Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Words Devoured: Redeye

This is the first of Clyde Edgerton's novels that I have read. I must admit...I really enjoyed it. It is presented to readers as a pamphlet/guide explaining a trip that the reader is embarking on. The idea that you, as the reader, are meant to be taking this trip and following the guide written by a company is quite a great one.

He introduces a cast of characters through some of their own journal entries. These characters all took, at a point in the novel, the same trip the reader is about to take.  The, in some cases epistolary, nature of these entries is quite an interesting way to further the book.

On their trip, a first for all of them, there is a tragedy that is hinted at; a shoot-out. The novel leads to this moment, and doesn't fail to entertain along the way. All the characters get to give their input on the trip, and how they feel, etc. It's a great way to get insight into the characters without some sort of omnipotence.

Edgerton's cast is varied, and well-realized. As a western novel, most of them are quite colorful! There is a bounty hunter and his mean catch dog, the titular Redeye, some Mormons, an anthropologist, a couple women, and some Indians that serve as "guides'. The place they live, a western front in Colorado, is just as colorful, everything you'd expect a western city in a western story to be.

I greatly enjoyed this funny western jaunt. The characters were engaging and believable, as were their surroundings. I definitely look forward to checking out other works by Edgerton!

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