Paperback: 400 pages Publisher: Mariner Books Language: English
Originally published more than fifty years ago, The Big Sky is the first of A. B. Guthrie Jr.'s epic adventure novels set in the American West. Here he introduces Boone Caudill, Jim Deakins, and Dick Summers: traveling the Missouri River from St. Louis to the Rockies, these frontiersmen live as trappers, traders, guides, and explorers. The story centers on Caudill, a young Kentuckian driven by a raging hunger for life and a longing for the blue sky and brown earth of big, wild places. Caught up in the freedom and savagery of the wilderness, Caudill becomes an untamed mountain man, whom only the beautiful daughter of a Blackfoot chief dares to love.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ Reviews from Amazon
Great story--poetry in book form! By James Drury on December 12, 2000
Hi folks, my name's James Drury. I played The Virginian for nine years, as some of you may remember, and I had occasion to read many Western and to enjoy many of them come to life on the screen. None of them were much better than this book by A.B. Guthrie. This man writes with a power that is seldom seen anymore, a power and a flowing poetry that would be hard to beat. If you haven't read this book, please do yourself the favor. I promise you will not regret it. This one is not to be missed. A.B. Guthrie, with this book, has produced a story as ruggedly poetic as the best of Elmer Kelton, Kirby Jonas or Elmore Leonard--even Jack Schaefer.
Guthrie Captures the West and the End of an Era By Douglas S. Wood VINE VOICE on July 26, 2006
The Big Sky is the first in a series of great Western novels by A.B. Guthrie. The story begins in 1830 as young Boone Caudill escapes his Kentucky home for the plains and mountains of the west. He meets up with Jim Deakins, a pleasant country philosopher, early on his journey and finally the experienced mountain man Dick Summers on the keelboat trip up the Missouri.
I enjoyed Deakins' theological disquisitions. "You can't beat God for bein' picky. No, sir. If he catches you playin' cards or sayin' one swear word...it's to hell with you forever and ever...Even thinkin' is mighty dangerous. As a man thinketh, that's how he is, and to hell with him ag'in. Why you reckon he gave us a thinker then?...God is some busybody."
Guthrie takes us up the Missouri, a slow fight all the way, across the plains, into the mountains and back. He creates for the reader the palpable sense of the openness and wildness of the West. Yet the book steps back from fully romanticizing the end of the mountain man era. The story is often disturbing, not the least in Boone Caudill's quick and often brutal ways.
Highest recommendation for anyone interested in the American West.