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Butcher's Crossing

Butcher s Crossing In his National Book Award winning novel Augustus John Williams uncovered the secrets of ancient Rome With Butcher s Crossing his fiercely intelligent beautifully written western Williams dismantl

  • Title: Butcher's Crossing
  • Author: JohnWilliams Michelle Latiolais
  • ISBN: 9781590171981
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Paperback
  • In his National Book Award winning novel Augustus, John Williams uncovered the secrets of ancient Rome With Butcher s Crossing, his fiercely intelligent, beautifully written western, Williams dismantles the myths of modern America.It is the 1870s, and Will Andrews, red up by Emerson to seek an original relation to nature, drops out of Harvard and heads west He washesIn his National Book Award winning novel Augustus, John Williams uncovered the secrets of ancient Rome With Butcher s Crossing, his fiercely intelligent, beautifully written western, Williams dismantles the myths of modern America.It is the 1870s, and Will Andrews, red up by Emerson to seek an original relation to nature, drops out of Harvard and heads west He washes up in Butcher s Crossing, a small Kansas town on the outskirts of nowhere Butcher s Crossing is full of restless men looking for ways to make money and ways to waste it Before long Andrews strikes up a friendship with one of them, a man who regales Andrews with tales of immense herds of buffalo, ready for the taking, hidden away in a beautiful valley deep in the Colorado Rockies He convinces Andrews to join in an expedition to track the animals down The journey out is grueling, but at the end is a place of paradisal richness Once there, however, the three men abandon themselves to an orgy of slaughter, so caught up in killing buffalo that they lose all sense of time Winter soon overtakes them they are snowed in Next spring, half insane with cabin fever, cold, and hunger, they stagger back to Butcher s Crossing to nd a world as irremediably changed as they have been.

    • Unlimited Butcher's Crossing - by JohnWilliams Michelle Latiolais
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    Butcher's Crossing

    About Author

    1. JohnWilliams Michelle Latiolais says:
      Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.John Edward Williams was born on August 29, 1922, in Clarksville, Texas, near the Red River east of Paris, Texas and brought up in Texas His grandparents were farmers his stepfather was a janitor in a post office After flunking out of junior college and holding various positions with newspapers and radio stations in the Southwest, Williams enlisted in the USAAF early in 1942, spending two and a halfa years as a sergeant in India and Burma Several years after the war, Williams enrolled in the University of Denver, where he received his B.A in 1949 and an M.A in 1950 During this period, his first novel, Nothing But the Night, was published 1948 , and his first volume of poems, The Broken Landscape, appeared the following year In the fall of 1950, Williams went to the University of Missouri, where he taught and received a Ph.D in 1954 In the fall of 1955, Williams took over the directorship of the creative writing program at the University of Denver, where he taught for than 30 years Williams s second novel, Butcher s Crossing, was published by Macmillan in 1960, followed by English Renaissance Poetry, an anthology published in 1963 by Doubleday which he edited and for which he wrote the introduction His second book of poems, The Necessary Lie, appeared in 1965 and was published by Verb Publications In 1965 he became editor of University of Denver Quarterly later Denver Quarterly until 1970 In 1965, Williams s third novel, Stoner, was published by Viking Press It has been recently been re issued by The New York Review of Books His fourth novel, Augustus, was published by Viking Press in 1973 and won the prestigious National Book Award in 1973 and remains in print.The critic Morris Dickstein has noted that, while Butcher s Crossing, Stoner, and Augustus are strikingly different in subject, they show a similar narrative arc a young man s initiation, vicious male rivalries, subtler tensions between men and women, fathers and daughters, and finally a bleak sense of disappointment, even futility Dickstein called Stoner, in particular, something rarer than a great novel it is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, it takes your breath away After retiring from the University of Denver in 1986, Williams moved with his wife, Nancy, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he resided until he died of respiratory failure on March 3, 1994 A fifth novel, The Sleep of Reason, was left unfinished at the time of his death.

    Comment 385 on “Butcher's Crossing

    1. Jeffrey Keeten says:
      You get born, and you nurse on lies, and you get weaned on lies, and you learn fancier lies at school You live all your life on lies, and then maybe when you re ready to die, it comes to you that there s nothing, nothing but yourself and what you could have done Only you ain t done it, because the lies told you there was something else Then you know you could of had the world, because you re the only one that knows the secret only then it s too late You re old Will Andrews bought into the Manife [...]

    2. Cecily says:
      Why read a historical novel about a privileged Harvard dropout who wants to find himself by going on a buffalo hunt 1 It s by John Williams, who wrote one of my three favourite novels, Stoner, which I reviewed HERE, as well as the almost as good Augustus, which I reviewed HERE.2 Hunting is not what it s really about probably like Moby Dick.3 It was a good follow on from Cold Mountain, which I reviewed HERE two totally different US landscape based stories, set only a few years apart.What This Is [...]

    3. Orsodimondo says:
      TERRA DI CONFINE Pubblicato nel 1960, cinque anni prima di Stoner , e ambientato intorno al 1870 tra Kansas e Colorado, tra prateria e montagne, Butcher s Crossing il romanzo western per antonomasia, il paradigma del western, tutto quello che ci si aspetta da un western Open Range Terra di confine il bel film western del 2003 diretto e interpretato da Kevin Costner.In pi c l enorme talento di questo scrittore, che non spreca parole e neppure le lesina, le cerca con precisione che rimane nascosta [...]

    4. Dolors says:
      Williams biggest achievement in this novel is that there isn t an ounce of overblown characterization in the diverging life perspectives that populate Butcher s Crossing, an emerging town in the Great Plains of the old west In spite of the bison hunters, the dusty brothel with the purring prostitute, the inexperienced city boy Will Andrews from Boston, and the drunkard who nurses his whiskey with a mucky Bible and prayerful gibberish, this is not the predictable Western the reader might anticipa [...]

    5. Zoeytron says:
      The bright flare of a match, the creaking of saddle leather, and the mournful lowing of the oxen The smell of scorched coffee permeates the air, joining the stink of buffalo hunters too long on the trail Later, the confusion of the herd is rampant amidst the air made hazy and heavy by gun smoke The force of nature takes its toll, as it always will The horror of the elements, and the sheer beauty.I searched for this book based solely on the fact that the author is the man who penned Stoner Ended [...]

    6. Lynne King says:
      Andrews dropped to his hands and knees and swung his head from side to side like a wounded animal My God he said thickly, My God, my God A whole winter s work, Miller said in a flat dead voice It took just about two minutes Andrews raised his head wildly, and got to his feet Schneider, he said Schneider We ve got to Miller put his hand on his shoulder Take it easy, boy Won t do no good to worry about Schneider I went to bed last night still thinking about this remarkable book I put it on the bed [...]

    7. Marita says:
      Is the sighting of large herds of buffalo on a hidden track nine or ten years previously good enough reason to set off on a buffalo killing expedition Miller thinks so, and young Andrews is keen to join, and he needs no persuading to both invest money and join as learner skinner But this is no simple adventure story.Why is Miller, leader of the expedition, so obsessed with finding this herd and killing every single bison in it Why does the fanatically religious Charley tag along almost against h [...]

    8. Ted says:
      he believed and had believed for a long time that there was a subtle magnetism in nature, which, if he unconsciously yielded to it, would direct him aright 48 Now Andrews could see the herd clearly Against the pale yellow green of the grass, the dark umber of the buffalo stood out sharply Many were lying at ease upon the soft valley grass those were mere humps, like dark rocks, without identity or shape some were grazing lightly, others stood unmoving, they huge furry heads slumped between their [...]

    9. Howard says:
      John Williams wrote four novels None of them, however, sold many copies during his lifetime I remember some years ago seeing and scanning stories about John Williams with headlines such as The Best Writer You Never Heard Of, or something similar And that certainly applied to me I had never heard of him, and I couldn t read his books because they were out of print In fact, although there were critics who praised his work his books sold few copies before disappearing literally in some cases into t [...]

    10. Darwin8u says:
      A Holocaust of Hides He could hardly recall, now, the passion that had drawn him to this room and this flesh, as if by a subtle magnetism nor could he recall the force of that other passion which had impelled him halfway across a continent into a wilderness where he had dreamed he could find, as in a vision, his unalterable self Almost without regret, he could admit now the vanity from which those passions had sprung view spoiler It was that nothingness of which McDonald had spoken back in the s [...]

    11. Algernon says:
      One of the joys of reading chaotically, picking up books from the TBR stack at the whim of the moment and not according to some master plan, is to discover that succesive reads turn out to be related after all.The Great Gatsbyis concerned with the Great American Dream that success is waiting right around the corner for anyone determined enough to reach for it.Butcher s Crossingis about another facet of the Great American Dream, the myth of the pristine land, a Garden of Eden where Man can go to [...]

    12. Jessaka says:
      A cold wind blew across the prairie when the last buffalo fell a death wind for my people Sitting BullThey came down into valley, and the buffalo herds were moving darkly over the land like waves on the ocean The men slowly moved in on them The first shot went to kill the leader of the herd, shots would follow My mind stopped The buffalo just stood there in wonder of what was going on, and one by one they were killed.

    13. RK-ique says:
      Wonderful book Read it Americana at its best Stoner was a book that made me look into my life as I am Butcher s Crossing took me back to my youth when I wandered, and lived in my tent in the mountains, became lost in a snow storm in the North But than anything it took me back to this He could hardly recall, now, the passion that had drawn him to this room and this flesh, as if by a subtle magnetism nor could he recall the force of that other passion which had impelled him halfway across a conti [...]

    14. Cathrine ☯️ says:
      5 In his third year at Harvard, Will Andrews leaves his studies to go west After hearing a lecture by Ralph Waldo Emerson his quest is to find and experience his unadulterated self The year is 1873 as he arrives in Butcher s Crossing Colorado He decides to fund a buffalo hunt as a way to see as much of the country as I can I want to get to know it I picture that scene in Dances With Wolves when the character played by Kevin Costner relates that he wants to see the West before it is all gone, and [...]

    15. Parthiban Sekar says:
      Bulls eye After reading this book, I have felt myself becoming one of those naive victims from this story At first, I was unaware of what is going to happen amidst the scurry behind shrubs and rocks, and the constant thuds of distant hooves I was slowly made to believe that everything is normal without knowing what lies beneath I suppose that I was taken for granted.Eventually, there was this strange feeling of foreign intervention which made me question my own existence and my very own purpose [...]

    16. Carmo says:
      Que motiva o pode levar os homens a deixarem se reduzir aos instintos mais b sicos O que leva o homem a desafiar os elementos, a arriscar a vida com uma faca no bolso Que prazer, que satisfa o, que desejo secreto o leva matan a selvagem, at n o restar mais nada O apelo do desconhecido Testar todos os limites De sobreviv ncia, de for a, de coragem Para provar o qu Que o homem um eterno solit rio, que a demanda em busca de um sentido para a vida pode ser a ess ncia da pr pria vida Ou ent o, para c [...]

    17. Patrick says:
      I enjoyed this sparse and dark novel set in Kansas and Colorado in the period after the Civil War.Strong characterisation and very atmospheric.This is Moby Dick brought to a rapidly changing American West.A precursor to the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

    18. Tony says:
      People, here and elsewhere, are agrief over the most recent national election A common question is, How could this happen For the handful of people who are not asking that question rhetorically, I could reply I don t know or I could attempt a lengthy answer about how the choice meant different things to different people, different oxen being gored I d never finish the longer answer In the unlikely event that the first or second explanation didn t cause a disagreement, eventually ennui would set [...]

    19. Betsy Robinson says:
      In the 1870s, Will Andrews, a young man fresh out of three years at Harvard College, travels west and, with a band of hunters, heads further west in search of buffalo because he is seeking Nature intentional capital N.Andrews felt that the mountains drew them onward, and drew them with increasing intensity as they came nearer, as if they were a giant lodestone whose influence increased to the degree that it was nearly approached As they came nearer he had again the feeling that he was being abs [...]

    20. Ken says:
      Penned in 1960, John Williams BUTCHER S CROSSING anticipates and in many ways eclipses Cormac McCarthy s western works because it not only nails the rapacious greed of the buffalo hunters it describes, it reaches for abstract and troubling themes that go to the very essence of man and his place in the world.Will Andrews, the protagonist, is but a 23 year old preacher s son when he shows up in Butcher s Crossing with money and a dream in hand He winds up payrolling a buffalo hunt to a hidden val [...]

    21. trovateOrtensia says:
      C un momento nella vita in cui ci si scontra con il limite, il dolore, il fallimento In cui si comprende di non essere al centro del mondo, e che le tracce che lasceremo saranno forse ben poca cosa, una impronta transitoria e lieve, come le orme che lasciamo sul terreno durante una nevicata E il momento in cui la vanitas e il non senso ci si manifestano apertamente, senza veli La vertigine di questo risveglio, che non esclude l accettazione della sfida che il vivere comporta, al centro di Butche [...]

    22. Sarah Funke says:
      Anything that s prefaced by a quotation from Melville s The Confidence Man is ok by me This one, by the author of Stoner, owes a lot to Melville than that from Transcendental meditations to musings on white, not to mention the monomania of a man on a hunt like Gatsby, come to think of it, but broader, and deeper, and colder wetter, and hotter thirstier This is Moby Dick in the early American west, with many, many buffalo instead of a single whale, and set very very much on land Williams s writi [...]

    23. Teresa Proença says:
      Cinco estrelas n o, porque h o Stoner Uma pessoa nasce, amamentada na mentira, desmamada na mentira e aprende mentiras mais elaboradas na escola Vive toda a vida no meio da mentira e mais tarde, porventura quando est prestes a morrer, descobre que n o h nada, nada a n o ser ela pr pria e o que podia ter feito S que n o o fez, porque as mentiras lhe disseram que havia outra coisa Nessa altura percebe que podia ter todo o mundo, porque a nica pessoa que sabe o segredo s que ent o tarde demais J de [...]

    24. Carla says:
      Simples e complexo.John Williams no seu melhor.Tinha passado naquele vale da montanha os momentos mais importantes da sua vida e, quando deixava os olhos percorr lo a planura e a sua cor amarelo esverdeada, as altas paredes das montanhas revestidas do verde carregado dos pinheiros, atravessado pelo flamejante vermelho dourado das faias na mudan a da folha, o penedo saliente e o outeiro, tudo encimado pelo intenso azul do c u sem vento , parecia lhe que os contornos do local flu am sob o seu olha [...]

    25. Tfitoby says:
      John Stoner Williams bleak and unromantic portrait of the great myth of the Western Frontier is a hard edged read designed to repulse the reader with its content whilst wallowing in the majesty of nature It s no mean feat to capture such beauty and such horror in one novel with equal skill and success, in doing so Williams confirms his place in my heart as one the greats of American letters, and if justice is served all of us who care for the careful consideration of how one word follows another [...]

    26. Dane Huckelbridge says:
      Stoner gets a lot press when it comes to John Williams, but I think this book is just as good if not better Totally different tone and setting, but an incredible Western, about a buffalo hunt that goes terribly awry It has some of the same wanton, destructive tones of Blood Meridian, without all the pseudo Faulknerian prose A real masterpiece.

    27. Councillor says:
      Could John Williams first novel, widely regarded as the counterpart to the famous Stoner, have left a striking impression I highly doubt so, and if only for its memorable, brutal honesty, Butcher s Crossing has earned a place among my all time favorites John Williams is no very well known author, and most people connect him only to Stoner, yet in my opinion, this underrated novel is, from a general point of view, his true masterpiece.Butcher s Crossing focuses on Harvard student Will Andrews wh [...]


    28. Cphe says:
      I enjoyed this, it is a wonderfully written western novel with well drawn characters and stirring descriptions of the wilderness when the Buffalo ran free and the land was rich and untouched.This is the story of a young and untried Will Andrews who arrives at Butcher s Crossing in search of enlightenment He gets than he bargained for when he funds a expedition with the taciturn Miller in search of the rapidly decliining Buffalo After a gruelling and harrowing trip they track their quarry in a p [...]

    29. Barbara Wahl says:
      Un bel film Davvero, il futuro regista di butcher s crossing non avr molto lavoro il romanzo gi un film con le scene ritagliate, le dissolvenze, la voce narrante ed il finale Siamo alla fine del XIX secolo, in un villaggio sperduto del Kansas in attesa del costruzione della nuova ferrovia, di quelli che ci sembra aver visto in migliaia di film ed forse pi familiare persino del villaggio o del quartiere dove viviamo Nulla di quello che ci aspettiamo manca uomini taciturni e gran bevitori, un giov [...]

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