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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Seeking to "...write between the lines of known fur trade history," Canadian writer Stetson delivers a compelling novel that stands outside the official historical register. Sir George Simpson (referred to throughout simply as "the Governor") led the Hudson's Bay Company from 1826 through 1860, a span of time that Stenson largely follows. But Simpson is peripheral to Ted Harriott, kindly, drunken, and ghostly, and One Pound One, a brutal, ruthless, but efficient halfbreed, both of whom run fur trading outposts. Stenson's prose is both terse and swift. He never dallies, summing up figures with economy: "Instead of character, Heron had ambition." Multiple strands of narrative are deftly interwoven throughout an epic tale of adventure and intrigue. While the fur trade lies at the story's zenith in the beginning, it recedes as the company rapes the land and plays off Americans and Indian tribes alike. When a reporter from Harper's Magazine visits Harriott, speculating that he'd killed a number of Indians, Harriott responds plainly: "If I had, with whom would I have traded?" Stenson's epic is myth-busting at its best.
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