Seven Ox Seven Part One, Escondido Bound

Seven Ox Seven Part One, Escondido Bound

by P. A. Ritzer

Paperback(Revised Second Edition)

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Seven Ox Seven Part One, Escondido Bound by P. A. Ritzer

The seven souls of the Stuart-Schurtz party risk everything to seek a mysterious canyon on the Texas frontier of 1877. The age-old quest for home lies behind this radical disruption of their lives. A unique communion develops among them as they face the challenges of the trail and search for what might not exist. Still, their gravest trials are served up by an agent of evil who commits his powers, physical and spiritual, to their destruction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933363073
Publisher: Seven Ox Press
Publication date: 07/04/2015
Series: Seven Ox Seven , #1
Edition description: Revised Second Edition
Pages: 674
Sales rank: 627,671
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

P. A. Ritzer spent four years traveling through Kansas, Colorado, and especially Texas, researching primary and secondary sources, and the land itself and the people who live on it, to inform his crafting of Seven Ox Seven. He brings to his story a background in history (Gonzaga University BA) and theology (Harvard University, University of Notre Dame MA).

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Seven Ox Seven: A Story of Some Ways in the West. Part One, Escondido Bound 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
mmcopley More than 1 year ago
I was given this book as a gift by a close friend (she knows that I love westerns). I am reading the book for the second time, just to take in all of the small details I missed the first time around. The author clearly has done an awful lot of research into the period. A highly recommended read for any western fan!
Dave91 More than 1 year ago
This book encompasses a wonderful combination of Western Adventure, history, humanity with it's good and bad side, and the moral dilemmas that we all face. The author mixes all of these ingredients into a fine, entertaining saga that had me spending more time into the night than I should have because I could not put it down! I was continually putting myself in the book and trying to figure out what I would do in their situations, from love interests to addressing some life threatening situations. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it to those who like a good story and want to read some history and moral perspective.
Lynmo More than 1 year ago
I am usually not into westerns but I met the Author at a book signing and he was such a nice man that I bought the book. The book is well written and interesting. I would highly recommend it to fans of Western fiction.
Rick-Sr More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Seven Ox Seven, on several different levels. First, and most significantly for me personally, I enjoyed meeting a man (albeit a fictional man) from 130 years ago who was a true believer. I must admit, it took me a while to accept the notion, but once I did and thought about it a bit, I realized that there is absolutely no reason to be surprised by such an idea. Why shouldn't there be a man who loves his God and desires to enjoy Him and live for Him - even out in the old wild west?? It was a very refreshing idea for me. I have found that my own faith grows more when I am exposed to others who love and serve him as well - especially when those people are outside my own routine experience. The second perspective that I enjoyed about Seven Ox Seven is simply that it is a good story, well told, about a very likable and honorable man - Tom. I appreciate Mr. Ritzer's ability to describe details, and to create a character that in essence, became one of my heroes. I looked forward every night as I went to bed to find out how Tom and his friends were doing today as they worked hard to create a life for themselves amidst the twists and challenges of life in the wild. I am sure it felt like a bit of a risk for the author to write a novel about the old west with a devoutly Christian hero. But I appreciate the fact that he did. In following his own heart and devotion, Mr. Ritzer has given us a most enjoyable read, while at the same time providing encouragement to the rest of us to follow our Lord's prompting to serve Him with the talents and abilities He has given us. So --- how long do we have to wait to find out how Tom handles the bad guys at the ranch next door? Not long I hope!
jeffg2000 More than 1 year ago
Met this author by chance, bought the book, and really enjoyed the story, I must for people that enjoy westerns, very good charaters, they seem to have become my friends 1/2 through. Looking towards the next book, great job!!!!! Jeff Gagne
The-Prairie-Poet More than 1 year ago
A saga that provides the thrill of frontier adventure with the risk, struggle, loneliness, joy and sorrow of building a new life in a part of the the unknown West. The research is impeccable and provides insight as to what was necessary to acquire ownership. What had to be overcome. The dramatic change taking place in the 1870s. Finally, the almost unbearable weight of responsibility toward family and the partnership. A theme runs through the telling. "Man must live and be guided by a higher authority to build that which will last." The spiritual values of the 7OX7 party were lived out in their daily lives. However, the villian lives by a different code and threatens all they have achieved and what they stand for. Who and what will win out. We are left praying for the Stuart-Schurtz party but completely uncertain as to their future. Bring on Part Two!
cowboydrifter357 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great one to read! I put it up there with anything by Kelton, McMurty, and LaMour. I was born and raised just north of Dodge City, Kansas and know the territory that the author was talking about. I would recomend this to anyone, weather you are a western fan or not. The book was historically accurate and the characters, eventhough fiction, fit right in! I can't wait for the second part to come out!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a small party of pioneers, including a young family, who set out seeking a valley (Escondido) known only as legend, to establish a ranch. This is a story of extremes, from the happiness of fulfillment from faith and hard work, to the dangers inherent in the wilderness beyond the frontier and some of the more evil men who reside there. This is a story of the kind of people who settled and built this great country of ours. If you like historical novels, you will really like this book. Some of them can be pretty hard going, but in this case I couldn¿t put the book down until I finished it¿no thinking I¿ll force myself to read to at least page fifty. The only problem is, this saga is going to continue with another book, so now I have to wait for the next book to continue the story. I have read all of James Michener¿s books, and plenty of others by the likes of Edward Rutherfurd, and we just may have another up and coming Michener here in author Peter Ritzer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was great to read a novel that centers on characters that are normal people just trying to make their way in the world. The morality and faith shown in the characters was refreshing. The novel is a wonderful treat without relying on shoot-em-up action. The story builds to a good climax that is more internal than external, but leaves the reader anxious to read volume two. Enjoyed the religious references. There are plenty of western novels devoid of any mention of faith, yet faith was a integral part of the lives of many pioneers. I live within a few miles of the area of the fictional Escondido Canyon. Descriptions of the area, weather, and topography are right on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book makes you pause and think. Mr. Ritzer brings a spiritual element into the story that I feel adds depth and substance to the characters. Carefully weaving historical facts throughout made it all the more interesting. Looking forward to Part 2.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How wonderful it is to find that someone takes the time to tell a story. The deep and sincere emotions of the characters in this book draw the reader into the story and transport one to the gritty, daring, and beautiful days of the early American West. Get ready to dig deep, and settle in with this story, because it is not a shallow or easy read. The author challenges his reader to examine one's conscience and come away asking, 'What would I do in this situation?' In a world of fast paced electronics, and quick fixes, this is a most welcome find.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great story pitting good versus evil in the earlier Texas cattle years of the 1870's. Although a bit wordy there is never a lack of description concerning the scene. The author does well in giving the reader a good picture of what the cattle towns and cowboys were like.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Built on a solid foundation of meticulous research, this story vividly portrays the austere beauty of the pre-settlement west and achieves vitality through the author's skilled development of its characters. The reader is afforded a rare glimpse of some of the more obscure aspects of Roman Catholicism, presumably drawn from the author's personal experiences. The book culminates in a struggle between good and evil which left my conscience battling a visceral reaction to the actions of the villain. I recommend this book to anybody who is fascinated by American history, or who just enjoys a good western.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The authors two sons come to my school...
legman814 More than 1 year ago
Captivating. Riveting. Historical. I stumbled upon this book in what some might call a serendipitous manner. One of my tweets was "favorited" and then "rewteeted" by a well known TV commentator. In turn, one of her followers also favorited it and then decided to follow me. I reviewed the follower's bio and learned he was an author that wrote historical fiction. I found his ebook on Barnes & Noble and purchased it the same day. Mr. Ritzer was able to take the reader and place them alongside the characters as if you were a silent, invisible observer of the unfolding events. In doing so, the reader joins up with Tom Schurtz and Luke Stuart and his young family as they make their way to the Texas Panhandle to start a ranch in the 1870s. The reader experiences the tired, sore muscles and dry mouth of long hours in a saddle breathing dust from a cattle drive and the feeling of excitement and pride of starting a ranch. Throughout the novel, he uses historical figures and important dates and events to add flavor to the story. His character introduction and development is superb. You are invested in their lives and activities. You rejoice when their rewards are bountiful and saddened when tragedy befalls them. The actions of the protagonists are led by their faith and spiritual convictions in all they do, even to the point I was hoping they might throw them aside and just take care of business. However, at the end, I was glad they did not. The author takes you inside the mind of Tom Schurtz as he ponders the meaning of scriptures, how he should use them to guide his life, his internal struggle to follow God and lean not on his own wisdom Mr. Ritzer mush have spent countless hours researching the events portrayed in the novel. As a lover of historical fiction I enjoy and appreciate this. However, I understand how some might believe this might serve to slow the pace and be tempted to skip over those pages. It is also obvious Mr Ritzer has a strong faith and knowledge of scripture and uses it within the text of the novel. This too, might make the casual reader want to skip over these words, but I urge you not to. It is within these facts and scripture that we fully.understand the internal battle that we all must fight. How we respond to problems in our lives. How we react to moral dilemmas I recommend this book to readers that enjoy Larry McMurtry and some of Louis L'Amour books, even some readers that just enjoy a good Western. On a final note, I believe this book would be an excellent "additional reading" selection for high school American History classes, or perhaps as a book report. I cannot wait for Volume 2..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Ritzer is by far one of the greatest Western Novel writer's. With books like this depicting the life in the west is something everyone should read. I am waiting for the next novel to come to the bookstands.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The literary genre of P. A. Ritzer's 2007 novel SEVEN OX SEVEN is hard to pin down. It is part well researched documentary of Texas history, geology and folk ways. It is also part story of a handful of people trying to make a living with cattle in the late 1870s in a remote canyon of the vast West Texas Staked Plain, Llano Estacado. But to me it seems mostly an epic poem reminiscent of John Milton's PARADISE LOST and PARADISE REGAINED. *** There is nothing subtle about how the religious dimension of this epic is presented. A very few examples: a cowboy riding the trail can be lifted toward his destiny as Jesus was honed by the ruggedness of his carpenter trade to take the trail to Calvary -- p. 86. There are three categories of people and their consciences: the lawful, the lawless and the semi-lawful, the last being those who push laws to their limits, 'finding and using every loophole in the law ... to get around the law through legal trivialities' -- p. 225. As the pioneers in Escondido Canyon celebrate together Christmas 1877, cowboy hero Tom Schurtz imagines how impossible it would be to entrust baby Bob, son of Schurtz's partner Luke Stuart, to a band of renegades. Yet that is just what God did with his only-begotten Son -- p. 325. Why are there no Comanches or any primitive people anywhere on earth that count as Rousseau's Noble Savages? How explain why so many men are evil? Only the Fall of Adam and Eve account for 'man's inclination to sin.' It is Original Sin that propels human history. Man's only hope is salvation through the Incarnate Word and the Church of Christ -- pp. 344 - 354. Two Catholic cowboys, Tom and young Andy, spend their Sunday mornings together fasting, praying and discussing religion --p. 371. When Tom left home at age 16, he had a sense of being called, a religious vocation to do what he was doing -- p. 409. *** Some of the copious theologizing is silent, done by cowboy hero Tom Schurz thinking to himself. Much of it, however, is by a cosmic narrator who not only has a God's eye vision of the events in the Texas Panhandle but is not afraid to sound like a prophet, invoking, texts, catechisms and ecclesiastical statements of the sometimes distant future. *** Such ruminations are not infrequent and can go on for pages. Nor are they all religious. Other digressions touch on Lincoln and slavery, history of the Republican party, homesteading versus the open range and on and on. *** Surprisingly author Ritzer pulls this gigantic project off rather well. Within the cosmic framework of Christian salvation, Texas geology, American political history, the last great buffalo massacre in Texas and other large boundaries, a handful of little people live and love, work hard, fight rustlers, shoot and eat bears and generally do the things we expect in Western novels. The resulting text is very, very long for the story it tells. But it has its lyric moments and in its leisurely digressions touches on and illuminates important themes. -OOO-
Rousseau More than 1 year ago
I do enjoy a good western now and then. Nothing in my opinion can ever come close to Lonesome Dove. That said...I purchased this book and soon found myself immersed in what I will call a religious tract wrapped in a history book. Through the main character you get a history lesson. You also get tedious ramblings. For example. The main character meets a woman in a dance hall. Following that we get his musings on love. Physical...religious...which rambles on for pages and pages. So I would be careful buying this book. The jacket gives not a hint that it is a book of this nature. Besides the religion and history lessons I think we get a glimpse of the authors political leanings. Knowing what I know now, I would not have purchased this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The research on this book was extensive and it should be a great western novel. However the author has insisted on making this a religious theme. Normally I just pass over the bibical references but in this book they are too many. I was looking forward to reading a great western novel and I am sorely disappointed.