by Peter Matthiessen
Finally finished the book I’ve been reading for the past month or so. Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen revolves around the shooting of E. J. Watson in the Everglades in 1910.
I enjoyed the book, this was a really engrossing read. E.J. Watson is a remarkably interesting subject, and Matthiessen keeps this entire massive novel on point. The setting of the Everglades frontier in the infancy of its development allow for a multitude of themes (racism, environmentalism, vengeance) but none of them are presented with a heavy hand.
The book is split into three parts, first comes the accounts of those who lived with Watson, second is the consequences, as Watson’s son attempts to piece together his father’s legend and sort out fact from fiction and last the entire story of Watson himself right up to his final moments. When the entire Watson legend has been revealed, causes and effects, there is no great feeling of justice being served, or rage at a great injustice. Rather it seems that this was the end that fit the story very well. Perhaps ‘fate’ from the history of ancient Greece that Watson carries with him is the best way to describe it.
Up next, I’m excited to get to The Ancient Book of Sex and Science by a few Pixar artists who are doing a series of these. I haven’t managed to get my hands on the first book in the series, but from what I’ve seen of the newest one (perhaps NSFW), it looks pretty cool.
The Ancient Book of Sex and Science