Sunday, 13 July 2008

Red River Stage

by Fred Grove
Leisure Books, August 2002

This is a collection of short stories, twelve in all, by Fred Grove. According to the blurb he is of Indian heritage, (Osage and Sioux) and has a love of horses. It also says that Grove has won five Spur Awards of which two were for stories included in this book.

My favourite was one of the award winners. “When the Caballos Came”, a finely crafted tale of the time the Penateka Comanche discovered the stunning animals ridden by the Spaniards and wondered if they, too, could ride them. What made this the stand out story in my opinion is that I wished it longer, I wanted to read more.

Like in any collection there are stand out tales, such as “Comanche Woman” (the other award winner) and the title story.

It soon became obvious that the strongest stories were those dealing with Indians.

I did notice a couple of re-occurring themes, namely an older man who was seen to be out of touch with modern times. The other being the inclusion of a woman, who, as you read through the book, it became obvious to the outcome of her relationship with the “hero” of the story.

All in all a good collection of tales, and a good way to introduce yourself to the writings of Fred Grove.

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