Road to Reckoning: A Novel

Road to Reckoning: A Novel

by Robert Lautner
4.5 4

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Road to Reckoning: A Novel by Robert Lautner

“Remarkable…A novel about a young man reaching for manhood after the killing of his father and about the invention and selling of Col. Samuel Colt’s revolving pistol, and the way it changed the West. Those who love True Grit will love this” (Michael Korda, author of Hero).

One does not travel the path to vengeance alone

Twelve-year-old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a traveling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt’s recent invention, the “Improved Revolving Gun,” takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world’s first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure soon turns into a nightmare.

Thomas soon finds himself alone, and must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance. That is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road—and who have already stolen so much from Thomas.

In the spirit of The Sisters Brothers and True Grit, this spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys—through a boy’s eyes—a beautiful father-son story, as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America. Road to Reckoning offers a window into the history of the American West and the heart of a boy yearning for love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476731650
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 02/04/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 414,536
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Robert Lautner was born in Middlesex, England, in 1970. Before becoming a writer he owned his own comic bookstore, and was a wine merchant, photographic consultant, and recruitment consultant. He lives on the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, in a wooden cabin with his wife and children.

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Road to Reckoning: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
Give me more from this author. Robert Lautner has crafted a compelling tale of a young boy who lives through a lifetime of experiences in a week. Thomas, not yet in his teen years, has lost his mother to smallpox. His father is trying to make a living selling spectacles in New York during the depression of the early eighteen hundreds. In the hopes of making a better living his father takes a job as a salesman for the recently patented Colt revolver. Thomas and his father head into the sparsely settled hills of central Pennsylvania on the road west. The trip is cut short when they run across a band of outlaws who kill Thomas's father. All their belongings, including their firearm samples are stolen, with the exception of a wooden replica of the Colt revolver. Thomas, left on his own, tries to find his way back to New York where his aunt lives. His bad fortune turns when he runs across Henry Stands, a grizzled, mountain of a man. He has no truck for babysitting a twelve year old green horn, but Thomas can be just as stubborn in his quest to get home. The two must find their way east through many trials, including a showdown with the outlaws who killed Thomas's father. This is a very engaging tale that quickly draws you in and keeps your interest from start to finish.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Road to Reck­on­ing by Robert Laut­ner is a west­ern novel tak­ing place in 1837 This is Mr. Lautner’s debut novel. At age 12 Thomas Walker, a shel­tered boy liv­ing in New York City, joins his father, a trav­el­ing sales­man, to go out west and sell Samuel Colt’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary "Improved Revolv­ing Gun". Not long after their trav­els start, Thomas’ father is killed by rob­bers, and the young orphan tries to make it back home with his few pos­ses­sions, includ­ing a wooden model of the gun, and no money, rely­ing on the kind­ness of strangers. Thomas is paired with Henry Stands, a crabby Indi­ana Ranger who likes to be left alone while he pur­sues crim­i­nals for bounty. Though Thomas is intim­i­dated by the Ranger, who intends to leave him at the first town he finds, he feels secure and does his best to stick around. Road to Reck­on­ing by Robert Laut­ner is the story of Thomas Walker, a 12 year old boy who is caught between world’s, is not a boy and not a man, and he doesn’t get to decide which one. The boy, still vul­ner­a­ble, wants to be a macho man but is not match for the shys­ters and rough men he meets. The book is dark, vio­lent but also very enjoy­able. The char­ac­ters are com­plex, inter­est­ing and engag­ing, the story is very good and, due to the dark nature of the book, I didn’t know if it will have a happy end or not. One of the most inter­est­ing aspects of the novel, for me, was the rela­tions of the elder Thomas with his dead father, since the story is told in hind­sight by an older Thomas look­ing at his adven­tures with a sense of for­give­ness and matu­rity which is sur­pris­ing. The elder Thomas for­gives his father’s short­com­ing, and mis­takes which, at times, put his young life at risk. Walker and his pro­tec­tor, Henry Stands, make an inter­est­ing due. Walker wants to get home to his aunt after wit­ness­ing his father’s mur­der, Stands couldn’t care less about the boy but as the jour­ney extends, both see that there is some­thing more than just reach­ing an end point. This book was my first big sur­prise of 2014, a west­ern writ­ten by an Eng­lish­man about a boy writ­ten with intel­li­gence and charisma.
Twink More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 It was the cover blurb on the cover of Robert Lautner's book, Road to Reckoning, that compelled me to pick it up....."Those who love True Grit will love this." 1837 New York City. Thomas Walker and his father (formerly a spectacle salesman) strike out on the road West to sell a new product - guns. Specifically, Samuel Colt's new improved 'revolving gun'. They have samples to show and Thomas has a wooden replica as well. Walker Sr. is a gentle man, not one overly familiar with guns or violence. It is inevitable that others would want and simply take the guns. But what is also taken Walker Sr.'s life. Leaving young Thomas alone to fend for himself....until he hooks up with Henry Stands - a man more than familiar with the use of guns. It is Thomas in his older years who narrates the tale of his youth. "I, to this day, hold to only one truth: if a man chooses to carry a gun he will get shot. My father agreed to carry twelve." Young Thomas is old beyond his years, yet still a child. Lautner wonderfully describes the relationship between Thomas and his father, making it all the more heartbreaking when it is cut short. The relationship between Stands and Thomas is just as moving. Stands as a character leapt off the page for me. The prose are spare, but Thomas's observations and thoughts are compelling. The Road to Reckoning is filled with adventure and action as well. And Lautner's descriptions of time and place set the tone perfectly. The history of firearms and Colt's fledgling revolver was also very interesting. Lautner has written a Western coming of age tale set on the rough roads and towns of a young America. And yes, it is very similar in tone to True Grit. But definitely worth a read. (And it would make a great movie) (I was surprised to see that Lautner is not an American author - rather he lives in Wales.)
Mirella More than 1 year ago
Twelve year old Thomas Walker heads out on the road with his father, a travelling salesman peddling a new gun, the Colt Revolver. A chance encounter with a dangerous outlaw leaves Thomas alone after his father is shot. He must find his way home alone. Henry Stands is a former ranger who reluctantly finds himself burdened with Thomas as he leads the boy home. But Thomas is bent on revenging his father’s death, and it is this desire that continually draws Henry into the conflict. Told through the point of view of young Thomas, in this coming of age novel, there is much to enjoy. First, the characters are unique, raw, charismatic, fascinating. So well developed, I could not help but turn the pages to see what they would do and say next. There were many tense scene as well as ones that truly touched the heart. It can definitely be compared with True Grit, but has its own unique story and setting. It is a different type of western novel, strongly character driven but with a powerful storyline. I truly loved this novel. Beautifully rendered, it was poignant yet gripping. I especially enjoyed learning about the history of Colt and his guns and its effect on America's west. There is something in this novel that is sure to please every reader, no matter the gender, no matter the age.