So I read a book over the last three days. That might not sound like a big deal, but I don’t read books. Well, I don’t read books very often. I have lots of books but most of them are reference books and tutorial books. I read parts of them but very seldom sit down and just read a book. I have tried and have had good intentions of reading, it just doesn’t happen. The last books that I have read were the first three books from the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum. I think that was over three or four years ago. So it is safe to declare that I am not a reader. I attribute the fact that I am not a reader to the fact that I am a photographer. Just show me a picture and let me move on with life. Anyway, back to this book I read.
I have a friend, going back some years, that is releasing his first novel. He is a writer. I know what you are thinking, how can we be friends if he is a writer and I am not a reader. That is an easy question to tackle, he is a story teller. I have never read anything he wrote but I have heard him tell some stories – and he can tell a story! Let’s call this friend Eric Bishop – mainly because that is his name AND he writes under that name too. That surprised me somewhat, I figured that by the time someone became famous enough to publish a real novel they would change their name. He didn’t. I guess they don’t all change their name.
I met Eric many years ago when we both were leaders of a Boy Scout Troop. Besides being a rugged outdoors person, he could hold his own with anyone when it came to telling stories around the campfire at night. I have no proof, but I believe some of those Scouts might still have nightmares when they come upon deserted old houses or happen upon a bull in a field. I suspect they have flashbacks of the times they jumped 5 feet back from the campfire when Eric ended a story with a loud yell. I doubt any of them have forgotten Eric Bishop or his cries of “Odin” in the morning at the top of his lungs to announce to the Troop, and world for that matter, that morning had arrived and we were all expected to be up and going.
There is an art in storytelling and Eric is very good at that art. I probably attempted a story or two around the campfire but I would bet money no one remembers them or the fact that I even attempted any. They do remember Eric telling stories. They may not remember the details, but they will remember that he told a story and that it generally scared the cobwebs out of the depths of their soul. No matter how scared they were from the stories the night before, they always wanted more the next night – and Eric would deliver. The fact that I remember him as a very good storyteller is probably why I decided to read his book.
I have been working with Eric to setup his website and get things organized for this book being released. With that I had access to his book a few weeks before it will be officially released. I decided that being a good storyteller, and the fact that I was setting up things for the book, I might as well read the thing. To be honest, I never really thought I would get past the first few chapters. I can usually get through two or three chapters and then I find the book months or years later with the bookmark in that same location. I would at least give it a go and see how far I would be able to complete.
Three days after starting the book I was done. I even found myself staying up late one night to read instead of flipping on the television to catch some recorded shows. Come to think of it, I probably have several recorded shows backed up on the recorder because I haven’t watched television in three days – since I started reading the book. That is as amazing as me reading a book, no television for three days.
So what is this book? Well, it is called The Samaritan’s Pistol. A book about a man from a small town in Wyoming. He is a rancher, has lots of horses and cows, makes money guiding wealthy tourists into the wilderness of Wyoming, and he has a pistol (ok, that was probably obvious from the title of the book). He has more than just a pistol, he is a typical dude from Wyoming with an arsenal of weapons. People from Wyoming sure love their weapons don’t they? Jim, the Wyoming cowboy with the pistol, has a pretty ordinary life doing what he loves and being alone for the most part. Then he runs into a situation that changes his life forever – he comes upon a mob-hit on the trail back to his ranch. I know, a mob-hit in the mountains of Wyoming? It is explained in the book, there is a reason it is happening at that location – trust me. Jim is forced to handle the situation with his pistol and ends up with three dead mobsters and all of the problems that come with killing mobsters – as you can imagine.
The book follows Jim around as he tried to sort out his life after upsetting the mafia in Las Vegas. Jim is a very good-natured cowboy and seems to make friends with almost everyone, except the leader of the mob who is now mourning the loss of two of his best men and his son. Jim decides to help the individual whom he saved, and share in some financial fortune at the same time, by making a trip to Las Vegas to bring back bags and bags of money. Jim is more interested in the adventure of the situation than the money available and his actions portray that interest very well.
So we have horses and guns. We have mobsters and killing. A trip to Las Vegas to retrieve millions of dollars is mixed in if those were not interesting enough. All of those things happen before the love interest materializes and relationship drama is introduced. There are many instances of how a Mormon community protects a neighbor (Jim is a good friend but doesn’t share the same religious beliefs as the majority of the community) as he is chased by the mafia. Oh, and we have cussing. There is a lot of cussing. I am not talking mild cussing, this is full-strength mafia cussing.
The books is obviously a precursor to many more novels rattling around in Eric’s head as there are many story lines left hanging. There is enough closure to most of the story to make a break, but it does leave you wondering about some of the characters and what might happen next. It is like those stories around the campfire, they end one night leaving you wanting more the following night. I want more. When does the next installment of this series continue? Oh, and being a visual person I might just recommend taking the second installment right to the big screen so I don’t have to read again! Is that too much to ask? I recommend the book – but only if you can handle strong language. It isn’t often that you can find a book that crosses so many genres. This book has something for almost everyone. Well done my storytelling friend.