Official Review: Riding Shotgun on the Normal Stage

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Supergirl1
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Official Review: Riding Shotgun on the Normal Stage

Post by Supergirl1 » 02 Jul 2018, 08:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Riding Shotgun on the Normal Stage" by F. Richard Allen.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Riding Shotgun on the Normal Stage gives an exciting sneak peek into life in old Texas and some of its neighboring towns. However, please note that this story is fictional, so Google may have a hard time finding some locations mentioned in this book.

Clarence Withers is on the run. He has just murdered one of the notorious Kilgory brothers for cheating at a poker game and must flee for his life. Isidro is a witness to this murder. Separately, Clarence and Isidro make their way into the peaceful town of Normal and settle there. In typical fashion, Clarence wins at poker tables, upsetting the local gamblers. When he hears the Kilgory brothers are around, he promptly lets the local sheriff know they have come in search of him (Clarence), and why. The brothers make their way to the sheriff’s office as is the custom for everyone coming into Normal, and in the ensuing gun battle all but two of them are killed. Sheriff Dan Cooper hangs the two survivors the next day, against the wishes of some townspeople. Will this decision come back to haunt him, his family, and the erstwhile peaceful town of Normal?

This book comprises three stories intertwined and told as a single tale, with events in the town of Normal taking center stage. Isidro is a young Indian who has left his home and tribe in the Sierra Madre Mountains in search of greener pastures. Clarence Withers is a professional gambler who kills a cheat at a poker game gone sour. Unfortunately, this cheat is part of a local gang of ruffians who are now determined to avenge their brother’s murder. And Daniel Cooper is an ex-soldier who becomes the new sheriff in the town of Normal after the previous sheriff is shot dead while trying to clear up one of Clarence’s gambling brawls. F. Richard Allen gives a complete account of each protagonist’s story, and he does not leave the reader wondering what became of anyone. His writing style is one I admire.

This well-written historical fiction also does justice to the history part. From this book I learned about an ancient tribe of runners called the Tarahumara. This tribe was famous for their unique hunting style, which involved chasing their prey over very long distances until it became tired and could no longer run. The fictional character Isidro gives more details about the activities of this tribe in the book. The author also does a fantastic job of portraying life in the American south in the days when the sheriff was the judge, jury, and hangman. Normal even had its own neighboring Niggertown!

Riding Shotgun on the Normal Stage has earned a rating of 4 out of 4 stars from me. I found very few grammar errors, and I’m sure that was only because I was looking for them. If you love historical fiction, you should read this book.

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Riding Shotgun on the Normal Stage
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melissy370
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Post by melissy370 » 05 Jul 2018, 15:36

I had contemplated several times on reviewing this book and now I am kicking myself for not doing that because it sounds awesome :doh: . Thanks for your review and I am glad you enjoyed it. I have gotten over my indecisiveness now and am going to check this book out.

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Post by Supergirl1 » 06 Jul 2018, 02:36

melissy370 wrote: ↑
05 Jul 2018, 15:36
I had contemplated several times on reviewing this book and now I am kicking myself for not doing that because it sounds awesome :doh: . Thanks for your review and I am glad you enjoyed it. I have gotten over my indecisiveness now and am going to check this book out.
It is awesome. Thanks for the lovely comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

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Post by Faithmwangi » 08 Jul 2018, 15:32

The read does sound intriguing. I still have quite a list of books to get through but I hope I can get to this one soon. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Supergirl1 » 09 Jul 2018, 08:58

Faithmwangi wrote: ↑
08 Jul 2018, 15:32
The read does sound intriguing. I still have quite a list of books to get through but I hope I can get to this one soon. Thanks for the review.
You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by FictionLover » 21 Oct 2018, 07:33

Sounds complicated. I don't usually read Westerns and the plot of a murder over a poker game is kind of superficial. But, this is not my genre.

Glad you enjoyed it.
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Post by gali » 21 Oct 2018, 07:36

A western novel revolving around life in old Texas sounds intriguing. Gambling, murder, and gangs should make an engaging read. The book contains three stories, gives interesting historical facts, and portrays life in the west. Those Tarahumara sounds quite tough! Thank you for the review!
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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 21 Oct 2018, 07:43

Historical fiction revolving around Old Western life piques my interest. Thanks for the insight and review.

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Post by Lucky Moreen » 21 Oct 2018, 07:54

The because is awesome I had not reviewed it but I have to I can't miss out on this Beatiful book. I love books that involve gambling and vengeance

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 21 Oct 2018, 07:58

This is an incredible historical fiction novel that i enjoyed reading and i rated 4 out of 4 stars. The plot was captivating and the Western that the author created was amazing. The onlinebookclub review was written masterfully and highlighted the best the book had to offer.

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Post by LV2R » 21 Oct 2018, 08:21

I used to like watching westerns on T.V., so I might like reading this book. The Tarahumara tribe sounds interesting to learn about, as they are known for running their prey down. I wonder what will happen to the once-peaceful town of Normal after all the shootings and hangings.

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Post by Misael » 21 Oct 2018, 08:22

The novel seems fun and informative. Though I am not a fan of western novels, the fans of this genre surely will enjoy this book, based on the very positive review done. Happy reading!

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Post by kandscreeley » 21 Oct 2018, 08:51

This is a very interesting time in history; it sounds like it would be intriguing to read about. I can't wait to learn more about the fictional town of Normal. Thanks for a lovely review.
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Post by Sirajuddin » 21 Oct 2018, 08:56

The novel beautifully describes about the Western ways of life, in old Texas and the characters are well developed and interesting. The story flows smoothly, from the beginning to the end without any dull moment.
I liked the one liners of Isidro and felt sad for his failed love story. And I would like to congratulate F. Richard Allen, for his elegant and lucid writing style.

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Post by sarik » 21 Oct 2018, 09:02

My suggestion you read then noted point.

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