Last Stand at Saber River
Posted: 10 March 2007 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This book review somehow grew out of my Messier for Elmore discipline
the chronologic reading of Dutch’s novels

It has my brain going on a number of different levels
rather than post it here I thought maybe I’d tweak the imagination
examine the folds in time from 1865 to 1959
1959 to 2007

Do you get it?

His engagement of Federal troops at Brice’s Crossroads on June 10, 1864 is considered by many the perfect battle. Union Major General Samuel D. Sturgis, with 8,000 men was marching south into northern Mississippi to block the cavalry from attacking Sherman’s supply lines. When Sturgis ran into Forrest’s dismounted horsemen he assembled a perimeter around the crossroads. Forrest flanked him on both sides, the same double envelopment that worked so well near Bowling Green. The bluecoats ran. A bridge over the Tishomingo Creek became a roadblock for the retreating army and ever-vigilant for such opportunity, the Confederate general pounced. Sturgis would later write “What was confusion became chaos…” as the rebels pounded the fleeing blues. With less than three thousand men Forrest had destroyed an enemy more than twice the manpower. (about North Georgia)

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Posted: 27 April 2007 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Last Stand at Saber River 1959
Homecoming from War - One of the elements that recur in Dutch’s novels regardless of period are the characters who have experienced war and have returned to find a way in the world. Usually the experience is peripherally mentioned to give the character greater depth, here the experience is touched on a number of times, when Paul faces a tough situation he is aware of his experience in battle and chooses to forgo such responses in favour of civil order
Civil War themes -Home and Family, Service to a cause, preparations for death
On the end of civil war and the beginning of all out war,
this historic watershed has to be better understood
to allow us to duplicate the benevolent lessons of this landmark
without having to consume the blood of the people who need help most.
The modern situation is ripe for this kind of thinking, how do you get to the end of the war being the biggest question, perhaps the end should be studied to discover the means.
No bad guy named Frank yet the name Phil has some of that

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Posted: 11 July 2007 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Out West, When Men Were Quiet And Heroic

New York Times
By JOHN J. O’CONNOR
Published: January 17, 1997
Before he became an author of best-selling crime novels like ‘‘Get Shorty,’’ Elmore Leonard wrote westerns, developing early on his favorite theme, that ‘‘we don’t control our lives.’’ ‘‘Last Stand at Saber River,’’ one of the best, has now been given a rich and sensitive television production, which can be seen Sunday on TNT. Tom Selleck, who at times seems as attractively embarrassed as Clark Gable used to be about being in the suspicious business of acting, plays Paul Cable, returning in the waning days of the Civil War to his wary family and a world still filled with violence.

Cable volunteered three years earlier, in 1862, to fight on the side of the Confederacy. He returns chastened after a bloodcurdling incident that he doesn’t want to talk about. His wife, Martha (Suzy Amis), is still bitter about his joining up in the first place and leaving her to cope with the rearing of two children and the death of a third. She insists that Cable move the family from Texas back to Arizona Territory (filming was done in New Mexico), only to find that their valley home has been confiscated by two Union-sympathizing brothers (played by real-life brothers, David and Keith Carradine). Lurking ominously on the periphery is Edward Janroe (David Dukes), a seriously disturbed gunrunner who insists the South is winning the war.

This is an old-fashioned western, lean and mean. The landscape is a major character. There are stylistic echoes of the 1929 film ‘‘The Virginian,’’ which starred a new actor named Gary Cooper. The cast of ‘‘Saber River’’ includes Harry Carey Jr., a veteran of such John Ford classics as ‘‘Red River’’ and ‘‘Rio Bravo.’’ There are shootouts, with Martha blowing away more than her share of nasty varmints, and, for a grand finale, there is a hair-raising chase to save a little girl. Mr. Selleck’s taciturn Cable is almost wordlessly eloquent, and Ms. Amis’s Martha is one of the most formidable women you’ll find on a screen nowadays.

Incidentally, all concerned are terrific riders. JOHN J. O’CONNOR

LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER
TNT, Sunday night at 8

Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard. Teleplay by Ronald M. Cohen. Dick Lowry, director; Mary Ann Braubach, Thomas Kane, Steven Brandman and Matthew David Hensley, producers; Michael Brandman and Tom Selleck, executive producers.

WITH: Tom Selleck (Cable), Suzy Amis (Martha), Keith Carradine (Vern Kidston), David Carradine (Duane Kidston), David Dukes (Edward Janroe) and Harry Carey Jr. (Royce Dancy).

Correction: January 25, 1997, Saturday

Correction: January 25, 1997, Saturday
A review of the made-for-television movie ‘‘Last Stand at Saber River’’ on Jan. 17 misstated the previous film credits of one actor and misidentified the director of the films cited. The actor Harry Carey Jr. did appear in ‘‘Red River’’ but not in ‘‘Rio Bravo’‘; both were directed by Howard Hawks, not John Ford.

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Posted: 12 July 2007 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m reading this book now.  Just started and already it’s got something no other Dutch novel I’ve read has, save for the Coyote book and The Hot Kid:  children.  Sure, there have been various teens used in semi-major roles, but never as young as Cable’s little ones, the eldest not yet six.  It’s refreshing to see the interaction between parent and child in an EL book.  He waited till this, his fourth novel, to use little ones and didn’t find a place for them again in a story until The Hot Kid. Coyote’s a given. 

Maybe we’ll be treated to more of this in future offerings.  Not holding my breath, though.  ;-D

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Posted: 13 July 2007 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Another surprising turn of events in Chapter 2. Cable is leading Vern’s horses back to Vern’s land and no less than seven paragraphs in a row are offered without dialog. I thought that had to be some sort of record, but toward the end of the chapter, here we go again. This time there are seventeen (17) consecutive paragraphs without a line of dialog. Started out as the life story of Vern’s niece and ended with a suspense-ratcheting confrontation between the Cables and Vern’s brother and his crew, before Vern himself makes his first appearance.

Great stuff, even without dialog.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’ve noticed an evolution to his writing.  Many of his earlier writing wasn’t as dialogue-driven as his later work.

I only have fourteen more of his books to go!

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Posted: 16 July 2007 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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This one has a raw, gritty feel to it, more so than the other early westerns. The others are all fine stories, burned right through ‘em, but Saber River stands out for me. That scene with Joe Bob and Royce inside the Cable adobe could’ve just as easily come from Killshot or any of the grittier crime novels.

Saber River also has a number of long narrative passages (not just the 2 mentioned before), where you really get into the character’s head. The action is driven as much by what a character is thinking as what he is saying. This book gives you a different kind of early look at Elmore Leonard’s genius.

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Posted: 19 July 2007 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I have a copy of LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER which was printed as LAWLESS RIVER in Britain by Robert Hale in 1959.Whilst it has a dust jacket it isn’t in the best of condition and did go to a library as it has a perforated stamp “property of red libraries”—I don’t suppose anyone wants to offer me $5000 for it???
I won’t hold my breath,Colman

Posted by colman keane on 05/03 at 09:08 PM


I just saw a sight from England with the same information.  LAWLESS RIVER in Britian, LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER in America.

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Posted: 20 July 2007 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Interesting.

My copy has two copyright dates, 1959 and 1980.  Is the latter some kind of ‘renewal’ or are there updated pages/passages from the original?

Gregg?  Anyone?

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Posted: 20 July 2007 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Scrum - 20 July 2007 01:19 PM

Interesting.

My copy has two copyright dates, 1959 and 1980.  Is the latter some kind of ‘renewal’ or are there updated pages/passages from the original?

Gregg?  Anyone?

Yes.  Reprint.

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