- Paperback : 492 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8576904266
- Dimensions : 5 x 1.23 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Notoir books (December 5, 2020)
- Item Weight : 1.37 pounds
- Language: : English
If you like your tales tall & two-fisted, then this is the one for you.
“31 years …” is an interesting first-person account of the plainsmen and mountaineers of the early and mid-19th century. Drannan’s journey takes him through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico well before these territories became states. The list of characters reads like a who’s who of the territories east of the Rockies in the early 19th century.
Those luminaries encountered by Drannan include the following: General John Charles Fremont, Kit Carson, Johnnie West, Jim Bridger, Charlie Jones, Jake Harrington and the notorious Taos Mountain Phil (aka “American Cannibal”). Throw into the mix a varied selection of indigenous people and you have hours of enjoyable reading.
We, at Notoir Books, are fond of stories larger than life. This book is like the guy in the pub next to you, rambling one semi-tall yarn after the other. His view on the indians is telling. They act savagely to be sure and the immigrant wagon trains needed to be protected, but Drannan mentions murdering the members of war parties as they sleep and scalping the dead and wiping out bands as casually as brushing some dust off his fringe-jacket.
Modern readers should try not to whine about insensibilities too much, but rather try to see it as the author did at the time it was written. It was a different world then, with lots of things done very differently than would happen now. While not polished, Pulitzer-winning writing, it gives us a raw in-your-face view of the good old frontier life.