Spoon – Robert Greer

Denver author Robert Greer, with this book, has become one of my must-read authors.  Though this is categorized as a western, don’t let that label fool you.  Spoon is a remarkable story with beautifully drawn characters and a landscape that comes alive under Greer’s very capable direction that extends well beyond a classic western.  In the character of Spoon, we find a wise man traveling the countryside trying to find himself.  Flawed but kind-hearted, Spoon is a character that will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading the story.

“His hat was a snow white Tom Mix block, and he wore it tipped forward just enough to shade his eyes. When I asked him what had happened to his shoes, he said, “Shoes can be excess baggage when a man’s in a hurry.”

A novel of the contemporary American West, Spoon tells the story of Arcus Witherspoon, a mysterious half-black, half-Indian, oddly clairvoyant man searching the West for his roots. Hitchhiking near Hardin, Montana, Spoon falls in with a ranching family struggling to keep their ranch afloat amidst the pressures of hard economic times and an encroaching coal company. Proving himself a gifted ranch hand and mentor, Spoon charges himself with rescuing the Darleys and guiding the family’s teenage son TJ on his path to manhood. While Spoon’s checkered past includes a prison stint and a navy tour of Vietnam, it is his tenacity, wisdom, and charm that end up defining this quintessential Western man.

At once literary and compelling, Spoon is quintessential reading for anyone looking for an excellent diversion.

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