GREAT UPON THE MOUNTAIN: The Story of Crazy Horse by Vinson Brown

GREAT UPON THE MOUNTAIN: The Story of Crazy Horse

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Based, not on ""what men call facts,"" but on an amalgam of historical and spiritual truth, fully fathomed only by its awestruck originator, this evokes the interior life of the war leader and mystic Crazy Horse, in his youth known simply as Curly, as he grows up within the utopian Great Circle of the Lakotas (Sioux) and is influenced by a mother given to prophecy. In a vision of his own he sees men living in square gray houses and traveling in ""strange swift bugs"" (VW's perhaps?), two destructive world wars and, finally, within the nine sacred circles and under the Sacred Tree that grows out of the sacred herb, a new source of light which awakens the despairing masses -- ""Do you see it? . . . Do you see that light coming? It is so wonderful."" Few will see the light as this has neither the earthiness and humor nor the pragmatic, skeptical narrator which have made other such dream quests accessible. And by far the biggest problem here is Brown's inflated, pseudo-biblical style (""through the water he frothed his horse and up the far bank"") and an affected omniscience that parodies Crazy Horse's far-seeing wisdom and apocalyptic courage.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Macmillan