Bowie: A Novel

Overview

Jim Bowie, the descendant of Highland Scots, grew up riding alligators and working the field on the Texas frontier. Taught three languages and a sense of honor, he went on to live a life filled with brawls and battles, loves and loses. This is his story, as told by those who, whether they loved or hated him, were united by their awe of this amazing frontiersman.

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2000 Mass Market Paperback New Paperback, clean, tight, unmarked, no cover creases, light spine creasing. Jim Bowie, the descendant of Highland Scots, grew up riding ... alligators and working the field on the Texas frontier. Taught three languages and a sense of honor, he went on to live a life filled with brawls and battles, loves and loses. This is his story, as told by those who, whether they loved or hated him, were united by their awe of this amazing frontiersman. All orders are shipped by kbooks every business day. Read more Show Less

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Bowie: A Novel

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Overview

Jim Bowie, the descendant of Highland Scots, grew up riding alligators and working the field on the Texas frontier. Taught three languages and a sense of honor, he went on to live a life filled with brawls and battles, loves and loses. This is his story, as told by those who, whether they loved or hated him, were united by their awe of this amazing frontiersman.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A stunning novel about Jim Bowie."--Amarillo Globe-News

"An interesting blend of fact, lore, and legend combined t piant a verbal picture of Bowie as he might have been."--Ocala Star Banner

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The softspoken Southern aristocrat best known for king-sized cutlery and his glorious death at the Alamo, Jim Bowie remains a historical enigma surrounded by myth, half-truth and revisionist tinkering. This collaboration (Eickhoff most recently wrote a dark western, The Fourth Horseman, about Doc Holliday) continues the murky Bowie legend in a cacophony of more than 35 narrators who tell of Bowie's life (1796-1836), some recalling different details of the same events as seen from different perspectives and distanced by time. A loyal friend and deadly enemy, Bowie had a checkered career as a partner of slave trader and pirate Jean Lafitte (and was himself involved in suspicious land speculation with alleged forged land titles). Never one to run from a fight or ignore an insult, Bowie killed dozens of men in duels and brawls with Indians, assassins, robbers, bullies and card cheats. Although plagued by scandals and not always popular after a killing, Bowie was a natural leader, a trait that led him to Texas and the Alamo. While one wishes they had made do with fewer narrators, the authors cleverly show both sides of Jim Bowie, the hero and the villain, certainly no common man and no saint, but a true Western legend. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
YA-Known as an adventurer, entrepreneur, land speculator, slave runner, drinker, alligator rider, associate of the pirate Lafitte, gambler, and brawler, James Bowie remains best known when associated with the infamous knife bearing his surname. From his early teenage years to his death at the Alamo, he found ways to keep himself in the thick of things. Bowie's life story is revealed through interviews that offer a variety of perspectives by several "witnesses" to the events. Even though the stories sound true to life, readers need to remember that the book contains fictionalized history. Interviewees recite specifics about landscapes, weather, food, housing, and clothing, as well as day-to-day rituals, enhancing the story and giving a fuller account of frontier life in the early 1800s. It is an eclectic population, with many tribes of Southwestern and South Central Native Americans as well as Africans, French, Spanish, Mexicans, British, Scottish, and those who consider themselves citizens of the United States. The mixture makes for rich memories sometimes spoken in dialects with non-English words naturally becoming part of the interviews. The action-packed story ends with Bowie's death at the Alamo, a dramatic event spectacular enough for a man whose true life can no longer be separated from the legend he has become. Teens looking for stories about adventure, the untamed frontier, or an exciting retelling of Bowie's life can start here.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Masterful, realistic retelling of the Jim Bowie legend by Texans Eickhoff and Lewis. In his present effort with Lewis, Eickhoff (who retold the Cuchulainn legend in last year's The Raid) rebuilds the Bowie story in a brilliantly conceived series of interviews that captures the tone of frontier speech with what seems dead-on accuracy. Of Scottish ancestors who rode with Rob Roy, Big Jim Bowie (1790-1836) lent himself to dime-novel fabulization as an archetypal frontier hero only somewhat less fabulous than the Northwest's Paul Bunyan. Bowie's adventures include riding alligators in the swamps, hunting wild cattle with a knife, duels, Indian fights, lost treasure, and the designing of the Bowie knife (steel like a mirror, bronze the color of lightning). Before his death at the Alamo, he fulfilled one of his late wife's last requests, that he free his slaves. Thus the opening interview is with 98-year-old Black Sam, who tells of his 20 years with Bowie. This is done in black English as rich as Nigger Jim's and even more phonetically precise. The voice of Bowie's mother, Elve Ap-Catesby Jones Bowie, is captured with equal resourcefulness as she says of her son's death, "I'll wager no wounds were found in his back." Other interviewees are his brother, John Jones Bowie, the Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest, Sam Houston, and Caiaphas K. Ham, who fought with Bowie during the Texas War for Independence and stuck by him during his darkest depression and slide into alcoholism following the deaths of his wife and children. Going by one report, Bowie, sick and unable to rise, was slain in his bed, though a second report adds that he slew two Mexicans with his pistols and more with his knife beforebeing killed. Grand and compelling.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812577846
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy Lee Eickhoff holds several graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in Classics. He lives in El Paso, Texas where he works on translations in several languages, poetry, plays, and novels of which two have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His translation of Ireland's national epic is now a text in not only schools in the United States, but countries overseas as well. His nonfiction work on the Tigua Indians, Exiled, won the Southwest History Award. He has been inducted into the Paso Del Norte Writers Hall of Fame, the local chapter of the Texas Institute of Arts and Letters. He spends his time in El Paso, Ireland, and Italy, lecturing on Dante and The Ulster Cycle.

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