Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Taming of Red Butte Western - by Francis Lynde

US/UK Kindle Classic
The Taming of Red Butte Western is a 1910 novel by Francis Lynde.  (US Edition)  (UK Edition)  

The word “Western” in the title actually refers not to the genre, but to the name of a railroad, the “Red Butte Western Railroad.”  The British Kindle edition which I cannot download because I have a US Kindle is annotated.  What is to annotate?  Maybe they want to be sure you know "butte" rhymes with "cute."

And for the UK Edition, instead of the usual boring cover that you see for free books, there is no cover shown.  The placeholder is a Manga style drawing of a woman shaving her legs.  (Apparently Amazon reads my blog, because the picture and the reference to "annotations" have been removed.

But if it is the same book (and I am sure it is), you are in for a treat!

Pitching over the hilltop summit, within a minute of each other, the two trains raced down the first few curving inclines almost as one. Mile after mile was covered, and still the perilous situation remained unchanged. Down the short tangents and around the constantly recurring curves the special seemed to be towing the passenger at the end of an invisible but dangerously short drag-rope. 

Lidgerwood began to grow uneasy. On the straight-line stretches the following train appeared to be rushing onward to an inevitable rear-end collision with the one-car special; and where the track swerved to right or left around the hills, the pursuing smoke trail rose above the intervening hill-shoulders near and threatening. With the parts of a great machine whirling in unison and nicely timed to escape destruction, a small accident to a single cog may spell disaster.

What would a railroad novel be without the chance of a train wreck?

Here is a pithy review from one of those perspicacious Amazon reviewers.

"Even though this was written long ago the characters are not much different from those of today. The main character is a man troubled by a personal demon who must try to bring a recalcitrant bunch of RR workers back into line. I loved the old RR terminology of the steam era. The story line in this Western was pretty interesting too. A good free read well worth the download.”

He forgot to mention there is a romance . . .

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