Friday, August 25, 2006
Crofton's Fire -- Keith Coplin
Forty years or so ago, I was in graduate school with Keith Coplin. I haven't seen Keith since then, but I remember him well, and I especially remember one funny story about him and the draft. But that's beside the point. The point is that a couple of years ago Keith published a novel called Crofton's Fire, and it's terrific. The title character is a military man who escapes the Custer fight at Little Big Horn and goes on to become involved in any number of interesting situations throughout the rest of the 19th century. Crofton, unlike, say, Harry Flashman, is a good and decent man, but his narrative voice is as compelling as Harry's. It's also entirely different. The book's style is spare and almost poetic.
This book got killer reviews, and independent booksellers loved it (see scan). If you're looking for a superbly written historical novel, this is the one. Check it out.