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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Last Reveille by David Morrell



A change of pace for Morrell

David Morrell
David Morrell is one of my favorite authors. The only problem with being a Morrell fan is that he's not a big name author like King, Koontz or Grisham. You have to explain who he is to author book people and they usually get turned off when you mention one of the most famous characters in fiction: Rambo. Too bad because Morrell writes multiple genres - supense, historical fiction, horror - and he does them well and he is definitely should be known more as the creator of the cartoonish image most people have of Rambo. Anyway, I'm slowly working my way through his older books and enjoying myself.

Last Reveille is Morrell's first foray into historical fiction. First published in 1977, the 1994 edition has an eight page introduction to the book that sets the book up quite well. He notes that it is similar to the John Wayne movie The Shootist in that there is an aging character that becomes a composite, a symbol of America's past (note that the book was nearly done when the movie came out).

The aging character is Miles Calender, a name designed to evoke his age and the distance he has traveled. The young soldier that is learning his ways is Prentice, a named taken from apprentice. They are involved in Blackjack Pershing's expedition into Mexico to try to capture Pancho Villa.

Is it good historical fiction?

Yeah. It seems solid to me (I am a history teacher but I do not claim to be an expert on Pancho Villa, Pershing or the military hardware of the time).

Is it a good book?

While not Morrell's best, it is a good book, worthy of your time. Kind of like a western with some real nuggets of literature thrown in. There are themes, exploration of the male psyche (father figures, friendship, etc.) and gunfire. What's not to like?

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Last Reveille by David Morrell.

Reviewed on June 19, 2009.

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