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Western
by Christine Montalbetti and Betsy Wing


Overview -

Setting out to tell the story of a mysterious cowboy--a stranger in town with a terrible secret--Christine Montalbetti is continually sidetracked by the details that occur to her along the way, her CinemaScope camera focusing not on the gunslinger's grim and determined eyes, but on the insects crawling in the dust by his boots.  Read more...


 
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More About Western by Christine Montalbetti; Betsy Wing
 
 
 
Overview

Setting out to tell the story of a mysterious cowboy--a stranger in town with a terrible secret--Christine Montalbetti is continually sidetracked by the details that occur to her along the way, her CinemaScope camera focusing not on the gunslinger's grim and determined eyes, but on the insects crawling in the dust by his boots. A collection of the moments usually discarded in order to tell even the simplest and most familiar story, "Western" presents us with the world behind the clich?s, where the much-anticipated violence of the plot is continually, maddeningly delayed, and no moment is too insignificant not to be valued. Montalbetti's daring theft of movie technique and subversion of a genre where women are usually relegated to secondary roles--victims, prostitutes, widows, schoolmarms--makes Western a remarkable wake for the most basic of American mythologies.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781564785282
  • ISBN-10: 1564785289
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publish Date: October 2009
  • Page Count: 192
  • Reading Level: Ages 22-UP

Series: French Literature

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Humorous - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 44.
  • Review Date: 2009-08-24
  • Reviewer: Staff

In her first novel to be translated into English, French writer Montalbetti explores the classic tropes of the Wild West through the lens of metafiction in this clever but convoluted story of a silent cowboy with a secret past. Though most of the so-called “action” takes place in the 1800s American West, Montalbetti also jumps to France and contemporary times. The unnamed 30-year-old hero spends most of the novel ruminating on a porch, until a stagecoach appears carrying a significant woman from his past. Spurred on by news the woman brings, the hero rides off to a climactic confrontation. There are myriad digressions into the tiniest details of the setting, incorporating the viewpoints of ants and even droplets of water. While these interludes highlight Montalbetti's keen observational skills and vivid imagination, the almost nonexistent plot may alienate readers looking for a cohesive story. But those willing to work a little harder will enjoy the intellectual and sensual—if not emotional—rewards of the story. (Oct.)

 
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