DAN HENRY IN THE WILD WEST by Stig Ericson

DAN HENRY IN THE WILD WEST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ericson's seemingly random recreation of days and events ""that float like corks on the sea of impressions and memories"" gives an air of laconic realism to this saga of a youngster who flees the Music Corps of the King's First Guards in Stockholm only to wind up playing his clarinet with Major Reno's Seventh Cavalry Regiment in North Dakota. This is a Swedish view of the New World, but Dan Henry's Wild West will be easily recognizable to those who've encountered this anti-romantic landscape in contemporary American novels. What stands out here is Dan Henry's lack of interest in farming (an occupation considered beneath him back home) and the way his class consciousness colors his view both of the Minnesota immigrants who take him in when he's a penniless newcomer and of Arvid, the none-too-bright buddy who dies ridiculously, trying to speak to Jesse James (!) about his fancy boots in the middle of a bank hold-up. Ericson's departure from the myth of the democratic frontier is just different enough to be worthy of comment, and Dan Henry's loosejointed, picaresque adventures offer a modestly inviting, if tentative, glimpse of a young man very much on his own.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1976
Publisher: Delacorte