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Hall, a spellbinding prose-stylist, writes with the kind of ethereal poetic sweep found in the historical novels of Michael Ondaatje and Wallace Stegner. With consummate skill he weaves the true 1804-06 journey with a deep psychological probe of his enigmatic characters' mind-sets. To his credit, he stays as close to the historical circumstances surrounding the expedition as can be hoped for in fiction.—The Los Angeles Times
More insidious motives emerge in Seduced by the West, Laurie Winn Carlson's examination of the political plotting that surrounded the expedition. Carlson speculates that Thomas Jefferson may have intended to provoke war with Spain or establish a separate, Republican nation in the West. Jefferson, perhaps unknowingly, colluded with spies and traitors, and he may have coldly planned to sacrifice his former secretary: "Perhaps Jefferson did not even wantLewis to arrive on the Pacific coast. What he may have wanted . . . was a martyr."
Whether Lewis and Clark ever arrived didn't really matter, argues Thomas P. Slaughter in Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness, noting that the Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie had made the overland journey ten years earlier and that traders had already begun to penetrate the territory. Slaughter writes, "It is really quite marvelous that Lewis and Clark were able to sustain the fantasy of controlled, objective 'discovery' so long and in the face of so much evidence to the contrary."(Andrea Thompson)
Posted May 12, 2005
I couldn't understand this book. I am fascinated by Lewis and Clark, but I was extremely disappointed with this confusing novel. The attempt to be creative by using different 'voices' to tell the story failed completely. I don't believe that Sacajawea and Charbonneau would tell their stories using language that they can't speak and that others can't understand. There are much better books to read about Lewis and Clark.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.