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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Jinglebob Man by Robert Kammen

The Jinglebob Man

So, your first question has to be "What's a jinglebob?"

A jinglebob is part of  the little spinny thing on the back of a set of spurs - the sharp part. It makes the "ting, ting, ting" sound you always hear in westerns as the cowboys are walking along and setting up for a big shoot-out.

The main character is The Jinglebob Man because he is imprisoned tortured by a sadistic superior officer with a set of sharpened spurs during the Civil War because he is accused of treason.

Our protagonist, Tyler Carradine, escapes from his prison and is now forever on the run, afraid of meeting someone from his past and in pain due to a lost love that he feels will not accept him due to his physical deformities and the accusations against him.

Carradine stumbles into a corrupt mining town years after the war and is finally forced to turn and fight rather than continue to run. Oh, and he finally has a chance to find love again (but not with his long-lost love).

The plot of the book is pretty basic western fare. Kammen's writing style is uneven. At times, the story flows effortlessly and at other times it seems as though he is trying too hard to sound authentically western and the narration breaks down and trips all over itself.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

Reviewed January 28, 2005.

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