The Dying Grass by William T. Vollmann

The Dying Grass

By William T. Vollmann

  • Publication Date: 2015-07-28
  • Genre: Historical
3.5 Score: 3.5 (From 9 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

"The reading experience of a lifetime ..."--The Washington Post

The National Book Award winner takes readers inside the epic fighting retreat of the Nez Perce Indians 

In this new installment in his acclaimed series of novels examining the collisions between Native Americans and European colonizers, William T. Vollmann tells the story of the Nez Perce War, with flashbacks to the Civil War. Defrauded and intimidated at every turn, the Nez Perces finally went on the warpath in 1877, subjecting the U.S. Army to its greatest defeat since Little Big Horn as they fled from northeast Oregon across Montana to the Canadian border. Vollmann’s main character is not the legendary Chief Joseph, but his pursuer, General Oliver Otis Howard, the brave, shy, tormented, devoutly Christian Civil War veteran. In this novel, we see him as commander, father, son, husband, friend, and killer.

Teeming with many vivid characters on both sides of the conflict, and written in an original style in which the printed page works as a stage with multiple layers of foreground and background, The Dying Grass is another mesmerizing achievement from one of the most ambitious writers of our time.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Latest User Reviews

  • Well written historical fiction!

    By Sekia V
    I received a copy of this for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a looooooooooong read! But an interesting one for sure. The author has a very unique writing style. He tells the story in letters, journal entries, and campfire conversations. This has the effect of really making you feel like you are there. It takes you straight back into the past with all it's glory and flaws. He makes the historical figures flesh and blood. You hear their prejudices and doubts as well as their boasts and brags. I would add that I found his view of the past to have an interesting effect on me. Being "in the head" of some of the historical figures presented in the book was often a bit much. Their racist point of views and views of women were significantly different than you get in most modern novels. I often had to take a step back and come back again later to read more. This is something that I do applaud him for because I feel that it is exactly how life was back then. Those thoughts and actions were normal. Too often in fiction, writers will cover everything up and apply modern thinking to a time period where it is anachronistic to do so. There are no real heroes hanging out in this novel. Just people. If you are looking for cowboys riding into the sunset, or a light, breezy read you should pick another book. If however, you are looking for an indepth, well-researched novel that will take you into another time period completely, you should give this one a shot. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and westerns.
  • More expensive

    By daveyboyboyz
    Than the hardcover. Go Judge Cote go.