Johnny D. Boggs: Return to Red River

A terrific read Return to Red River is a rugged tale searing and engagingRed River the 1948 film starring John Wayne was based on Borden Chase s novel that was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post But there are some significant differences between the film and Chase s novel in particular who s left standing at the conclusion of each However we discover all that Chase had told before as Boggs tells a new story with Mathew Garth leading a cattle drive to try to save the ranch he and Thomas Dunson started twenty years earlierThere are torrential storms and vicious rustlers and dangerous river crossings along with some clever twists and some truly nexpected moments all told with an authority of authenticity Excellent book I can see why it won Spur Award Return To Red River follows p on Borden Chase s novel Red River 1948 and the movie of the same name staring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift Without yet reading the first book or seeing the movie I relied on the lengthy beginning narrative to fill in characters and details about time and place Once oriented the reader is rewarded with raw authentic western action throughout the novel Mathew Garth and his family face a string of dangerous obstacles while they pull together to trail drive their cattle to market from Texas across the Red River to Kansas The stakes are high when a hard nosed banker loans needed money for the drive but reuiring the Garth ranch home as collateral Unsure who to trust The Gar. Red River is one of the greatest westerns ever told a novel that that became the classic John Wayne movie in 1948 Now award winning Johnny D Boggs presents a powerful seuel destined to be a Western masterpiece in its own right Return To Red RiverMatthew Garth was orphaned in a savage wagon train ambush.

Ths and their cowboys forge ahead facing outlaws stampedes floods storms death and fire along the trail Memories from previous encounters and challenges along the trail haunt and torment Garth and his cowboys Mathew s wife Tess is a strong willed participant along with his sons Tom and Lightning Hopefully the sons appear in future stories by Boggs a talented journalist and author Johnny D Boggs a contemporary author preserves western spirit and history through his authentic portrayal and insightful writing What a rideAuthor Johnny Boggs spins a yarn that starts building with page 1 and snowballs to the exciting climax The last of it kept me p well past my bed time Some might find it audacious for Johnny D Boggs to write a seuel to Red River the classic 1948 film starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift Actually he has written a seuel to the book that it was based on and it s a solid old fashioned Western that could have been written in 1948The book picks p with Matthew Garth who was played by Clift as he manages the ranch he inherited from Thomas Dunson who was played by Wayne It s twenty years later He married Tess Millay the prostitute although that word isn t sed in the film or in this book and has two sons Lightning and Tom The secret is that Lightning is not their natural sonGarth like Dunson twenty years later is short on cash and has to drive his cattle across the Red River and into Kansas The book takes a little too long setting this The Runaway and the Cattleman up I And adopted by Red River hero Thomas Dunson Twenty years later Matt has two strapping sons of his own and isndertaking a desperate cattle drive from Texas to Dodge City the new een of frontier cattle towns While the deadly dangers of storms and rustlers gather around them an act of passion and viol.

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Hink the drive starts about halfway into the action Longhorns Some of these no probably almost every last one of them a descendant of the first cattle brought to Mexico by Gregorio de Villalobos back in 1591 after Christopher Columbus had deposited some in Santo Domingo back in 1494 Around 1690 a herd numbering roughly two hundred had been trailed to a Texas mission near the Sabine River Now Mathew Garth had to get these cattle to Dodge City Kansas This kind of stentorian prose and research is to reading like macaroni and cheese is to food It s not great but it s comforting especially to those who like old WesternsThe cattle drive of course is fraught with danger a stampede a fire and someone following them It may be Jess Teveler wanted by the Texas Rangers and who has something against the Garths The ending provides the traditional showdown and gunplayEvery once in a while a read like this is a great switch from literary fiction Boggs is clearly a student of this genre And any book that can have a passage like this is fine with me For than five weeks they had been wet and they had been dry Baking nderneath a broiling sun or freezing in their soaking clothes after a cold rain Mostly they had been bone tired aching miserable Awake before sunrise then in a saddle till noon a Targeted uick bite of food washed down with coffee a fresh horse and back in the saddle Authentic gritty and fast moving this is as good as it gets for lovers of stories set in the Old West. Ence from within the drive and from within the Garth family leaves Matt fighting for his life close to where his father was buried by the Red River When Matt gets backp he must finish the drive and fight his worst enemies and even his own blood kin before it ends in a battle of guns tears and justice.

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Johnny D Boggs is a Spur and Wrangler Award winning author of the American West and frontier Born in 1962 Boggs grew up on a farm near Timmonsville South Carolina around the old stamping grounds of Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion chronicled in his frontier novel The Despoilers He knew he wanted to be a writer at an early age He lives in Santa Fe New Mexico with his wife Lisa Smit