna Martin who give help in time of trouble

Chapter I: Concerning One's Letter Box

Publish any sort of conviction related to these morose days through which we are living and letters will shower upon you like leaves in October. No matter what your conviction be, it will shake both yeas and nays loose from various minds where they were hanging ready to fall. Never was a time when so many brains rustled with hates and panaceas that would sail wide into the air at the lightest jar. Try it and see. Say that you believe in God, or do not; say that Democracy is the key to the millennium, or the survival of the unfittest; that Labor is worse than the Kaiser, or better; that drink is a demon, or that wine ministers to the health and the cheer of man say what you please, and the yeas and nays will pelt you. So insecurely do the plainest, oldest truths dangle in a mob of disheveled brains, that it is likely, did you assert twice two continues to equal four and we had best stick to the multiplication table, anonymous letters would come to you full of passionate abuse. Thinking comes hard to all of us. To some it never comes at all, because their heads lack the machinery. How many of such are there among us, and how can we find them out before they do us harm? Science has a test for this... Continue reading book >>

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