Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review: Powder Keg, On Sparta, etc etc

Been a little under the weather and did not get as much writing done as I would have liked. My wife says that always makes me cranky and she's probably right.

For reviews, I thought I would just go over what I'm reading for the month. I read Powder Keg by Leo V. Gordon and Richard Vetterli. Its from 1991 but I am not going to only review new books because I don't only read new books, so that said. This is about Johnstons army coming to Utah in 1857. It deals primarily with Porter Rockwell's stalling tactics of said army to put down a non-existent Mormon rebellion. Though it uses quite a bit of intriguing real history this is absolutely historical fiction. The one thing that bugged me was the attempt at making Port (a hero of mine) sound very well read, sorry, the guy is Awesome! but to my understanding illiterate. I could deal with the little bit of fictional romance in his life here and there and even competing for the girl with Lot Smith. Though this was very well researched, some other things stuck out. There was no Bill Hickman and if you're gonna tell the multiple character story arc's of people involved in all of it, the true story Charles Wilckens should not have been left out. Overall it was still good, I really liked some of the tactics used to slow Johnston. Don't know that they were true, but still good. Just a little anti-climactic but I think I would still give it 3.5 out of a possible 5. I would say its definitely more memorable than Richard Lloyd Dewey's first Rockwell novel and don't get me started on that abomination of a movie with Karl Malone.

Plutarch's 'On Sparta" is great, probably ought to give it a 4.5 right out of the gate. The edition I'm reading also includes a section by Xenophon on Spartan society and how by obeying their Law put them into a position of great power within Greece. I can't help but think of mirroring some things about Spartan Law and the Gospel. Such as IF we were capable of living U.O. and Consecration.What I'm especially enjoying my second time reading it, is the Spartan sayings. Far too many good quotes for one book. I'm gonna be borrowing lots of them.

Also I haven't gotten as far into my novel/research list because I've been reading some online short stories and I've got to plug P.D. Mallamo. I really liked his story 'Sign of the Gun'. He is a writer I will be watching for, very different from the norm relating to LDS writers and that's a good thing.

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