Heart of the West

Рипол Классик
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William Sydney Porter known by his pen name O.Henry, was an American short story writer. His stories are known for their surprise endings. «Heart of the West» is a collection of humorous and sentimental stories of sheepherders, cowpunchers, trail cooks, prospectors, outlaws, and Texas Rangers offer the modern reader a window into the often mythologized American West. Perhaps refl ecting O. Henry’s own experience as a young man in the middle of nowhere, where women were few and far between, many of the stories are comic tales of romantic rivalry.
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Publisher
Рипол Классик
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Published on
Dec 31, 1911
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Pages
334
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ISBN
9785521070565
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In his first collection of short fiction, Bill Barich gives us cause to celebrate a prose stylist who can gracefully cross the boundaries of genre. As stated by Anne Tyler, Hard to Be Good is so large and complete that you tend to look up at the end and find yourself surprised that it’s still the same day.

Set in the American West, as are three other of the seven stories in this book, it is about the unselfconscious struggle for wholeness in a divided family. Its adolescent protagonist moves from innocence to experience in the course of a summer vacation with his mother and her third husband, and the result is satisfying, rather than harrowing.

The attempt to make signification relationships cohere, to weather the transformation of innocence, informs all the stories in this book, and in Barich’s worlds the outcome is often good—knowledge does not always lead to hopelessness. Highly disparate mothers covering on a couple in Idaho Falls (“Where the Mountains Are”) have much to teach and learn, a nineteen-year-old American studying in Florence accepts the surprising human complications of an outsider’s great pensione adventure (“Caravaggio”) . . . and that’s just a few of Barich’s brilliant stories.

Hard to Be Good is a book of real feeling, breadth, and narrative movement. As Frederick Exley wrote, “Barich is a splendidly gifted writer.”

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
"Sergeant Forson's Dirty-Shirt Army" is set in eastern Oregon, at a forgotten outpost left behind by the regular Army during the War between the States. Fort Haney is now home to a troop of fifty-seven men, raw recruits in the Oregon Volunteer Cavalry, who care little about fighting except among themselves, in spite of the fact that they are surrounded by hostile Snake and Cayuse Indians, just waiting for opportune moments to strike at farmers, ranchers, and stagecoaches. Their commanding officer plots strategy by retiring to his quarters, building model ships, and drinking whiskey. What alone can make a difference perhaps is Sergeant Ward Forson, previously trained in the regular Army. When word comes that the daughter of the commanding officer is on her way by stagecoach, coming to Fort Haney, both Major King and Sergeant Forson know that an Indian attack is likely. It is up to Forson to insure that these undisciplined recruits, who have been living almost like animals, will now pull together and meet their adversaries like true soldiers.

"Furnace Flat" is set in Death Valley. For twelve years now, Grady Ryan has worked in Borax mines, always with the idea to get a stake and strike off on his own to find a rich lode. He has done this several times in the past, but this time he has reason to expect to find a true bonanza. He is partnered with the elderly Mysterious Smith. Ryan is certain that Smith knows the location of a fabulous lode. And Ryan is right. But Smith knows they will be followed into the desert by ruthless claim-jumpers. His reason for wanting Ryan along is to fight off the claim-jumpers, not to share in a fortune with him. Maggie Conway, who operates a successful hash house in Furnace Flat, from which Grady and Smith are set to depart, is highly intuitive, and she tells Ryan that she is as sure as she has ever been that this time he will make his strike and find success at last. Intuitive she may be, but no fortune-teller.

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